Our Sponsors


The Michigan Economic Development Corporation

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s sales and marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, tourism and economic growth. We offer a number of business assistance services and capital programs for business attraction and acceleration, economic gardening, entrepreneurship, strategic partnerships, talent enhancement and urban development. Discover Pure Michigan at www.MichiganAdvantage.org and www.Michigan.org.

New Economy Initiative

The New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan (NEI) is an innovative philanthropic effort to accelerate the transition of metro Detroit to an innovation-based economy that expands opportunity for all. Ten national, regional and local foundations have committed $100 million to this unprecedented eight-year initiative, including the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (Detroit), the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation (Southfield, Michigan), the Ford Foundation (New York), the Hudson-Webber Foundation (Detroit), the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek, Michigan), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (Miami), The Kresge Foundation (Troy, Michigan), the McGregor Fund (Detroit), the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (Flint, Michigan), and the Skillman Foundation (Detroit). The participating foundations are leading the implementation and governance of the Initiative. The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which initiated the collaborative, is serving as its administrative home. For more information, please visit www.neweconomyinitiative.org.


Invest Michigan

Invest Michigan is a nonprofit corporation which manages the $9 million Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0 under a contract with the Michigan Strategic Fund. $1 million is dedicated to a “University Commercialization Fund” to help universities transfer technology to the marketplace. Investments are made to turn innovative early stage Michigan tech companies into viable businesses, which expand and strengthen our state’s economy. We partner with other investors to co-invest jointly in early stage companies and often will participate with a company through several rounds of financing. Investments will be made only within the State of Michigan. We work with Michigan entrepreneurs to build high-tech sustainable enterprises:

  • by assisting technology start-ups connect to resources
  • by providing capital to start-ups
  • by actively engaging with entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses
The Fund invests in Michigan companies in the following areas: advanced automotive, manufacturing and materials, agricultural technology, alternative energy, homeland security and defense, information technology, life sciences and other innovative technology areas. Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0: Offering financing, strategic guidance and introductions to valuable partners to help promising Michigan early stage tech-based companies.


Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is the driving force in establishing the Ann Arbor region as a destination for business expansion, retention, and location by identifying and meeting the needs of business at every stage, from startups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK represents all communities in the Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Michigan Works!/ETCS, Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, the Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please visit www.annarborusa.org.

Quicken Loans

Quicken Loans — Committed to Our Clients for More than a Quarter Century! For a quarter century, we’ve been creating innovative mortgage solutions for people just like you. The result: exclusive technology providing unparalleled service and the fastest, easiest mortgage available.


Automation Alley

Automation Alley Automation Alley is a technology business association and business accelerator dedicated to growing the economy of Southeast Michigan and enhancing the region’s reputation around the world. Automation Alley offers talent and business development programs and services to tech-focused businesses of all sizes — from startups to large corporations — to help them grow and prosper. Since its founding in 1999, Automation Alley’s membership has grown to include nearly 1,000 businesses, educational institutions, government entities and nonprofit organizations from the city of Detroit and the surrounding eight-county region. Automation Alley provides a variety of exclusive benefits to its members to help them succeed, including networking opportunities, meeting space and public relations tools. Automation Alley also serves the general business community in four key areas: entrepreneurial services, talent development, international business services, product lifecycle management, and defense and manufacturing.

Brooks Kushman

Brooks Kushman P.C. is a nationally raGOLnked intellectual property (IP) and technology law firm with offices in Michigan and California. Brooks Kushman represents clients of all sizes, ranging from some of the world’s largest corporations to small start-ups, and provides legal counsel on patent prosecution, IP litigation, trademarks, trade secrets, open source compliance, technical design consulting and e-discovery. With more than 80 highly specialized, IP-focused legal professionals, Brooks Kushman’s breadth of technical expertise ensures that clients are matched with a legal professional who has the background and expertise of their unique industry. For more information, please visit: www.brookskushman.com


Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 222 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, garden centers and electronic offerings. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com.

Michigan Venture Capital Association

The Michigan Venture Capital Association is a catalyst for building a strong, diverse, and entrepreneurial Michigan business ecosystem. MVCA represents venture capitalists, angel investors, industry service providers, economic development organization, and high-education institutions – all working together to create new business opportunities and foster Michigan’s growing role as a center of innovation, entrepreneurship, and company creation. To that end, MVCA facilitates communication, builds relationships, promotes advocacy, and sponsors program and other events that support the interests of its members – and everyone else who lives, works, or invests in Michigan.


Founded in 2002 as 501©(3) nonprofit organization, NextEnergy is one of the nation’s leading accelerators of advanced energy technologies, businesses and industries. NextEnergy drives technology demonstration and commercialization; delivers industry and venture development services; and provides an authoritative voice in the public sector. Since its inception, NextEnergy has helped attract more than $1.4 billion of new investment in the state of Michigan, including programs in excess of $160 million in which NextEnergy has directly participated.  For more information, visit nextenergy.org.

Spartan Innovations

Spartan Innovations provides the educational and financial support necessary to turn MSU research technologies into successful Michigan businesses – and spur entrepreneurship in the Michigan economy. Spartan Innovations is co-located with and complements the work being done now by MSU Technologies, the university’s technology transfer office organized in 2007, and Business-CONNECT, created in 2009 as MSU’s portal for engagement with the business community. All three units are part of the MSU Innovation Center. The MSU Foundation, which serves as fiduciary and trustee for MSU’s charitable annuities, trusts, and gifts of property, provides major funding for the initiative.

Varnum Law

For more than 120 years, clients have trusted Varnum for excellence, innovation and superior results in the delivery of legal services. Over the years, as the needs of our clients have become more complex, we have kept pace by constantly expanding our areas of practice, our understanding of evolving trends and issues, and our ability to harness technology effectively. Today, with over 150 lawyers practicing in five offices, Varnum is firmly established as one of the region’s premier law firms. A full service-provider of legal counsel, Varnum has a strong core of expertise. Varnum clients represent a diverse range of business and legal interests: manufacturers, financial institutions, health care providers, professional groups, municipalities, colleges and universities, school districts, developers, publishers, retailers, governmental units, transportation, trade associations, charitable organizations, and utilities. Our team approach to client service provides an outstanding model for maintaining the close personal relationship that traditionally exists between lawyer and client, while ensuring the clients also have available to them the full resources of the firm. One of our lawyers will assume primary responsibility for the client relationship, and he or she will be assisted as needed by other lawyers within the firm who can offer their expertise on a particular matter.

Growth Capital Network

The Growth Capital Network (GCN) manages and measures programs for the innovation, economic development and philanthropic community. GCN manages top tier innovation and entrepreneurship programs such as Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC) and the Midwest Green Technology Entrepreneur Academy (MI-GTEA). GCN also oversees and helps manage researcher education for Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization program (M-TRAC). We create connections to capital sources for businesses as well as program strategy for development and technical assistance, while providing analytical and evaluative services to measure the impact of entrepreneurial and innovation programs for the foundation and non-profit community. This includes sustainability analysis and planning, quantitative and qualitative evaluation, survey design, market research and due diligence. We also deliver evaluation frameworks that include metric identification, economic and social impact assessment, as well as broad economic and social impact assessment.

Bull Run Press

Bull Run Press, Inc is a full-service print and marketing materials provider that has been serving the U.S.A. since February 2012. Our services for non-profit organizations and for-profit companies include graphic design development or re-design, as well as printed promotional materials such as business cards, signage and introduction kits. We also offer mailing services, event invitations, custom printed window/vehicle decals and much more. For more information about our services, please visit our website at www.bullruninc.com.


Sponsors of this exciting event receive the following benefits:

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please submit your information here.

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