DETROIT, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Early stage businesses can win up to $500,000 in cash winnings, plus in-kind awards of services, staffing and software in the world's biggest business competition, the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. The deadline for submitting entries has been extended to 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, October 13.
The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is an international business competition offering more than $1 million in cash awards, plus in-kind awards of services, staffing and software. In addition to the prizes from the competition, entrepreneurs will have access to Michigan's robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, which includes wet labs, incubators, and access to talent from the world's leading research universities. The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition hopes to draw attention to the state as a destination for innovation and the ideal place to launch and grow a new business.
The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is now open to companies with the following criteria:
- Innovative and proven technology (past proof of concept)
- Company must currently be at a commercial stage
- The potential to achieve $10 million or more in annual revenue over the next five years.
Companies will select to compete in one of nine sectors:
- Advanced Materials
- Advanced Transportation
- Alternative Energy
- Defense and Homeland Security
- Information Technology
- Life Science
- Medical Devices
- Next Generation Manufacturing
- Products and Services
A separate track, the Accelerate Michigan Student Idea Competition, designed specifically for students to submit business concepts, is open to any undergraduate or graduate student attending a Michigan university or college in fall 2010. The Accelerate Michigan Student Idea Competition will continue to accept entries until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 22.
The competition culminates with a gala awards brunch in Ann Arbor on Saturday December 11, 2010. The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition concludes with the University of Michigan vs. Michigan State University "Big Chill" hockey game at Michigan Stadium.
The New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan granted Ann Arbor SPARK $750,000 to launch the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition on behalf of the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan, which is composed of four of the region's key business accelerators – Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator, and TechTown. Joining the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition as partners for event are the University Research Corridor (Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University) and Business Leaders for Michigan.
For more information about the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, including complete rules and eligibility criteria, visit www.acceleratemichigan.org, or connect with the competition via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
About the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan
The Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan is a new region-wide network for building and retaining new business in southeast Michigan. Composed of the region's four key business accelerators – Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator, and TechTown, the organization will work collaboratively to share best practices, host events focused on addressing issues and goals that impact southeast Michigan, support business plan development, and leverage funding to grow business in the region.
The Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan is supported through a three year, $3 million grant from the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan.
About The New Economy Initiative
The New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan (NEI) is an innovative philanthropic effort to accelerate the transition of metro Detroit to an innovation-based economy that expands opportunity for all. Ten national, regional and local foundations have committed $100 million to this unprecedented eight-year initiative, including the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (Detroit), the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation (Southfield, Michigan), the Ford Foundation (New York), the Hudson-Webber Foundation (Detroit), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek, Michigan), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (Miami), The Kresge Foundation (Troy, Michigan), the McGregor Fund (Detroit), the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (Flint, Michigan), and the Skillman Foundation (Detroit). The participating foundations are leading the implementation and governance of the Initiative. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which initiated the collaborative, is serving as its administrative home. For more information, please visit http://neweconomyinitiative.cfsem.org/.
About the University Research Corridor
Michigan's University Research Corridor (URC) is an alliance of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University with a vision to contribute toward the transformation of Michigan's economy.
The URC is among the top R&D clusters in the nation (compared with regions of the USA such as Route 128 in Boston, Research Triangle in North Carolina, and Silicon Valley in Northern California) for producing patents, new business, and graduates with high-tech related degrees needed in growing new fields. In addition, the three universities serve as a magnet in helping to attract new business to the state of Michigan.
About Business Leaders for Michigan
Business Leaders for Michigan (www.BusinessLeadersforMichigan.com), the state's business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for job and economic growth. The organization is composed exclusively of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of Michigan's largest companies and universities, which provide over 300,000 jobs in Michigan, generate over $1 Trillion in annual revenue and serve over 130,000 students. The organization's work is defined by the Michigan Turnaround Plan, a holistic, fact-based strategy to get Michigan's economy back on track. Visit www.michiganturnaroundplan.com for more information.
Katy Teer, Airfoil Public Relations
SOURCE Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan