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Invest360: A Confluence of Innovation and High-Stakes Competitions

Invest360 event graphic

With the Invest360 Investor Showcase, an a2Tech360 event, just around the corner, anticipation is building for an experience that celebrates the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and transformative ideas. The keynote address by Dan Rhodes, a visionary in cancer treatment, promises to inspire attendees, while the company pitches bring to the forefront some of the most promising high-growth startups in healthcare, information technology, and mobility.

Scheduled for Friday, September 15th at the University of Michigan Golf Course Club House, Invest360 will be an engaging and informative experience that will leave attendees inspired and motivated.

Dan Rhodes: The Visionary Driving Transformation in Cancer Treatment

One of the main highlights of Invest360 is the keynote by Dan Rhodes, a UM-trained scientist and serial entrepreneur. As the co-founder and CEO of Strata Oncology, Dan has been at the forefront of revolutionizing cancer treatment with advanced molecular diagnostics. Strata has successfully raised more than $100M to support the company’s mission and growth.

Dan’s journey as a trailblazer in the field of oncology started with the co-founding of Compendia Bioscience, a University of Michigan spin-off aimed at commercializing his Ph.D. thesis project, Oncomine. The cancer genome data-mining platform garnered significant attention and was later acquired by Life Technologies (Thermo Fisher), where Dan continued his work as VP of Oncology. There, he played a crucial role in overseeing the development of cancer sequencing products and companion diagnostic partnerships.

Dan has co-authored over 50 publications and holds 12 patents as a co-inventor. His contributions to science and entrepreneurship have been recognized by accolades such as the Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovators Award in 2022 and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Midwest region in 2019.

The Pitch Competition: Where Innovation Meets Opportunity

Also at the heart of Invest360 is the Investor Showcase, which includes an exciting pitch competition spotlighting high-growth companies striving to create impact and growth. The event provides an ideal setting for these startups to pitch their companies to a diverse audience of investors, industry experts, and fellow entrepreneurs. It also offers the chance to win crucial funding and provides valuable feedback and exposure, nurturing the growth and development of these startups.

The competition is comprised of three categories:  life science, information technology, and mobility. Each category offers a $50,000 investment to the winning company, enabling them to further fuel their ventures.

The Life Science pitch competition will showcase the following companies:

  • Curio Genomics: Curio Genomics is a bioinformatics software company dedicated to accelerating agrigenomics research to develop and commercialize better seeds that are more resilient to climate stress, have higher yields, and require less from the environment for a more secure and sustainable future.
  • Magsorbeo Biomedical: Magsorbeo develops and manufactures high-performance absorbable metal implants with engineered absorption profiles using our proprietary Curasorb alloy technology to safely minimize implant life post-healing, provide simple and confident implantation, and safely absorb without increased risks of long-term complications.​
  • NOTA Laboratories: NOTA is developing novel healthcare applications that harness the therapeutic properties of Nitric Oxide (NO) as an antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-thrombotic agent across a targeted spectrum of medical applications, including PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns), open heart surgery, respiratory infections, and COPD.
  • PathwaysGI (“PGI”): PathwaysGI aims to advance gastrointestinal healthcare with a patient-centric approach. Their innovative solutions focus on early detection, precision diagnostics, and minimally invasive treatments, reshaping the future of gastrointestinal care.
  • Wide Awake VR: Wide Awake VR is harnessing the power of virtual reality to improve patient experiences and medical training. Their immersive technologies offer innovative solutions for pain management, education, and therapeutic interventions.

The Information Technology pitch competition will include presentations from:

  • APT Solar Solutions: APT Solar will improve the reliability of solar lighting by integrating 3D Solar Lighting Fixtures into existing transportation and urban infrastructures for enhanced mobility safety, sustainability, and equity.
  • Culturebie: Culturebie is dedicated to transforming workplace dynamics through innovative HR tech solutions. Their focus on employee engagement, talent management, and organizational culture helps companies foster a positive and productive work environment.
  • JustAir: JustAir creates air quality monitoring networks to provide cities and individuals data on their breathing environment and help develop solutions to create a better breathing environment for all.
  • swishbx: swishbx provides a revolutionary solution for CPG brands and grocery retailers to deliver product sampling in an automated and dynamic fashion. The adtech driven product sampling platform is the first of its kind and is purpose-built to solve the challenges of both brands and retailers.
  • Ulendo Technologies, Inc.: Ulendo offers patented vibration compensation software that increases the speed and accuracy of industrial 3D printers. The Company’s software solution is also applicable and being adapted for the traditional manufacturing automation market, which includes industrial robots and machine tools.

The Mobility pitch competition will feature presentations from the following companies:

  • Blueflite Inc: Blueflite offers a drone-based logistics platform for faster and more cost-effective deliveries. The patented, unique, and all-electrical drone design has vertical take-off and landing capabilities, advanced maneuverability, and is built without compromise – to meet the rigorous demands of commercial operations.
  • Intermode: Intermode is revolutionizing the way businesses utilize robotics by offering a hassle-free mobility platform that provides businesses with an operationally efficient platform that allows them to easily integrate robotics into their business with flexibility and minimal financial risk.
  • LiveRoad Analytics, Inc.: LiveRoad Analytics is an IoT data analytics and meteorological technology company that has created an advanced meteorological technology solution leveraging the power of proprietary sensor and IoT data for improved data modeling, weather forecasting, road surface prediction and atmospheric weather precision with high-resolution and dynamic weather data analytics.
  • Repela Tech, LLC: Repela has created an antifouling technology intended to serve the marine industry. The company uses non-biocide marine coating technology to offer hydrogel coating and custom-engineered primer that resist marine micro and macro-organisms including Ulva zoospores, diatoms, and mussels, enabling customers to get eco-friendly coatings.
  • Sniffer Robotics: Sniffer Robotics is providing advanced automated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission detection utilizing a patented drone technology and process to collect, quantify, and analyze methane and other GHGs. Sniffer’s system integrates an onboard computer, a laser system for “terrain hugging” capability, a commercially purchased methane detector, gas sample hose assembly, and a specialized software package.

The tension rises as the top three winners from each category then vie for the coveted People’s Choice award and an additional $50,000 investment. 

A Unique Opportunity for Networking and Collaboration

Invest360 goes beyond just showcasing exciting ideas and technological advancements. The event offers a unique platform for networking, fostering collaborations, and exploring potential investment opportunities. Attendees, ranging from industry experts and investors to startup enthusiasts and business leaders, can engage with like-minded individuals, share insights, and connect with potential partners.

Learn more and register at