The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is open to any early stage business with operations in Michigan.
We’re looking for companies that have a strong technology or concept and serious growth potential.
If you think that $500,000 would give your company the boost to move it to the next level – please apply to compete. Payment can be made via our PayPal system with Visa, Mastercard and Discover.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
We’re looking for the applicants to have some of the attributes below. Please note that these are not rigid criteria, they’re a loose set of guidelines.
PLEASE NOTE : US Companies need to supply their EIN. While there are many great lifestyle businesses (for example: boutiques, cafes, consulting firms), Accelerate Michigan is targeted at innovation-based, technology-led companies. If you have questions about eligibility, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. All Prize Winners must have the winning business registered and located in the state of Michigan. For winners not currently located in the state of Michigan to receive the award you must relocate your business to Michigan.
First Round: Preliminary Application
Deadline Friday, September 1st
Second Round: Semi-Final Pitches
Onsite Judging on November 16th, 2017
Final Round: Final Pitches
Onsite Judging on November 16th, 2017
Grand Prize: $500,000
First Runner Up: $100,000
Second Runner Up: $50,000
People’s Choice: $10,000
More awards to be announced
Submissions accepted worldwide, but there is a residency requirement to accept ANY prize. If your company is selected as a semi-finalist, at least two members of your team must be present on November 16, 2017 at the Accelerate Michigan event to pitch in front of a live judging panel and audience.
For stage of company, please see eligibility requirements. With respect to sector we’re looking for a wide range of submissions. While there are many great lifestyle businesses (for example: brick & mortar, boutiques, cafes, consulting firms), Accelerate Michigan encourages those companies to apply for programs like NEIdeas, Hatch Detroit, and Motor City Match.
Excluded are: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, and licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area. Licensed technologies from universities and research labs are encouraged assuming they have not been commercialized previously.
Please see eligibility requirements.
There are no restrictions on teams.
At a broad view, companies will be judged based on traction, creativity and innovation involved in the business concept, propensity of business success, stage of development, team’s knowledge of the product/service and its market, growth potential and capability to become market leader, sustainability of the business and competitive advantage as well as the rationality of the financing strategy.
The judges consist principally of VCs, angel investors, and seasoned entrepreneurs.
Accelerate Michigan will not disclose confidential information outside of the judging committee.
Yes, but this being a public forum, we cannot guarantee that your idea will remain confidential. See the Confidentiality & IP section.
Yes, winning companies are required to either be located in Michigan or relocate the main office to Michigan.
Yes. To ensure commitment from applicants, there is a nominal fee ranging from $50-150 to apply. Application fees will increase as we get closer to the Friday, September 1st deadline.
As long as you haven’t raised the $2M by Sept 1st, 2017, you’re fine.
Business plans presented in the competition will not be made available. However, if a team is willing to share their plan with you on a one-to-one basis that is acceptable.
All company prizes include grant funding, but the top three prizes also include an investment component. Here is a breakdown of the prizes offered:
– Top prize $500K: $450K investment, $50K grant. The $400K comes from Ann Arbor SPARK, Invest Michigan, and Invest Detroit Ventures. The three entities work together with the winner to set the terms, and it can be through a convertible note, priced round or another instrument, whichever is most appropriate for the company. Most often, it has been through a convertible note.
– 1st Runner-up $100K: $75K investment from Invest Michigan and Invest Detroit Ventures, $25K grant. The two entities work together with the winner to set the terms, and it can be through a convertible note, priced round or another instrument, whichever is most appropriate for the company. Most often, it has been through a convertible note.
– 2nd Runner-up $50K: $25K investment from Invest Detroit Ventures, $25K grant. Invest Detroit Ventures will work with the winner to set the terms, and it can be through a convertible note, priced round or another instrument, whichever is most appropriate for the company. Most often, it has been through a convertible note.
– People’s Choice Prize: $10K grant.
Access to submitted abstracts is granted only by the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition to the members of its judging panels and to Invest Detroit Ventures and its affiliates as administrators of the Competition.
Before submitting your application with your executive summary and slide decks for presentation, we encourge you to confirm with appropriate advisors or legal counsel that any intellectual property described in your plan is appropriately protected.
All public sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question/answer sessions, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these public sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that will likely enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions.
The authors of the submitted documents will retain all copyrights to the plan regarding its use at all times prior to and following the competition except as stated below. Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, staff or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements for any participant.
The organizer of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition may make photocopies, photographs, videotapes and/or audiotapes of the presentations including the business plan and other documents, charts or material prepared for use in presentation. By entering the competition, you will have agreed to grant a release to the organizers, sponsors and funding sources of the competition to use such materials without restriction.
The mission of your executive summary is to engage the reader’s interest and compel them to either review your business plan or set up a meeting.
The first round submission for this competition should be no longer than two pages of text. Any summaries longer than the aforementioned limits will be returned for editing.
Please include the following elements in your executive summary.
You should describe the product/service and the pain point/market need that it is addressing. It is expected that you will have the following elements in your document. The manner and order in which you address these elements is completely up to you.