2023 Makers’ Mart Competition

Makers’ Mart is the region’s largest entrepreneurial competition. It allows the community of leaders who attend Catalyst University 2023 to lift up regional entrepreneurs. Attendees will support these small businesses and gain awareness of their products, ultimately growing their company’s impact and boosting our region’s economy.

The competition’s winner receives $2,500 in cash, $5,000 worth of legal and marketing consulting, and is recognized on stage at Catalyst University which takes place January 25 and 26, 2023 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Apply to enter your product in the 8th Annual Makers’ Mart competition today!

Important Dates

October 14 – Makers’ Mart Application Deadline
October 21 – Candidates for consideration will be notified
November 2 – Candidates will present to the Makers’ Selection Committee for 30-minutes at a time; presentations to include business overview and end with Q&A
November 4 – Finalists will be notified
November TBD – Makers’ Mart photo and video sessions
January 24 – Finalist venue walk-through and setup
January 25-26 – Catalyst University 2023; finalists must be present selling their product(s) at the Radisson from 8:00 am to approximately 3:30 pm each day

The Process

The Makers’ Selection Committee will select up to five finalists to highlight at Catalyst University. Attendees will cast votes for their favorite maker. The winner will be announced live onstage during the second day of the event.


Requirements for companies looking to enter the competition include:

  • Must sell an existing product with annual sales of $500,000 or less
  • Must be a company owned and operated in Southwest Michigan (Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren Counties)
  • Available for photoshoot mid-November to early-December at a location of your choosing
  • Must display and sell product(s) during Catalyst University 2023
  • Maker is allowed (1) support person to help during event
  • Must graciously accept the final winner as determined by voters at Catalyst University
  • Past applicants are allowed to re-apply. Previous winners may not re-apply with the same company, but may submit a new company for consideration.
  • Must permit the Catalyst University team to market the company, product, and applicant without interference

Makers' Mart Application

Makers’ Mart Application

2023 Makers' Mart Flyer

Makers’ Mart Flyer (PDF)

Catalyst University 2023

Catalyst University 2023