Roundup: MCWT, Blackstone LaunchPad, Court Innovations, Prix & More
Here’s a look at news from around Michigan’s innovation hubs:
—The Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT) has announced its annual scholarship awards for female students pursuing computer science. This year, the nonprofit awarded a record 22 young women with scholarships or laptops. Sponsors such as the FCA Foundation and CMS Energy increased support this year, as well. The MCWT’s efforts are supported by 72 corporate sponsors; since its inception 10 years ago, the MCWT Foundation has contributed $725,000 to further the education plans of 104 students.
—Another IT acquisition in metro Detroit was announced last week: ManagedWay, a Southfield-based cloud services provider, has snapped up Troy’s Waveform Technology. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Waveform, which has been operating for 24 years, has more than 400 miles of proprietary fiber providing Internet and data services to businesses in Southeast Michigan. Robert Sanders, CEO of ManagedWay, said in a press release that Waveform is a respected competitor he was looking forward to taking on as a partner.
—The Blackstone LaunchPad program at Walsh College in Troy announced the winners of its fourth annual Make It Better competition, which challenged Walsh students and those from local high schools and community colleges to create something that would help improve the lives of Michigan families. Ten cash prizes were awarded to students from Frankenmuth High School, Troy High School, Clarkston High School, and Lakeview High School in St. Clair Shores, including two $500 top awards. Zoey McLeod of Frankenmuth High School took first place for her idea of Helping Hooves, equestrian therapy for the deaf community.
—As part of Comerica Bank Free Prix Day, in conjunction with the Grand Prix race held in Detroit this weekend, 30 students from the Detroit Institute of Technology at Cody High School will get an experience that capitalizes on their interest in learning more about working in a STEM field. The kids will take a tour of the race activities and meet the competitors on Friday. Organizers hope the tour will help the students see a fun, practical application of math and science skills as part of a racing career.
—Court Innovations, the Ann Arbor-based startup that has developed software allowing courts to adjudicate minor traffic tickets and collect fines more efficiently, has a couple of new deals in the works. Beginning June 1, the company’s Matterhorn software will assist 54B District Court in East Lansing, where it will be used to review and resolve traffic tickets. Matterhorn software is already being used in 74th District Court in Bay City. Matterhorn walks individuals through a series of qualifying questions online that determines whether they are eligible to resolve their violation without appearing in person. For traffic violations, a defendant submits his or her position, which is first reviewed by staff at the prosecutor’s office. From there, a judge determines what’s next, including assessing fines that a defendant can pay online.
“Taking time from work, school, or other obligations to spend time taking care of a traffic ticket can be frustrating,” 54B District Court Chief Judge Andrea Andrews Larkin said in a statement. “We were determined to provide better services to our traffic customers by creating more efficiency and fairness within the system.”