The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition convenes top, early-stage technology companies with investors from across Michigan and North America and awards $500,000 to the top tech or service company. Lauren Bigelow of Growth Capital Network announces semi-finalists for the award.

Kempel: Lauren Bigelow is Executive Director of Accelerate Michigan. For those of you who don’t know what Accelerate Michigan is, it’s a million-dollar business plan competition that’s funded by the state as well as by Quicken Loans and other private ventures here in Michigan. So Laruen’s going to come out and talk a little about the competition as well as official announce the 50 semi-finalists of the competition. Also we’ll have flyers around announcing the 50. Some of them are here, that was made possible by Invest Detroit, so we thank Invest Detroit for making it possible for the semi-finalists to attend. And Lauren will come out and tell you a little more about the competition.

Bigelow: Thanks Josh. As Josh mentioned, today is our announcement of our 55 semi-finalists, I will not be listing them off for you today, gratefully. We’ve put a press release out on Business Wire and we will be, as Josh said, passing out a flyer with all of their names. And thanks again to Invest Detroit for comping their tickets for today.

So over the last four years, we’ve been able to give out over $4 million dollars in prize money to 98 deserving companies and student teams. So we’ve over the last four years given a half-million–dollar first prize to Armune Bioscience, Algal Scientific, DeNovo Sciences, and Varsity News Network. So we’re really proud of the impact that we’ve had on Michigan. To date, $123 million of venture and public financing has been raised by our companies. They’ve created more than 600 jobs and this is of a survey of only 77 of our semi-finalists. So we’re really thrilled about the impact. We’re looking forward to our fifth year now. On November 4th through 6th, we’ve got a great set of presentations. We open on the 4th at the Guardian Building. The 5th and the 6th our competition is going to be happening at the Westin Book Cadillac. And the evening of the 6th, we’ll have our 10 finalists’ pitches, a great keynote from Susan Packard, who is a returning Michigander, she started such familiar TV channels as HDTV, Food Network, and CNBC, so a really inspirational talk from Susan on the evening of the 6th. We hope that you can all join us. And we’d like to congratulate our 55 semi-finalists. They’re going to be up on our website tomorrow, their abstracts, links to their websites. So I hope you find them interesting and join us on November 4th through 6th for our competition. Thank you.