ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor SPARK awarded local startup Canopy $25,000 at the conclusion of its annual Entrepreneur Boot Camp for receiving the Best of Boot Camp prize.
Runner-up Celant Innovations was awarded $10,000.
Funded by the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone (LFDA), the annual boot camp for entrepreneurs is designed for startup founders who are ready to gauge the feasibility of their product, build a business model and acquire beta customers.
"Although we only award prizes to two of the participating companies, all of the entrepreneurs receive valuable education and assistance throughout the program, and Boot Camp 'graduation' is quite often the first step in Ann Arbor SPARK’s ongoing support of an entrepreneur," Bill Mayer, Ann Arbor SPARK vice president, entrepreneurial services, said in a press release.
Canopy receives the top prize for Best in Boot Camp (Photo: Ann Arbor SPARK)
"It’s that early stage support – from advice to grants to access to mentors – that helps these company hit the road running. This spring Boot Camp attracted an exciting, diverse cohort of startups that we’re excited to watch grow."
Canopy develops digital tools to help families communicate about and make end-of-life healthcare decisions, and creates a legal document that can be shared with medical providers and loved ones.
"Canopy is honored to have been selected as Best of Boot Camp," Elisabeth Michel, co-founder, said in a press release. "This award will help support our team and accelerate our progress towards achieving key milestones, particularly as we further develop our product and build traction."
Runner-up Celant Innovations designs and manages on-premises and cloud-based solutions relating to analysis and document drafting for accounting, financial and legal services industries.
Throughout the intensive multi-week program, participant get hands-on experience testing ideas and engaging with early stage investors as well as mentors.
A panel of experts selected the winners, who were assessed based on their observations of the group's work and the quality of their investor pitch.
For the first time, Boot Camp had an all-women panel of judges, including Angela Kujava, of Desai Accelerator; Lauren Bigelow, of Growth Capital Network; and Sonali Vijayavargiya, of Augment Ventures.
About Ann Arbor SPARK
Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Livingston County, the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone (LDFA), Washtenaw County etcs/Michigan Works!, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, call 734-761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.