This past January, almost 1,000 people traveled to Skyline High School in Ann Arbor for the 12th Annual Collaboration of Entrepreneurship (ACE’12). Representatives from fifteen different organizations, all focused on entrepreneurship and hi-tech start-ups, came together to organize the event. ACE brings together entrepreneurs, service providers, investors, students, government agents and other members of the business community to network, learn and connect
ACE’12 offered access to several different workshops covering topics from funding sources to innovation in urban Michigan. SPARK’s own Bill Mayer was a panelist in the “From Idea to Business” workshop, which allowed students to present their ideas, and then get feedback on how viable their business model would be.
Skip Simms, SPARK’s Vice President, was also a panelist in the “Funding Sources and Strategies” workshop. The workshop aimed to educate start-ups on the various types of funding available to them, such as microloans, pre-seed loans, early stage investors, SBIR and government grants, and late stage funding venture capital firms.
Attendees could also take advantage of the “Ask the Expert” presentation led by business leaders Dan Arbour, Kalyan Handique, Fritz Seyferth, and Priceline Co-founder Scott Case. Capping off the jam-packed event was the Elevator Pitch Competition, in which entrepreneurs were given three minutes to pitch an idea in hopes of securing the funding needed to get it off the ground.
The event was video taped as well as live-streamed. Archived videos from the event are up on the ACE website. Be sure to check them out! Also, you can find pictures of the Event on ACE’s Facebook page.