Inaugural Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Connects Investor, Business and Entrepreneur Communities

Events held Dec. 9-11 will feature student and company pitch finals, networking and discussions with leading entrepreneurs and investors and keynote address from Michigan Governor-elect, Rick Snyder

Dec 07, 2010, 11:59 ET from Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan

DETROIT, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan Governor-elect, Rick Snyder, Michigan Speaker of the House, Andy Dillon, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and Wayne State University President, Allan Gilmour, will join the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition for its three-day event, Dec. 9-11, to celebrate the final rounds of the world's largest business competition. The event held at the North Campus Research Center in Ann Arbor will feature panel presentations from entrepreneurial and funding experts where participants will have the opportunity to connect with the leaders within investment, business, and entrepreneur communities.  

The inaugural Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition received nearly 600 entries, which were split evenly between the business and student portions of the competition. During the event the competition's top 10 companies and top 10 student/student team finalists will make their final pitches to a panel of VIP judges. Winners of the student competition will be announced on Friday, Dec. 10 and company winners will be announced during the closing session on Saturday, Dec. 11.

Highlights of each day include:

Thursday, Dec. 9

  • Formal event kickoff from David Egner, executive director of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, Dr. Paul Hunt, senior vice president of research and graduate studies at Michigan State University, and Ken Rogers, executive director of Automation Alley.
  • Presentations from company semi-finalist and student/student team finalists.
  • Keynote address from Brandon Park, Credit Suisse.
  • Panel discussions focused on defense and homeland security and trends and strategies for investing in the medical technology market.

Friday, Dec. 10

  • Kickoff by Wayne State University President Allan Gilmour and TechTown Executive Director Randal Charlton.
  • Presentations from company semi-finalists and student/student team finalists. Company finalists and student/student team winners announced at the end of the evening.
  • Keynote address from Bipin Patel, CIO of ProQuest, highlighting his experiences with one of the most innovative multinational companies.
  • Panel discussions focusing on cleantech innovation and investment, building and evolving top teams, moving past venture into enterprise, and the new mobility industry as an economic accelerator.

Saturday, Dec. 11

  • Kickoff by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman
  • Keynote address by Michigan Governor-elect, Rick Snyder
  • Company finalists will pitch their businesses to a VIP panel of judges.
  • Winning companies will be announced following their pitches
  • Event will conclude with closing remarks from the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition's Spirit of Michigan Award Winner, who will also be announced at Saturday's event.

A full agenda of the three-day event and registration is available through the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition website

Ticket prices for the event are:

3-Day Event Pass:


Saturday Only Pass:

$ 75

Student 3-Day Pass:

$125 (Student ID Required)

Student Saturday Only Pass:

$50 (Student ID Required)

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 premier sponsors is Accelerate Michigan.

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is also supported by AARP, Comcast, DTE Energy, Esperion Therapeutics, Ford Motor Company, General Dynamics Land Systems, MASCO Corporation Foundation, Strategic Staffing Solutions, Toyota, Whirlpool Corporation, Arsenal Venture Partners, Bodman LLP, MichBio, ProQuest, Seneca Partners, SMART (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation), TranslinkeD, ForSee Results, U-M Dearborn College of Engineering, Quicken Loans, Butzel Long, Grubb & Ellis, Menlo Innovations, U-M Health System, Detroit Regional Chamber, Schox Patent Group, Corp! Magazine, Ram Sun Services, Bank of Ann Arbor, Bizdom U, Michigan Radio, Michigan Venture Capital Association, and the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds.

For more information about the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, visit, 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 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 works 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 $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

About Accelerate Michigan

The mission of Accelerate Michigan is to create a distinctive partnership between Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) and Michigan's University Research Corridor (URC).  By uniting Michigan's largest businesses and universities together, Accelerate Michigan aims to place Michigan among the "Top Ten" states for accelerating economic transformation and cultivating entrepreneurism based on mutually beneficial values, investments and activities.

SOURCE Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan