Metro Detroit start-ups ran away with the top prizes in this year's Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
earlier this month.
Plymouth-based Algal Scientific
took home the grand prize of $500,000 in seed capital for its wastewater treatment system technology that uses algae to remove nutrients from contaminated water, leaving the raw materials for biofuel production. Livonia-based nanoMAG
took home the $100,000 runner-up prize for its work developing a new type of Magnesium compound that can be used for biocompatible stents and implants.
Six people and an intern are now employed at nanoMAG, which moved from Ann Arbor to Livonia about a year ago to take advantage of a manufacturing facility. It expects to hire a few more people next year as it continues development of its technology. Steven LeBeau, president of nanoMAG, plans to use the cash and the win to leverage an even bigger seed capital round next year.
"We're using the contest as a PR tool to get in touch with people we have been in contact with over the last year for fundraising," LeBeau says. "We're hoping to leverage the $100,000 into seven figures."
Other Metro Detroit winners include:
- InfiChem Polymers
, which won the $25,000 prize in the the Advanced Materials category. The Sterling Heights-based start-up reuses a main chemical in polyurethane foam as a basic building block to manufacture new polyurethane foam. The old polyurethane foam comes from post-industrial scrap that is normally landfilled.
, which won the $25,000 price in the Life Sciences category. The Plymouth-based start-up is developing biotechnology focused on accelerating therapeutic antibody development.
, which won the $25,000 prize in the Next Generation Manufacturing category. The Warren-based start-up's Powerlet
brand is an electrical accessory in the powersport industry that allows users of things like motorcycles and ATVs to plug their gadgets into the vehicle.
Source: Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition and Steven LeBeau, president of nanoMAG
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.