SOUTHFIELD—The Centrepolis Accelerator, the physical-product business accelerator established by Lawrence Technological University and the city of Southfield, has named the winners of its inaugural Client Awards, recognizing some of Michigan’s most promising manufacturing innovations.
Awards were presented in the following categories:
- Best hardware product, commercialized: MaxPro Fitness, Rochester-based developers of a portable full-body cable-based exercise system. Weighing just under 10 pounds, the MaxPro device provides up to 300 pounds of adjustable resistance, allowing cardio, strength, and other workout styles in a compact device. More at https://maxprofitness.com/.
- Best manufacturing technology: Flash Steelworks, Washington Township-based developers of a novel process of heat treating to create stronger and more ductile steel. More at http://www.flashbainite.com/.
- Best “cleantech” company, Rhombus Energy Solutions, developers of advanced power electronics products for electrical energy conversion and control. Rhombus is based in San Diego, Calif., with its manufacturing center and laboratories in Dearborn. More at https://rhombusenergysolutions.com/.
- Best COVID-19 response product, Tygrus LLC, Troy-based developers of non-toxic, non-corrosive anti-microbial chemical products. More at https://www.tygrus.com/.
- Best COVID-19 business pivot, Qualified 3D LLC, Southfield-based providers of advanced 3D printing services. Qualified 3D developed unique form fitting face masks through its material and 3D printing expertise. More at https://www.qualified3d.com/.
In addition, a Lifetime Hardware Achievement Award was presented to David Bolognino, a Lawrence Tech alumnus who serves as an advisor to the Centrepolis Accelerator, supporting product design, engineering and prototyping. Bolognino spent 34 years at General Motors, capped by the position of director of fabrication operations for GM Global Design, which included responsibility for GM Design’s mechanical assembly, 3D printing lab, and the metal, wood, plaster, and paint shops. After GM, he founded Integrated Additive Solutions, which provides additive manufacturing products and services.
Bolognino earned a Bachelor of Science from LTU in 1995 and a Master of Science from the University of Michigan in 1997, both in mechanical engineering. He is the holder of several United States patents.
Dan Radomski, executive director of the Centrepolis Accelerator, said the virtual awards event “was an opportunity to recognize companies and individuals who are making a real difference in bringing physical products and manufacturing technologies to market right here in Michigan. While there were only a handful of awards provided on Dec. 16, the long list of companies nominated gives you some perspective of the impact Centrepolis and LTU are having on many new and compelling products being introduced to market and manufactured right here in Michigan.”
Unlike virtually all of the business accelerators in Michigan, the Centrepolis Accelerator helps startup and existing companies conceive and develop new physical products—manufactured goods—rather than software, services, or apps. Operated in conjunction with the city of Southfield, it occupies 6,000 square feet in LTU’s on-campus Enterprise Center, also home to the Southfield Michigan Works office.
Resources available at Centrepolis Accelerator include access to funding, manufacturing experts, product development, and the latest in high-tech prototyping and virtual reality equipment—as well as access to LTU students and faculty to assist in research proof of concept development, product testing, and business planning. The Accelerator also provides learning and research opportunities for LTU students and faculty to work with entrepreneurial businesses.
Access to the Centrepolis Accelerator and all its equipment starts at just $125 a month with a 12-month commitment. For more information, visit www.centrepolisaccelerator.com/.
Besides LTU and the city of Southfield, partners in the Centrepolis Accelerator effort include the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and the New Economy Initiative.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers nearly 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.