Accelerate Michigan Announces Student Semifinalists

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The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, an international business competition designed to highlight Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity announced today that it has chosen its 28 student/student team semi-finalists for the Accelerate Michigan Student Competition. The competition will award $50,000 to students with the best and brightest new business ideas and concepts.

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition received nearly 600 entries, which were split evenly between the business and student portions of the competition. Entries were received from college and university students representing every corner of the state with the bulk of the entries coming from Wayne State University and the University of Michigan.

Open to any undergraduate or graduate student attending a Michigan college or university in the fall of 2010, the Accelerate Michigan Student idea competition sought top business ideas and concepts submitted by Michigan students. All participants were required to submit a one-page business idea. The 28 semi-finalists will submit a three minute video pitch and a fifteen minute in-person pitch.

“The nearly 300 entries submitted by Michigan college and university students represent the mounting spirit of entrepreneurism in our young business leaders,” said Doug Rothwell, President of Business Leaders for Michigan, an organization co-sponsoring the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. “Their ideas and innovative approach to cultivating business are vital to transforming Michigan’s economy and making it a ‘top ten’ state for job growth.”

“Michigan college and university students have proved through the Accelerate Michigan Student Idea Competition that they are prepared to compete in a marketplace where innovation and forward thinking are the key drivers for advancement and success,” said Dr. David Spencer, executive director of the Macomb-OU INCubator. “These 28 student semi-finalists are a prime example of the drive and determination of young people throughout Michigan to reignite the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Student/student team semi-finalists and their business ideas and concepts include:
 
* A Model in Social Entrepreneurship: Precise Parenting, Amanda C. Johnson, Walsh College
* Bebaroo – Online Baby Clothes Rental Service, Luis Calderon, Allen Kim, University of Michigan
* Cbook, Eric N. Jorgenson, Michigan State University
* Culinary Incubator, Cherise Soulliere, Wayne State University
* eHealthX, LeAnn Auer, Rajesh Kandaswamy, Sudhakar Mohanraj, Kendall Qualls, Pierre Quenioux, University of Michigan
* Exclamation Leadership Resources, Andrew C. Schantz, University of Michigan
* Get Fresh Detroit, Noam Kimelman, Zach Markin, University of Michigan
* Hard Knocks, Christopher Matsos, Joseph J Richert, Wayne State University
* HybridPay, Daniel Pearson, Central Michigan University
* Impact Card, Adam Carver, University of Michigan
* Injection Molded Plastic Scooter/Wheelchair Ramp, Adam C. Parr, Northwood University
* Keni Blocks, Kenny M. Arnold, University of Michigan
* MichigIntern, Zachary Fetters, Stephen J. Winn, University of Michigan
* Microfluidics Enabled Technology Platform For Screening Neurodegenerative Medicinal Compounds, Darius Banasik, Trushal V. Chokshi – University of Michigan
* Own, Erol Z. Ahmed, Verdi E. Ergun, University of Michigan
* Portable Energy Solutions for People in Developing Countries, Md. Shahnoor Amin, Allan R. Taylor, Abdrahamane Traore, University of Michigan
* ReGenerate: Onsite Anaerobic Digestion Units, Hunt Briggs, Paul M. Davis, Robert Levine, Nolan Orfield, University of Michigan
* Rehabilitation Vision Software Systems, Samuel J. Cooper, Sueann Wickstrom, University of Michigan
* Rethink Water, Zachary F. Fortney, Grand Rapids Community College
* Reveal Design Automation, Zaher Andraus, Vimal B. Bhalodia, Matthew Neagle, University of Michigan
* SanoBio Therapeutics LLC, Zubair S. Ahsan, James Li, Paul Marinec, Boyang Zhao, University of Michigan
* Spare Tire for Hire, Renita A. Smith, Wayne State University
* STIgma Free, Jeremy Holzwarth, Patrick Ingram, Sasha Cai Lesher-Perez, Rameshwar Rao, Bethany Tong, Josh White, University of Michigan
* System for distributing digital content on-demand for Trade Show Attendees, Ken Siegner, Wayne State University
* The Trading Cup, Giovani Ortiz, Eastern Michigan University
* Water Desalination by Direct Contact Membrane Distillation, Michael J. Abere, Erik Anderson, Richard S. Gulotty, Joshua P Hoemke, Weimin Wang, Young Lee, University of Michigan
* WebWise, David M. Spiro, Chad D. Stark, University of Michgian
* Wind Powered Resonator, Jorge A. Acosta, Victor Braciszewski, Dan Rodak, University of Michigan
 
Semi-finalists will be narrowed down to 10 finalists just prior to the culmination of the competition 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: Ann Arbor Spark, Automation Alley, the Macomb-OU INCubator, and TechTown.

For more information about the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, visit www.acceleratemichigan.org.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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