A Kalamazoo, Michigan-based molecular diagnostics company has won the top prize in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, receiving a $500,000 cash prize and the esteem of taking the top spot in what has been referred to as the world's largest business plan competition.
The contest, which is in its inaugural year, also included a $25,000 student award and boasted a total of $1,000,000 in investment toward leading innovation startups and technologies in the Great Lakes State.
"We congratulate all the companies and students this year for demonstrating their competitive entrepreneurial spirit," said Dave Egner, executive director of the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan. "These companies demonstrate how the entrepreneurial ecosystem continues to grow and thrive in a state that was built on the foundation of innovation."
Armune BioScience was awarded the grand prize for the creation of a technology that employs autoantibodies generated by the body's immune system to detect early stages of cancer in patients.
The top student award went to ReGenerate, a company founded by several University of Michigan students, for their development of the Compact Organic Waste System, which converts costly or unwanted organic waste into a renewable source of electricity and compost.
Although the southeast Michigan region has fallen upon economic woes in recent years, the state as a whole remains a hub of innovation and IP-focused activity. As the new year arrives, innovation-based companies such as Armune and ReGenerate are applying effective intellectual property management systems to protect and categorize their ideas.