S3E4 – Tony Willis – Leap

LEAP Tony WillisToday’s Guest: Tony Willis, Chief Equity Development Officer at Leap and President at Proto Accelerator.

Watch on YouTube HERE

Tony’s journey over the past decade has been deeply intertwined with economic development in the Greater Lansing region, focusing on creating a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. As he shared with us, the ultimate goal of economic development is to foster a robust and prosperous economy where individuals have access to good jobs, benefits, and the means to live a prosperous life.

Tony’s role at Leap involves ensuring an inclusive economy, where individuals from all walks of life, regardless of race, ethnicity, or status, have the opportunity to participate and grow in the economy. He described various programs aimed at eliminating gaps and creating bridges for underrepresented individuals, emphasizing the importance of economic inclusivity.


One of Leap’s flagship programs, One and All, caught our attention. Launched in 2020, it’s an eight-week cohort-based program designed to educate and mentor entrepreneurs. Tony highlighted the unique aspect of this program by providing a $2500 seed grant to each graduate, with a focus on individuals at or below the asset-limited income-constrained employed (Alice) threshold.

Don’t miss out on this episode that showcases the resilience and growth of Lansing’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Tune in now to gain valuable perspectives and consider joining Leap’s initiatives to be a part of the positive change in our community.

How to Contact Tony Willis at Leap


Proto Accelerator.

Tony’ LinkedIn

Pure Lansing 


This Episode is Sponsored By Risky Studios and Shotwell Rutter Baer Finacial Advisors.

Thank you for your support!


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