Accelerate Michigan 2012: $1 Million Business Plan Competition

Students, Companies World-Wide Gear Up for North America’s Largest Business Competition
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DETROIT — Attention entrepreneurs seeking start-up capital! There is $1 million available in a global search for start-up companies. The application deadline is August 15. Student and company applications for the 2012 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC) are currently open and are being accepted at www.acceleratemichigan.org.

Michigan has 27 venture capital firms, and their capital under management has grown by more than 400 percent in the last 10 years. Ninety-five Michigan-based companies were funded by local and national venture capital firms last year, creating nearly 1,500 jobs. Michigan is ranked No. 3 in the United States in engineering degrees and has been provided more than $1.8 billion in university funding from the U.S. government.

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, North America’s largest business competition, is an international business contest aimed at fostering entrepreneurial growth throughout Michigan’s vibrant business community.

The competition is focused on two tracks: international businesses relocating to Michigan and Michigan collegiate students starting and staying here. Start-up and early-stage entrepreneurial businesses world-wide whose technology is past the prototype phase are eligible for submission.

“The state of Michigan is a hotbed of entrepreneurial and start-up activity right now, and the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is one of the most important driving factors for business development and growth,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable. “We’re in the midst of an economic revival and our infrastructure is on par with innovation clusters on the coasts.”

The submission deadline for established start-ups is August 15, while applications for student-led start-ups are due by September 27.

Beginning on November 14, the 2012 AMIC will conclude with semi-final investor pitches at the Westin Book Cadillac in downtown Detroit. The Competition Finals and Gala Awards Celebration will be held the evening of November 15 at Detroit’s historic Orchestra Hall, where AMIC and its partners will award more than $1 million in cash prizes, along with millions more of in-kind awards, to those businesses showing the most promise.

In addition to prizes, competition participants will have access to Michigan’s entrepreneurial eco-system, including wet labs, incubators, and top talent from some of the world’s leading research universities.

This year’s judging panel includes experts from Michigan-based investment firms, companies and universities, as well as national and regional investors and venture capitalists.

For more information, including competition submission categories and requirements, visit www.acceleratemichigan.org.

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