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Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition re-ups for 2011

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is back for the first time this year, bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars in seed capital to local start-ups.

Last year the competition showcased the best of the best start-ups in Michigan, along with attracting other out-of-state companies to move to the state. It awarded more than $1 million in cash and prizes last fall, including $500,000 to University of Michigan spin-off Armune Biosciences and $150,000 to Ann Arbor-based Arbor Photonics.

The prize pool remains the same this year, and organizers are working to bring in more start-ups and investors from out of state. They plan to utilize Automation Alley's international connections, the region's border with Canada and connections from the Business Leaders for Michigan. The goal is to have one-third of the money and people participating or attending to come from the coasts or elsewhere around the world.

"We're looking to bring in folks regionally, nationally and internationally," says Lauren Bigelow, executive director of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.

Contestants also receive valuable feedback from business experts and make connections with other business people from around the world.

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition will be held on Nov. 16-17 at the Eagle Crest Conference Center in Ypsilanti. The gala awards and dinner will be held at Henry Ford Museum on Nov. 17. Interested start-ups can submit applications starting on June 6, with a deadline of Aug. 10. The deadline for student-led start-ups is Sept. 21. For information, click here.

Source: Lauren Bigelow, executive director of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
Writer: Jon Zemke
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