Local startup SafetyBit awarded $25K at Ann Arbor SPARK tech Boot Camp

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

SafetyBit founder and CEO Thomas Perry accepts a $25,000 check from Ann Arbor SPARK. SafetyBit is currently incubated at the SPARK East Innovation Center. (Credit: Ann Arbor SPARK)

ANN ARBOR - Ann Arbor SPARK awarded $25,000 to SafetyBit at its latest edition of Entrepreneur Boot Camp.

SafetyBit, which is launching an application to "eliminate the billions of dollars of cryptocurrency that have been stolen by hackers," won the Best of Boot Camp prize.

Vidyut Wheels, which has developed a green, electric-hybrid two-wheeler concept for the Indian market, won the $10,000 runner-up prize. 

A panel of esteemed industry experts selected the winners based on their investor pitches.

"Ann Arbor SPARK's Boot Camp is an exciting event that’s an important part of our entrepreneurial ecosystem," Bill Mayer, Ann Arbor SPARK vice president of entrepreneurial services, said in a statement. "Boot Camp is a way the community vets and validates new companies, and comes together to support these fledgling companies. This recent Boot Camp cohort was an impressive mix of company ideas and it’s a privilege to be able to help them progress to the next level of growth."

Co-founder of Vidyut Wheels, Dr. Rutooj Deshpande, accepts a $10,000 check from Ann Arbor SPARK. (Credit: Ann Arbor SPARK)


Boot Camp is an intense hands-on, multi-week program designed for entrepreneurs who are ready to validate and assess the feasibility of their concept, build a business model and seek beta customers. A major benefit of Boot Camp is the participants' ability to interact with industry mentors and early-stage investors.

"The Boot Camp prize money will help cover legal costs required for regulatory approval," SafetyBit founder and CEO Thomas Perry said in a statement. "This will bring SafetyBit’s cryptocurrency exchange one step closer to the launch that will deploy safety and security measures never seen before in the marketplace."

"Building prototypes from the designs is an expensive and iterative step," Dr. Rutooj Deshpande, a co-founder of Vidyut Wheels, said in a statement. "Receiving a Boot Camp award validates our design assumptions and proves our concept. The prize money is extremely useful for product development and building working prototypes."

About Ann Arbor SPARK
Ann Arbor SPARK, a nonprofit 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. For more information, please call 734-761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.

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