Ann Arbor-based startups all but swept the awards at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
last week, taking home a combined $740,000 in seed capital.
Startups from Tree Town took the top two spots, and won six out of the nine sub categories. A startup led by University of Michigan students also took second place in Accelerate Michigan's student portion of the competition.
The big winner was SkySpecs
, a startup developing drone technology, taking home the $500,000 first place prize. Getting here has been a long road for Ann Arbor-based company, originally placing in the student portion of the competition in 2012.
"This was our third year doing it," says Danny Ellis, CEO of SkySpecs. "It was a really, really good competition. I was impressed with so many of the competitors."
, which calls Kerrytown
home and has an office in downtown Detroit, took second place in the overall competition. That showing earned it $100,000 in seed capital, which company plans to use to adds staff to help further develop and expand its online-student-housing platform.
The following Ann Arbor-based companies took home category awards:
won the IT prize (worth $25,000) for its software platform that helps field workers collect and manage data.
won the Alternative Energy prize ($25,000) for its flexible solar panel technology, solarap, that attaches to non-traditional surfaces, such as wrapping around the pole of a street lamp.
- Akervall Technologies
won the Advanced Materials prize ($25,000) for its thin-yet-tough mouthguard made of non-compressible, perforated materials.
- Freestride Therapeutics
won the Life Science prize ($25,000) for its drug that relieves and even prevents shin pain for racing horses.
won the Advanced Transportation prize ($25,000) for its patient-monitoring technology.
won the People's Choice award ($10,000) for the second year in a row for its Phone case that comes with retractable earbuds.
took second place in Accelerate Michigan's student competition ($5,000) for its shoe attachment that helps better connect high heels to the people wearing them. The startup is led by University of Michigan students.
Source: Danny Ellis, CEO of SkySpecs
Writer: Jon Zemke