Michigan’s Biggest Startup Competition Now Accepting Applications

The annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition will return to Detroit in November, and event organizers are on the hunt for the state’s most promising tech startups to participate.

At stake is more than $1 million in cash and prizes, including a whopping $500,000 grand prize. Accelerate Michigan is the state’s largest startup competition, and it gives early-stage tech companies the chance to showcase their innovations to investors.

Companies that have participated in Accelerate Michigan in the past have raised more than $550 million in funding and created more than 1,000 jobs in Michigan, according to Invest Detroit Ventures, the competition’s lead organizer. Recent grand-prize winners include SPLT, SkySpecs, and Banza.

“Our goal is to connect Michigan startups to capital and mentorship both regionally and nationally,” said Xconomist Martin Dober, managing director of Invest Detroit Ventures, in a press release.

Applying startups should be tech-enabled or product-based, past the proof-of-concept stage, and working in one of the following sectors: mobility, cleantech, advanced materials and transportation, business services, consumer products, IT, biotech, or media. A screening committee made up of local entrepreneurs and investors will review and score the applicants.

To participate, companies must be based in Michigan or willing to relocate and have raised no more than $2 million in private investment. Applications require a two-page executive summary and 10-slide pitch deck that covers the following details of the business: market problem, value proposition, market size or value, competitive landscape, financial projections, current team, customer acquisition, and business model.

Accelerate Michigan will announce the competition’s 36 semifinalists in October. Those companies will go on to pitch their businesses to a panel of  judges at the competition, scheduled to take place on Nov. 16 at Detroit’s Masonic Temple. From there, 10 finalists will be selected to pitch that evening during the awards dinner, where the winners will be announced.

The deadline for applications is Sept. 1 at 11:59 p.m.; click here to apply.

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