I recently attended a portion of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC). For those of you who are not familiar with the program, AMIC is a business “pitch” competition founded by Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Macomb-OU INCubator, and TechTown through the New Economy Initiative. The competition is open to entrepreneurs worldwide as well as students attracting local, national and international investors. Judging results in the awarding of cash prizes to winners in several categories with the overall winner (non-student) receiving a $500,000 award! That is some serious cash!
I was absolutely amazed with the innovative products these bright, forward thinking individuals have introduced; from web-based, live radio broadcasts geared directly at the unique interests of college students, to processes working towards improving the quality of human life, and just about everything in between. Additionally, the event provides a unique opportunity to engage with hundreds of Michigan’s “movers and shakers.” Furthermore, I would be remiss if I did not mention the three historic downtown Detroit venues where the various aspects of the program played out; the Guardian Building, the Westin Book Cadillac, and Orchestra Hall.
At the end of the day, I marveled at the thought that Detroit plays host to an international business competition that “…is on par with anything that is going on anywhere else in the world,” says Michael Finney, President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. I felt great pride in the association the Macomb-OU INCubator has with AMIC. I remain convinced that our best days are still ahead!
Whether you are a casual observer, a small business owner with a big idea, an investor, or have an interest in sponsorship opportunities, I would encourage you to visit the website, acceleratemichigan.org, for details in respect to the 2014 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.