Cluster, amplify and engage talent in companies that don’t compete. When you put creative professionals from different industries together, you are going to inspire those happy accidents that lead to new products and concepts. And by having an open environment with lots of room to collaborate and create, you now have a space that absolutely fosters creativity.

At its heart, a design hub brings innovative thinkers together to share new ideas and differing perspectives, creating a catalyst to break away from standard industry thinking. The idea is simple: when you mix together creative, forward-thinking people from vastly different disciplines, there’s a good chance they will come up with fresh and new ways of looking at old challenges.

The GRid70 concept came out of a group of 30 West Michigan CEOs called “What’s Next” who are working together to come up with ideas to bolster the area’s economy, image and attractiveness to potential employees and entrepreneurs, particularly young talent. Mike VanGessel, CEO of Rockford Construction, is a member of this group and suggested Rockford Construction’s building at 70 Ionia as a home to the design hub.

This idea has grown into a reality as GRid70 attracts talented individuals as well as increasing area business in downtown Grand Rapids.