The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is Michigan’s premier business plan competition featuring the best and brightest seed-stage businesses to regional investors while awarding up to $1,000,000 in prizes. In this exclusive guest post, Seun Oyewole of Invest Detroit Ventures highlights the success stories of past winners, including Workit Health, SPLT, and Autobooks, and shares more information on how to apply. Accelerate Michigan is accepting applications until Friday, September 1 at 11:59 p.m.
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Since inception, participating companies have collectively fundraised more than $550 million in capital and created more than 1,000 jobs in the state of Michigan. Last year’s winners — including SPLT, Autobooks and Workit Health — have gone on to hold multi-million dollar seed and Series A fundraising rounds since their participation, in addition to highlighting Michigan as a community of high-tech, high-potential startups and immense investment opportunity. In 2016 alone, Accelerate Michigan alums raised over $42 million in venture capital investment.
High-growth companies that participate in the competition have the opportunity to engage with angel and venture capital investors, have access to entrepreneurial support organizations, and attract the attention of corporate and industry experts. These long term relationships and connections are many times found to be more valuable than the actual prize money!
Banza, the 2015 grand prize winner, leveraged the technical know-how of Automation Alley to enhance their manufacturing processes, which led to the expansion of the company’s product offerings into 5,000 stores nationwide (and a $7.5 million Series A boost).
Accelerate Michigan’s 2013 grand prize winner, Varsity News Network, closed their $3 million Series A round shortly after the competition through investor relationships they cultivated from the program.
The 2017 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is accepting applications from high-tech, high-growth companies through Sept. 1 at 11:59 p.m. Selected semi-finalists will be announced in October, then go on to compete for $1 million in cash prizes and valuable investor attention.
Startups at Accelerate Michigan boost their exposure and develop relationships that go above and beyond dollars. Startup companies have very little to lose and almost everything to gain by competing – what’s stopping your startup from applying?