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Accelerator Programs

Designed to provide a launching pad for new businesses, Downtown Lansing Inc.’s accelerator programs play a pivotal role in nurturing innovation, fostering growth, and creating a vibrant business ecosystem.

The Shops at Middle Village

A dynamic environment on S. Washington Square, The Shops at Middle Village is a space for shoppers to browse a variety of unique retailers, and for business owners to learn and grow. An innovative business incubator, Middle Village was devised in 2021 as a creative solution to fill empty storefronts in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Since then, the space has become a thriving retail hub that supports six to eight unique rising shopkeepers at a time, arming them with business know-how and marketing finesse while they sow their entrepreneurial seeds, curate their clientele, and test the market.

For shoppers, Middle Village is a one-stop shop for all things local. The space offers one-of-a-kind items, and gives visitors a chance to support locally-owned businesses and explore multiple stores all at one location.

Middle Village plays a critical role in helping create a downtown that truly represents Lansing, with a special nod to women and minority-owned businesses. The initiative is truly a community endeavor — Downtown Lansing Inc. manages the program and provides the space; Lake Trust Credit Union provides generous funding support; and the Michigan Small Business Development Center equips business owners with training and resources.

The Macotta Club

Located in Downtown Lansing’s historic Knapp’s Building, The Macotta Club will be a dining destination spotlighting the best of our community’s up-and-coming culinary offerings. The Macotta Club will offer six restaurant options and 15 different food concepts, including three food trucks and food makers, along with a full-service bar. From lunch with the coworkers, to a family dinner, to late-night cocktails, The Macotta Club will be a space to savor connection.

As an incubator kitchen, The Macotta Club will offer a 24-month program for culinary startups to establish a foundation for their business before expanding into the broader Mid-Michigan market. These businesses operate within The Macotta Club location, as part of a community of food entrepreneurs learning and growing together. The goal is that, at the conclusion of the program, entrepreneurs will have the resources, experience, and fan base they need to expand to a permanent location. This growth model offers opportunities for entrepreneurs, partners, and collaborators alike.

From a placemaking standpoint, The Macotta Club will revolutionize Downtown Lansing’s nightlife and create a space for connection. By repurposing a currently vacant space in an architecturally significant building, The Macotta Club will honor our rich past while inspiring foot traffic to the south end of Downtown Lansing and its surrounding blocks.

This is history for me. I’m going to make my stamp here.

Beeka Monique, Owner of CocoBella Fashion Boutique inside Middle Village