Metro Detroit start-ups dominate Accelerate Michigan

Metro Detroit firms swept into the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition and ran away with most of the $1 million in awards last month.

After a Kalamazoo-based business, Arume BioSciences, took first place last year, Metro Detroit-based firms took the top two prizes and most of the industry awards in the competition's second year. Life Sciences start-up DeNovo Sciences (founded in Ypsilanti and moving to Plymouth) won the $500,000 first prize while green tech firm Fusion Coolant Systems (based in Ypsilanti and opening a tech center in Detroit) took second place and the $150,000 that comes with it.

"If I can take anything back to Washington, D.C., it's that it should focus on Michigan," Peter Perez, deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing for the U.S. Depart­ment of Commerce, said during his keynote address at the Accelerate Michigan awards gala. "They are working on and doing great things."

Companies based in or with strong ties to Ann Arbor led the way with many winning $25,000 awards. The winners were i3D Technologies in the IT area, OcuSciences in life sciences, LLamasoft in product and services, Advanced Cooling Therapy in medical devices, ePack for next generation manufacturing. NEXTGEN Metabolomics took the AARP Encore Award and Are You a Human won the student competition.

Other Metro Detroit firms to pull down $25,000 awards were Bloomfield Hills-based ENRG Power Systems in the advanced transportation division and InfiChem Polymers of Sterling Heights in the advanced materials category.

Source: Peter Perez, deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing for the U.S. Depart­ment of Commerce
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at
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