As part of its a2Tech360 week-long series of events, Ann Arbor SPARK awarded $200,000 to startups during Invest360, a pitch competition that recognizes promising emerging companies in the mobility, healthcare, and information technology sectors. The winners, Functional Fluidics, Jottful, and M-Vision were each awarded $50,000 on Friday, October 7 during the first part of the Invest360 event.
The three finalists then went on to compete for an additional $50,000 People’s Choice prize, which was held after Ann Arbor SPARK’s Tech Talk event on October 14 at the Michigan Theater. Audience members selected Jottful, which makes and manages professional, affordable, and hassle-free websites for small businesses.
“The People’s Choice award is a fun, interactive component of Invest360,” said Mike Flanagan, Ann Arbor SPARK vice president of capital programs. “While the three companies have a lot of experience pitching to potential investors, earning the approval of a live audience can be quite different.”
“Jottful is committed to helping the smallest of small businesses succeed online by delivering complete, professional websites at a price they can afford,” described Dawn Verbrigghe, Jottful CEO and founder. “We’re grateful the investor-judges and southeastern Michigan community have recognized our team for our innovation and growth. And we welcome Ann Arbor SPARK as an investor and companion on this journey!”
“Ann Arbor was recently listed among one of the top metro areas for female-founded startups, sharing the spotlight with destinations like Austin, St. Louis, and Phoenix,” added Mike. “Dawn’s win last Friday adds credence to this standing.”
The mobility sector winner, M-Vision, is a deep tech company focused on enabling technology for the defense and automotive markets. Healthcare sector winner, Functional Fluidics, is a biotechnology company with a high complexity CLIA-certified diagnostic lab striving to be the gold standard in red blood cell (RBC) health, beginning with Sickle Cell Disease.
Ann Arbor SPARK’s a2Tech360 program, featuring seven days of inspiring events showcasing Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation to the world, was sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA). For more information, visit www.a2Tech360.com.