Back to Blog August 02, 2016 in

7th Annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Now Accepting Applications

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One of the largest business plan competitions in the nation sets the stage for up to $1 million in prizes on November 3 at Cobo Convention Center

The Accelerate Michigan Planning Committee is excited to announce the 7th Annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition will take place on Thursday, November 3, 2016 (the day after the 2016 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner!) at the newly-renovated Cobo Convention Center in downtown Detroit. As one of the largest business plan competitions in the nation, this premier event showcases the best and brightest startups in Michigan and highlights the state as a powerhouse for business opportunity and next generation technology.

The Accelerate Michigan application portal is now open! Companies can apply for the opportunity to pitch their high-growth business while networking with influential angel and venture investors. The application period closes Friday, September 2.

Each year, the competition receives over 200 company applications from across Michigan spanning a number of high-growth sectors. At the November 3rd event, 36 company semifinalists and 27 student ventures will compete for up to $1 million in prizes and exposure to regional and national venture capital investors.

Prizes include:

  • Grand Prize – $500,000
  • Runner Up Prize – $100,000
  • Second Runner Up Prize – $50,000
  • $25,000 Highlight Prizes (ie. Accelerator, University Tech, People’s Choice & more to be announced)

Since inception, participating companies have generated 1,000+ jobs in Michigan and have raised over $550 million in capital. Representing many of the regions of Michigan, previous winners include: Banza (Detroit), SkySpecs (Ann Arbor), Varsity News Network (Grand Rapids), Algal Scientific (Plymouth), Celsee Diagnostics (Plymouth) & Armune BioScience (Kalamazoo). These companies have gone on to raise significant capital from local and national investors.

Examples of success from previous winners include Lawn Guru (Ann Arbor), an on-demand marketplace for lawn mowing and snow removal services, which won $25,000 for best new product & service at the 2015 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. Since then, Lawn Guru closed a $1-million seed funding round, moved headquarters to a new office in downtown Ann Arbor and is hiring new positions including sales, customer service and marketing. Another 2015 sector winner, FlexDex Inc. (Brighton), a surgical tools maker, recently announced it closed on a funding round of $5 million as the company gets ready to commercially launch its first product.

Companies can find the application portal here.