ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At the conclusion of Ann Arbor SPARK's 20th Entrepreneur Boot Camp, STEL Technologies was awarded Best of Boot Camp and Warmilu, LLC was awarded Boot Camp's Best Pitch. As Best of Boot Camp, STEL Technologies received membership to the New Enterprise Forum (NEF) and a NEF coaching team for one year as well as an engagement with the Ann Arbor SPARK business accelerator.
STEL Technologies is a University of Michigan spin out that is developing engineered tissue for replacement of torn knee ligaments in dogs. Unlike current methods that alter knee function and have long recovery times, STEL Technologies' tissue grafts enable dogs to grow new ligament, walk shortly after surgery and maximize long-term pet health and mobility.
"SPARK's Boot Camp provided us the resources to leave our comfort zone of the biomedical engineering laboratory environment and tackle a business plan," said Ellen Arruda of STEL Technologies. "The Boot Camp environment is as supportive as it is intense. The talented drill instructors, mentors and expert volunteers offer criticism and input; the Boot Camp experience is invaluable to start-ups."
Warmilu has developed and is commercializing nonelectric, instant heat technology, specifically for infants. The company's innovation has the ability to save lives in disadvantaged, austere locations where infant mortality due to exposure is high; 450 infants die every hour worldwide, and up to two-thirds of those infants will die from lack of consistent heat.
"SPARK's Boot Camp was an excellent and unparalleled opportunity for Warmilu to take our early stage company forward," said Grace Hsia of Warmilu. "Warmilu is exploring how to commercialize our heat technology to spread the warmth to save lives. We came in with a for-profit social enterprise, but we needed guidance and direction for the business, financials, and pitching. The Boot Camp mentors and guides are absolutely amazing and this venue was the perfect place to build relationships with those who could help our company establish meaningful business channels."
Fourteen teams participated in Ann Arbor SPARK's Entrepreneurial Boot Camp. A bi-annual program, Boot Camp has assisted more than 240 companies since 2002.
ABOUT ANN ARBOR SPARK
Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Washtenaw County Michigan Works Agency, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.
SOURCE Ann Arbor SPARK