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Michigan Tech Startups To Compete For More Than $1 Million In Prizes

Michigan Tech Startups To Compete For More Than $1 Million In Prizes

Hundreds of startups will compete in Detroit — a city that’s increasingly becoming a tech hub — for more than $1 million in prizes in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.

More than 200 companies participate each year in the competition, which has a $500,000 grand prize. The pool of startups will be narrowed to 36 semifinalists in October, and those businesses will make their pitch to a panel of judges Nov. 16 at Detroit’s Masonic Temple.

“Our goal is to connect Michigan startups to capital and mentorship both regionally and nationally. We want everyone to know about the incredible small business innovation happening across the state of Michigan,” Martin Dober, the vice president and managing director of Invest Detroit Ventures, said in a statement.

Invest Detroit Ventures is an early-stage investment platform arm of Invest Detroit, a community development financial institution.

Past participants in Accelerate Michigan have raised more than $550 million and created more than 1,000 jobs in the state, according to the competition’s organizers.

The cofounder of LawnGuru, a startup that won a “best product and service” award at a past Accelerate Michigan competition, said he considers the award a milestone for his company.

“It’s the premier startup event in Michigan and an incredible opportunity for networking with founders, investors and local media,” said Skye Durrant, the president and cofounder of the Ann Arbor-based startup, which allows customers to schedule lawn mowing and driveway plowing using a smartphone app.

Accelerate Michigan applicants must be tech-enabled or product-based and have advanced past the proof-of-concept stage in one of the following sectors, according to organizers:

  • Advanced materials and manufacturing
  • Alternative energy
  • Business services
  • Consumers products
  • Information technology
  • Life sciences/health care
  • Media
  • Mobility
  • Other

The deadline for Accelerate Michigan applications is Sept. 1. For more information, including application fees and guidelines, visit

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Posted-In: Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition Detroit Invest Detroit Ventures LawnGuruEntrepreneurship Startups Small Business General Best of Benzinga


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