Applications open for Accelerate Michigan pitch competition

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC), a program of Invest Detroit’s ID Ventures, has opened applications for its 10th annual pitch competition.


AMIC offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their companies to investors while building connections with possible partners or investors. To apply, companies must be able to scale quickly and have raised no more than $3 million. Semi-finalists will pitch their ideas to venture capitalist judges for an opportunity to win up to $1 million in prizes.


"This is an important event to shine the spotlight on these companies with this competition," says Martin Dober, senior vice president and managing director of ID Ventures. "While we invest in companies in our day-to-day work (with ID Ventures), this is an opportunity to give back to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and help businesses beyond capital."


A relatively new layer to the competition is the opportunity to meet with potential investors, customers, and partners curated by ID Ventures to assist competing companies with their business plans. Dober says this networking element was offered to participants last year and will continue after positive feedback from companies.


"We don't just want to be a cash prize competition," Dober says. "We want to help companies beyond cash prizes, so we reach out in advance and ask companies what types of introductions would be helpful to them."


Dober estimates AMIC will receive more than 200 applications this year. He says while AMIC receives applications from businesses all over, primarily in Michigan, a large amount of applicants are from Ann Arbor.


Past Ann Arbor-based AMIC winners include SkySpecs (2014), Celsee, Inc. (2011), and Armune BioScience (2010).


Kalyan Handique, chief technology officer of Celsee, says AMIC was critical in Celsee's early stages and established a solid basis for the company to continue expanding on years later.


“The pitch competition provided a great opportunity to connect with investors and business acceleration services that brought a diverse set of expertise and resources to help grow the company in addition to the capital needed to hit the ground running," Handique says.


Companies must register by Aug. 16 to apply to AMIC. After registering, companies must submit applications by Aug. 31. The 24 semi-finalists will be announced on Oct. 14 to compete on Nov. 13 at Detroit’s recently renovated State Savings Bank.


Emily Benda is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. You can contact her at


Photo courtesy of ID Ventures.

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