Three student teams from Grand Valley State University have been selected out of 65 applicants as semi-finalists for the 7th Annual Student Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. On Nov. 3, Grand Valley teams EZIV LLC, Stir it Up LLC, and Orindi Ventures will compete with 27 other semi-finalists from colleges and universities from around the state of Michigan for up to $20,000 in cash prizes. Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is one of the largest business competitions in the country and brings together the top student-led businesses in the region.
Grand Valley senior Zoe Bruyn is a first time semi-finalist. Her bakery, Stir it Up, employs individuals with specials needs while providing them with a safe environment where they can grow their skills.
“I am very happy about it,” Bruyn said. “I think it is a really great opportunity. Even if I don’t come away with a prize, the opportunity to present your idea and get feedback is exciting.”
She said that if she does win, the money will go towards purchasing commercial equipment and marketing materials as she expands her operation.
Director at the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) Shorouq Almallah and Entrepreneur in Residence Matt Larson will be coaching Bruyn, along with Jordan Vanderham of Orindi Ventures and Nelson Schrader of EZIV, as they refine their pitches and prepare for the final competition.
The final competition will take place from 11:20am-4:00pm on November 3rd at the Cobo Center in Detroit. Winners will be announced at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition dinner reception at 5:30pm.
Congratulations to the Grand Valley semi-finalists!