Every year more than 200 companies take part in the competition, with a grand prize of $500,000.
Thirty-six lucky semifinalists will make the final cut in October, those business will then present their pitches to a panel of judges on November 16 at Detroit’s Masonic Temple.
“Our goal is to connect Michigan startups to capital and mentorship both regionally and nationally. We want everyone to know about the incredible small business innovation happening across the state of Michigan,” Martin Dober, the vice president and managing director of Invest Detroit Ventures, said in a statement.
According to the competition’s organizers, past participants in Accelerate Michigan have raised more than $550 million and created more than 1,000 jobs in the state. Last years winners, SPLT, are making great improvements for those who require non-emergency medical transportation. The company have teamed up with Lyft to provide reliable and accessible mobility to everyone, everywhere.
The company’s main aim is to help keep 4.5 million Americans from missing medical appointments. “There’s a real need for this product for the underserved, especially in Detroit where people with a medical appointment call a taxi that never comes,” Anya Babbitt, founder and CEO of SPLT, explained during the company’s pitch last year.
SPLT is 15x more efficient than current unreliable systems. The impact is groundbreaking, and they are now working with both hospitals and patients to make their service even better, shortening transport wait times, increasing satisfactions, and increasing healthcare quality.
Evidently this competition can benefit not only startups, but also local residents through the use of jobs and much needed services. Moreover, Detroit is a prime example of an up and coming startup city, which, with the addition of competitions such as this one, Detroit has the potential to accelerator it’s startup environment helping to improve their economy and quality of life for all local residents.