SafetyBit wins $25,000 as ‘best of’ Ann Arbor Spark boot camp

ANN ARBOR – SafetyBit, a startup developing technology to protect cruptocurrency from hackers, won the $25,000 “Best of Boot Camp” prize last week at Ann Arbor Spark’s entrepreneurial boot camp.

Vidyut Wheels won the second place prize of $10,000.

The winners were chosen by a panel of business experts from XX entries, based on investor pitches.

“Ann Arbor Spark’s Boot Camp is an exciting event that’s an important part of our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Bill Mayer, Ann Arbor Spark vice president of entrepreneurial services. “Boot Camp is a way the community vets and validates new companies, and comes together to support these fledgling companies. This recent Boot Camp cohort was an impressive mix of company ideas and it’s a privilege to be able to help them progress to the next level of growth.”

Boot Camp is designed for entrepreneurs who are prepared to assess and validate the feasibility of their business concept, build a business model, and find beta customers. Participants get hands-on assistance to test ideas over an intense multi-week program, interacting with multiple mentors and early-stage investors.

Best of Boot Camp winner SafetyBit, which is being incubated at the Spark East Innovation Center in downtown Ypsilanti, has developed and is launching its security technology application to eliminate the billions of dollars of cryptocurrency that have been stolen by hackers. SafetyBit’s private exchange is a paradigm shift for secure trading of cryptocurrency on the internet without using the web or “cloud”.

“The Boot Camp prize money will help cover legal costs required for regulatory approval,” said SafetyBit founder and CEO Thomas Perry. “This will bring SafetyBit’s cryptocurrency exchange one step closer to the launch that will deploy safety and security measures never seen before in the marketplace.”

Boot Camp runner-up Vidyut Wheels is developing a hybrid-electric two-wheeled vehicle for the Indian market. Its concept is poised to not only reduce the cost burden related to operating two-wheelers, but also provide a greener option in the Indian market.

“Building prototypes from the designs is an expensive and iterative step,” said Rutooj Deshpande, a co-founder of Vidyut Wheels. “Receiving a Boot Camp award validates our design assumptions and proves our concept. The prize money is extremely useful for product development and building working prototypes.”

Ann Arbor Spark is the economic development agency for Washtenaw and Livingston counties. More at www.annarborusa.org.

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