Greenlight Michigan Offers $100,000 to Michigan Startups

By Kavya Davuluri on February 13th, 2018 / Comments

The GreenLight Michigan Business Model Competition is preparing to give out another $100,000 to Michigan’s early-stage companies at their annual competition this March.

Paul Jaques, Director of Student and Community Engagement for Spartan Innovations, expects phenomenal startups to gain connections, exposure, and, of course, funding in March. Jaques went on to describe some of their most notable fellows, including multimillion dollar company SkySpecs which also won Accelerate Michigan, Vade Nutrition with their dissolvable protein packs, and the Detroit based MySwimPro which was named Apple Watch App of the Year in 2016.

The competition began in 2012 after being founded by the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, which gave out $20,000 in its first run. After seeing the immense potential the program had, Spartan Innovations took on the competition, growing its reach and impact. Since then, GreenLight has awarded over $300,000 in total to Michigan-based startups, ranging from their annual competition to the mini workshops they were able to take on the road to Port Huron, Flint, Detroit, and East Jordan/Charlevoix, among other locations. And this year, the number of investees is going to ricochet higher, as is the amount of funding, thanks to the generosity of the MSU Federal Credit Union, McLaren Greater Lansing, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

In years past, Greenlight has had upwards of 100 applicants. After thorough review and deep thought, a panel of judges whittles down the teams to the final 22-24 teams who get to pitch after a series of coaching sessions, pitch deck reviews, and mentorship with Spartan Innovations.

This year, the pitches will be held on March 28 at the Wharton Pasant Theatre in East Lansing. After the lucky finalist teams get their shot at up to $40,0000, a fantastic 80s themed reception will be held with food, arcade games, networking, and a special appearance by MSU’s own Sparty. Tickets to the conference are available at a discount for students as well.

Startup teams can look at eligibility requirements and apply to the Greenlight Michigan competition here.

“It comes down to if we believe in the team, their idea and its market, think that their company is beneficial to Michigan, and whether it will get follow up investment,” said Jaques.

Spartan Innovations is encouraging entrepreneurship investors, enthusiasts, and supporters to come to the event on March 28 to engage with the winners and learn about how they can get involved in Michigan’s innovation community.

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Kavya Davuluri