Originally Published: By Tom Henderson, November 16, 2012 7:17 AM | crainsdetroit.com
Algal Scientific Corp., a biotechnology company that has developed a process for creating a byproduct from algae to be used as a food supplement for livestock, won the first-place prize of $500,000 Thursday night in the third annual Accelerate Michigan Innovation Event at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.
The second-place award of $100,000 went to NanoMAGcq LLC of Ann Arbor, with InPore Technologies Inc. of East Lansing getting the third-place prize of $50,000.
NanoMAG makes lightweight orthopedic devices and implant materials made of magnesium.
InPore Technologies makes polymer powders that improve the filtering capabilities of membranes used to purify water in large-scale manufacturing processes.
The Spirit of Michigan Award, given to an entrepreneur who has had a long and significant effect on the state, was awarded to Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans Inc. and an active buyer of downtown Detroit office buildings, including the Madison Building,which houses many of the start-up portfolio companies in his venture capital firm, Detroit Venture Partners.
The Accelerate Innovation event was created by the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan.
This year’s event drew 300 applicants from around the U.S. and Canada, with the field winnowed to 53 semifinalists who made oral pitches Wednesday and Thursday at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.
The 10 finalists then made follow-up five-minute presentations at Orchestra Hall before a panel of judges.
Companies that won $25,000 by having the best business plan in industry sectors were: InfiniChem Polymers LLC of Sterling Heights, advanced materials; Eco-Fueling LLC of Saline, advanced transportation; Ideomed Inc. of Grand Rapids, information technology; Ornicept Inc. of Ann Arbor, alternative energy; BioSavitacq Inc. of Plymouth Township, life sciences; Coliant Corp. of Warren, next-generation manufacturing; Breonics Inc. of Albany, N.Y., medical devices; and Protean Payment Inc. of Ann Arbor, products and services.
Companies did not have to be one of the 10 finalists to win sector awards.
Companies from other states and countries were eligible provided they were willing to move to Michigan upon winning an award.
There was also a student division, which drew 312 applicants from 332 colleges around the state.
The first-place winner of $25,000 was Kymeira Advanced Materials of the University of Michigan for its creation of a high-performance ceramic. Lemon Peel of Hope College won $15,000 for a noise-cancellation device that allows hospital patients to get better sleep and SkySpecs LLC of UM won $10,000 for designing unmanned aerial vehicles that use artificial intelligence to gather data in hazardous locations.