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, Oct. 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, Oct, 22.

The competition culminates with a gala awards brunch in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Dec. 11. 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 — Spark, Automation Alley, the 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.
(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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