Roundup: Google Demo Day, Merit Network, U-M, Plymouth Ventures

Here’s a look at some of the news from around Michigan’s innovation ecosystem that you might have missed:

—Google Demo Day, where seven Detroit startups pitched to win a chance to present their business ideas to a group of Google executives during an April trip to Mountain View, CA, was held last week at Grand Circus in downtown Detroit. Yesterday, the winner was announced: iRule, a Detroit-based startup which has created an app that functions as a universal remote control. Another Detroit startup, Are You a Human, was the runner up. The other finalists were Backstitch, MyFab5, Foodjunky, Greenlancer, and Wisely.

—The Merit Network, a nonprofit owned and operated by Michigan’s public universities, announced this week that it will partner with the Center for Internet Security to take the cybersecurity classes it teaches at the Michigan Cyber Range to a national audience of state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. The curriculum for the cybersecurity courses is developed and provided by Mile2, which is NSA-accredited and adheres to the recommendations of National Institute of Standards and Technology and National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies.

—The Detroit-based William Davidson Foundation has awarded the University of Michigan $4.5 million to help get university research ideas to the marketplace. The funding comes in the form of two grants—one supporting the U-M Medical School’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation effort with $2.9 million over three years, the other providing $1.45 million for programs in the U-M Office of Technology Transfer and Center for Entrepreneurship over two years.

—Last month, Ann Arbor-based Plymouth Ventures announced the launch of Plymouth Venture Partners III fund (PVP III). With the fund size targeted to be $60 million, PVP III will continue to execute on the same strategy and focus as PVP II: Investing in growth-stage businesses located in the Great Lakes region. In a press release, managing partner Mark Horne said, “It’s a great time to invest in this region, and we are seeing a steady flow of interesting new opportunities.”

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