Get ready to pitch your business ideas.
Organizers of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, with over $1 million in cash and in-kind prizes, are now accepting applications from established early and second-stage businesses and college students with innovative business ideas for the second annual competition.
The competition last year drew entries from 600 businesses, many from other countries.
The contest is a collaborative effort of the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan, theNew Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan and Accelerate Michigan, a strategic alliance betweenBusiness Leaders for Michigan and the University Research Corridor.
It aims to put the state, especially Southeast Michigan, on the map for venture capitalists and other investors while lifting up the entrepreneurial efforts of early and second-stage companies in growing industries, including alternative energy, information technology, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, medical devices and advanced transportation.
To take part in the competition, applicants must be at the commercial stage of business development, past proof of concept and make a commitment to locate and grow in Michigan.
To apply for the competition, visit acceleratemichigan.org
Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in at least two classes in a Michigan public or private university or college for the fall 2011 semester is eligible for the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. Submissions in the student competition can come from an individual or a team.
For companies, the application deadline is Aug. 10 and for students Sept. 21.
The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition will conclude with investor pitches Nov. 16-17 at the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Marriott at Eagle Crest. The competition finals and awards ceremony will take place Nov. 17 at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.
Last year, the Kalamazoo-based molecular diagnostic company Armune BioScience Inc. took home the top prize of $500,000. The winner of the $25,000 student grand prize was ReGenerate, an organic-waste disposal company started by three University of Michigan students.
By Sherri Welch, Crain’s Detroit