The latest round of Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest's start-up awards
have come and gone, but a strong showing by Detroit-based firms shows
the Motor City's emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem is here to stay.
Among the winners hailing from Detroit taking home prize money/seed capital were NextCAT
($12,500) and MitoStem
($10,000). Other firms with ties to Detroit and the metro area include Clean Energy Innovation and SurClean.
"It's a growing trend," says Diane Durance, executive director of the Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest
. "A lot of this has to do with the work at TechTown
and how it's fostering these technology ventures. It's making a big difference."
Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest hosts two rounds of entrepreneurial
awards each year with the summer awards (worth more than $100,000 in
seed capital) serving as the larger contest. Two TechTown
start-ups placed highly with NextCAT taking the Automation Alley
Innovation Award for Advanced Manufacturing and MitoStem placing second in the Emerging Company category.NextCAT
is developing catalyst technology that allows the use of low cost feed
stocks for bio-diesel fuel and simplifies the production process, with
an estimated savings of up to $1.00 per gallon. MitoStem
is utilizin various protein delivery methods to make the generation of
induced pluripotential stem cells more efficient. By opening up the
supply of this critically limited research reagent, they are
facilitating stem cell researchers and expediting their development of
Source: Diane Durance, executive director of the Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest
Writer: Jon Zemke