Civionics wins ACE Challenge at ACE '15

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Michigan’s largest, single-day entrepreneurial event took place on Thu, 29 Jan 2015. This year, attendance was close to 600 people – ranging from entrepreneurs to service providers to investors.

As in year’s past, the highlight of the event was the ACE challenge, an elevator pitch competition emceed by Chris Holman. However, this year, two major changes were made to the event. First, the number of participants was increased from six to ten. Second, a cash prize of $5,000 was awarded. According to Diane Durance, co-chair of the ACE Planning Committee, the format was changed “in order to provide greater exposure for a larger number of startups and to add more excitement to the event.”

The competition was very tough – with entrants coming from as far away as Newaygo. Businesses that presented spanned the gamut from medical devices to smartphone apps to advanced manufacturing tools. After a long deliberation, the judges proclaimed Civionics as the event’s winner. Andy Zimmerman, Civionics CEO, was thrilled to be named the winner. He said, “The judges must have had a hard decision – many of the presenting businesses are really solid. Because of this, I am particularly pleased to have been named the winner.”

Tom Kelly, Automation Alley’s Director of Entreprenurial Services, was also pleased with the result. “Civionics is in the inaugural cohort of our 7Cs program and for the judges to have selected Civionics, an advanced manufacturing company, as the winner provides evidence that our program is important for the State’s future”.