Monarch Antenna wins top prize at ACE '13 competition

Monarch Antenna is off to a fast start in 2013, winning the top prize at the Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest's ACE business plan competition last week.

The Ann Arbor-based start-up took home first place in the Emerging Company category and $5,000 in seed capital with it. The company is developing next-generation antenna technology and was able to translate the science behind the new technology into why its a promising investment.

"We have been carving out mind space with the industry players," says Randy Dence, CEO of Monarch Antenna. "We need working capital and working engineers right now."

The 5-year-old company was spun out of Michigan State University. The technology alters the electronic properties of an antenna so it can maximize signal quality. It started out in 2007 with grant money from NASA and the U.S. military to create its first applications for a space suit belt and a flak vest. Today it's working toward creating revenue through producing the antenna technology in medical devices, military applications and smart phones. It counts Automation Alley as one of its early investors.

Monarch Antenna currently employs four people and the occasional intern. The company is working on building prototypes of the technology, raising seed capital and looking for strategic investors. Dence has been focusing on product development and clarifying the message about its potential.

"My goal is to be mentioned in the top two or three companies in the tunable antenna space," Dence says.

Source: Randy Dence, CEO of Monarch Antenna
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.