In the statewide Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, U-M student and alumni startups brought home more than $650,000 of the total $1 million of prizes and awards. This included the grand prize of $500,000 that was awarded to recent U-M engineering alumni startup, Sky Specs, LLC.
Perhaps even more encouraging than their success in this annual fall event; all five U-M affiliated teams that won at the Accelerate Michigan competition have either already established headquarters in the state or are planning to build companies hereafter that provide products and services to a global market.
“Entrepreneurs who stay here feel like they are actually making a difference in the state,” said Tom Frank, executive director and adjunct professor of the Center for Entrepreneurship. “Whether or not innovators join existing companies or create their own, I’ve seen that the portfolio of resources and support provided to our community offer everything a researcher or student could want in realizing a dream of making a difference; be that a scientific, social, or economic impact.”