SOUTHFIELD—Three startup advanced manufacturing companies earned $35,000 in prizes in a virtual pitch contest held to celebrate National Manufacturing Day.
The contest was sponsored by Pure Michigan Business Connect, the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University, and the Jackson business accelerator Lean Rocket Lab.
The virtual event featured awards for the Industry 4.0, manufacturing tech, and cleantech hardware industries, as well as a People’s Choice Award voted on by attendees.
The mission of the event was to attract startups from around the world that are developing the next generation of manufacturing technologies and connect them with Michigan’s expansive advanced manufacturing ecosystem.
The winners of each category include:
- Best Cleantech Company: Archimedes of Ann Arbor, manufacturers of the HALO hand sanitizer using ultraviolet light. The $10,000 award was sponsored by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and the Centrepolis Accelerator, the hardware business accelerator at LTU, where Archimedes is a client.
- Best Industry 4.0 Company: S3D Precision Dispensing Inc. in Ann Arbor, developers of an automated micro-dispensing system, based on research at the University of Michigan. The $10,000 award was sponsored by Automation Alley, the Troy-based technology promotion organization.
- Best Manufacturing Technology Company: Invisible AI of San Francisco, Calif., developers of a computer vision system that works with line operators in manufacturing. The $10,000 award was sponsored by the Hurst Foundation and Lean Rocket Lab.
- People’s Choice Award: Archimedes of Ann Arbor. The $5,000 award was sponsored by Jaffe Law.
“More than just pitching, we found great value in learning from our fellow manufacturing startups and networking with the sponsors who made this day possible,” said Tripp Adams, Archimedes CEO. “Hats off to Centrepolis and the Lean Rocket Lab for executing such a great event despite a pandemic.”
“We are extremely honored to be amongst the three winners selected during the Manufacturing Day Pitch Event,” said Michael Vitek, S3D CEO. “S3D is deeply committed to the state of Michigan and will use this prize to work with Michigan-based companies on the completion of the latest version of our development kit. Many thanks to the judges, the Centrepolis Accelerator, Lean Rocket Lab, MEDC, and Automation Alley! We will make you proud!”
“At Invisible AI, we have been building the cutting-edge computer vision platform to help catch and prevent errors in manufacturing facilities,” said Prateek Sachdeva, Invisible AI COO. “We have been working with leading customers like Toyota North America and amazing partners like the i4.0 Accelerator to bring our vision to market.”
The winning startups will use the prize money for production and development, including operational setup and user interface and user experience design assistance.
The competition was sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Hurst Foundation, Consumers Energy, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and Jaffee Law.
To view the complete list of participants, please visit https://www.i40accelerator.com/.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.
(The photo above shows the LTU Enterprise Center, home of the Centrepolis Accelerator.)