Roundup: Code Jam Detroit, League of Legends, Genomenon, MTRAC, More

As summer tries to make itself known between long bouts of rain, Michigan’s entrepreneurs have been busy dreaming up new products, launching programs, adding new personnel, and more. Read on for details.

—Tune into a live webinar at 1 p.m. ET today from Meeting of the Minds called “When Machines Do Everything in Smart Cities: 21 Jobs of the Future.” Robert Brown and Desmond Dickerson of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work will offer “actionable advice and guidance on how to navigate the age of AI, algorithms, and automation, and explore the new jobs of the (not too distant) future.” Registration is required.

—Big news for esports fans: Detroit will host the 2019 League of Legends championship series summer finals on August 24 and 25 at Little Caesar’s Arena. Ticket information for the LCS summer finals will be released on June 18 on

Backstage Capital’s Detroit accelerator is hosting cohort celebration and investor day on June 18 at Microsoft’s Detroit office. The seven companies in the cohort will meet with investors one-on-one leading up to a graduation ceremony at 6 p.m. The evening networking event and graduation ceremony are free and open to the public with registration. Investors who would like to sign up for a meeting slot with the Backstage startups can do so here.

TechTown Detroit and the Wayne State Innovation Center are hosting a series of events June 27-30 highlighting the convergence of music and technology called Bose x Capitol360 Code Jam, a competition to build applications for Bose AR that leverage the Universal Music Group content catalog. Selected teams will have access to about 40,000 UMG tracks on site. Rules and guidelines for applicants are here. To apply, submit your project proposal by June 15.

As part of the Code Jam event, there will be a mixer from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on June 27, a spatial audio workshop and music industry panel from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on June 28, and live pitching and an awards ceremony from 3-4:30 p.m. on June 30. All events are free and open to the public; register here.

—The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Advanced Applied Materials Innovation Hub at Michigan Technological University recently awarded a combined $302,000 in funding to research projects that aim to improve quality of life through advanced materials, MTRAC officials said in a press release. The four projects funded by the hub include a novel chemical recycling process that can convert plastic into “high-value products” and a biomaterial scaffold that will detect tumor cells at their earliest stage.

—Wixom-based Rockwell Medical, a biotech company focused on treatments for anemia related to end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney disease, has begun selling a new product called dialysate triferic. Rockwell’s triferic platform, it says, is the first and only FDA-approved iron replacement therapy to maintain hemoglobin levels in hemodialysis patients. Dialysate triferic is the first product from the platform to be sold commercially. The company said it expects to file a new drug application with the FDA for approval of its next formulation, IV triferic, by the end of the month.

Kirtland Community College in Grayling is attempting to address the manufacturing skills gap through two new degree programs: wood science technology and automation process control. Both were created through industry partnerships in response to the increasing number of open industrial jobs requiring a mix of technical skills under the Industry 4.0 umbrella, the college said in a press release. Kirtland is also collaborating with companies to create custom non-credit programs in order to provide current employees with more advanced training.

The wood science technology program is one of only a few in the state offering manufacturing-specific training, utilizing hands-on learning with advanced machinery, Kirtland said. The automation process control program is collaborating with Amatrol to give students a combination of online and lab training.

—Ann Arbor’s Genomenon, maker of genomic search engine Mastermind, has announced that Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA, is the first academic partner in its new Genomics Educator Program, which the company said is designed to help build the genomics workforce so future geneticists and genetic counselors can make an impact on the industry quickly. As part of the arrangement, Genomenon will provide some KGI students access to Mastermind along with other training materials.

This week, Genomenon also released a research report about the importance of fusion genes in cancer research and drug development, and the necessity of staying current on the most recently published genomic research. The report can be found here.

—Wayne State University is offering scholarships to cover the full cost of STEM-related camps for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. The C&IT Summer Engagement scholarships were made possible by WSU’s department of Computing & Information Technology. Additional scholarships are available for engineering-related camps through the College of Engineering and K-12 outreach partners. Most programs are week-long day camps hosted at WSU’s Midtown campus. There are also overnight camps, where students live in WSU’s student housing for the duration of the program. Some camps are free, but prices vary by program.

WaitTime, a Detroit-based startup with a patented system that tells fans at sports and entertainment venues where to find the shortest lines for concessions, merchandise, and bathrooms, has added Steve Jbara as its chief strategy officer. Jbara is a serial entrepreneur and the president and founder of NBA G-League team the Grand Rapids Drive.

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