A number of Metro Detroit-based companies came away with prizes at last week's Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
The annual business plan competition awards $1 million in prizes, including a $500,000 cash prize for first place, to promising tech startups either based in Michigan or looking to move to the Great Lakes State. Metro Detroit-based firms, particularly those from Ann Arbor, have done quite well in the downtown Detroit-based competition’s first four iterations.
"Silicon Valley is supposed to have all the answers," says Tony Scott, CIO of VMware
and the keynote speaker at this year’s Accelerate Michigan. "It doesn't. And there are a lot of great ideas here in Michigan."
Among the winners from Metro Detroit are:
- Troy-based AutoBike
, which won the Next Generation Manufacturing category and the $25,000 in seed capital that came with it. The company is making a bicycle with an automatic gear shifter and began making sales this year. "(That prize money) is going to go toward OEMs for production," says Sean Simpson, CEO of AutoBike.
, which calls Bloomfield Hills home, won the Life Sciences category ($25,000) for its website that is working to become the Wikipedia of clinical trials for new drugs and treatments.
- ENT Biotech Solutions (Detroit) won the $25,000 that comes with taking first in the Medical Device category for its surgical tool.
- West Bloomfield-based WaveCraft
is creating an amphibious aircraft that won the NextEnergy Transport & New Mobility and its $25,000 cash prize.
Among the Ann Arbor-based winners are:
- Covaron Advanced Materials
, which took second place ($100,000) for its low temperature cure advanced ceramics technology.
won the People's Choice award for $10,000 for its smartphone case that come with retractable earbuds.
building floor plans and furniture layouts software won the IT category and its $25,000 prize.
won the DTE Energy Alternative Energy category ($25,000) for its technology that incorporates supercapacitors to make batteries more energy efficient.
Source: Tony Scott, CIO of VMware and Sean Simpson, CEO of AutoBike
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.