Please join other student-led teams from across the State of Michigan to pitch your business venture idea, meet investors from around the country and win money to start your venture!  There are a total of $20,000 in prizes!

You will answer a few questions about your business plus a one (1) minute video link describing the key points of your business.  These will be reviewed by a panel of experienced judges.  The top teams will progress to the semi-finals at Cobo Center, Detroit on November 3, 2016 during Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.  If selected as a semi-finalist, you will be asked to deliver a four minute pitch to a panel of judges using a pitch deck to describe your business venture.  Semi-finalists will be narrowed down to finalists and deliver that same four minute pitch to another panel of judges.

This is a Michigan specific competition, and any and all current student entrepreneurs across Michigan are welcome to apply and participate, so long as these rules and guidelines are followed:

  • The company or idea MUST be majority (over 50%) owned by students.
  • All University grade levels are accepted.
  • The company or idea cannot have over $10,000 in revenue, including third party investment.
  • Your entry can just be an idea and not a legally formed entity.  However, if a legal entity has been formed, the earliest incorporation date cannot be before March 29, 2015.
  • If you have previously competed at Student Accelerate, you are not eligible to apply.
  • Student Accelerate follows many of the same AMIC eligibility & guidelines, which can be found here.

Applicants will be notified the week of 10/18/16 of the semi-finalist selections, a mentor session may be held on or around 10/26/16 and a 4-minute PowerPoint presentation will be due on 10/30/16.  For additional assistance with creating your pitch, please contact your entrepreneurship department at your school.

Please send any questions to Lori Fischer:


  • Semi-Finalist Pitches will be from 11:20am-12:20pm on November 3rd, 2016 at the Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226.  You will be invited to stay for lunch, which will be served until 1:30.
  • Finalist Pitches will comprise of 9 student finalists will be announced and those finalists will pitch to the entire Accelerate Michigan audience from 3-4 p.m.
  • Winners will be announced at the dinner reception later that evening around 5:30 p.m.


First Round: Preliminary Application
Deadline Sunday, October 9th

  • Initial Application
  • Pitch Video (1-min), which will be evaluated by:
    • Creativity
    • Delivery
    • Structure

Semi-Finalists Announced
Week of October 18, 2016

Mentor Session
Week of October 26, 2016

  • Draft of 4-minute pitch
  • Draft of slide deck presentation

Final Pitch Deck Due
October 30, 2016

Second Round: Semi-Final Pitches
Onsite Judging on November 3, 2016, 11:20 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.
27 companies

Final Round: Final Pitches
Onsite Judging on November 3, 2016, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
~9 companies

Winners Announced
Gala Awards Dinner Dinner, 5:30 p.m.


Grand Prize: $10,000

First Runner Up: $5,000

Second Runner Up: $3,000

Third Runner Up: $2,000


Do we have to make our presentation around the business model canvas

No, please create your pitch around the following criteria:

  • Is the Market Size, Value Prop., Competitive Situation, Financial and Feasibility realistic
  • Compelling story? Strong Team? Delivery professional? Visuals engaging?
  • What is the product and why is it distinctive?
  • Assumptions realistic? How will you make money?
  • What are next milestones?  Likely to execute? What will you do with winnings?

What is the Mentor Session?

The Mentor session is a review of your draft presentation by experts who will give you valuable suggestions and feedback.  You may be presenting your draft pitch in front of the other semi-finalists and mentors.

Is the Mentor session required?

Yes – if selected, you will receive more information on the logistics.

Will I be able to change my slides after I submit them on 10/30/16?

No, we are not allowing any changes.  Your pitch deck can be submitted in the formats of PowerPoint PDF or Keynote.

Can I have a video and audio on my slides?

We encourage no video or audio on the slides as it can cause technical complications at the event.

Is there a maximum amount of slides?

We are not setting a max on the slides but remember that you only have 4 minutes to pitch so we recommend about 5 slide, 10 max.

If selected as a semi-finalist, will I receive free admission?

Each team will receive two free registrations. Any additional team members will be required to pay to attend, however, students will receive a discount.



Access to submitted abstracts is granted only by the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition to the members of its judging panels and to Invest Detroit and its affiliates as administrators of the Competition.

Before submitting your abstract, submitting your executive summary or presenting your business plan in the semi-final or final rounds of the {biz plan} we urge 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 business plan 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.