Accelerate Michigan narrows list to 53 semifinalists in innovation competition
The Accelerate Michigan Innovation competition announced Tuesday that it has narrowed its list of 300 applicants to 53 semifinalists for the more than $1 million in prize money that will be awarded at the third annual event at Orchestra Hall on Nov. 15 in Detroit.
The first-place prize for the best young or emerging business is $500,000.
Accelerate Michigan was first held in 2010 and is put on by the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan, the Business Leaders for Michigan, the New Economy Initiative of Southeast Michigan and Accelerate Michigan.
It was designed to give a boost to startups and young companies, either ones already located in Michigan or those willing to move to the state. It aims to have a large enough first-place award to make a real difference in advancing a company's commercialization.
Funds are provided by the 21st Century Jobs Fund of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The competition is reputed to be the largest business-plan competition in North America.
This year, submissions came from around the U.S. and from businesses in Canada and the United Kingdom in the categories of information technology, alternative energy, advanced materials, next generation manufacturing, life sciences, medical devices, advanced transportation, and products and services.
Applications are still being accepted for the student portion of the competition, with a one-page business plan required to be filed by Sept. 27 at www.acceleratemichigan.org, which also has a list of the 53 semifinalists.
The student competition awards $50,000, including $25,000 for first place.