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13 June 2018

Michigan’s Desai Accelerator onboards six teams

Desai will supply each participating team with $25,000 in addition to benefits such as a staff of 10 interns drawn from University of Michigan.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Six teams were named participants in the summer 2018 cohort of University of Michigan’s Desai Accelerator, managed by the university’s Ross School of Business and College of Engineering, on Monday.

The accelerator is backed by public-private partnership Michigan Economic Development Corporation together with Desai Sethi Family Foundation, Davidson Foundation and the Wadhams family office.

Ross School of Business will participate through its Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the College of Engineering through its Center for Entrepreneurship.

Desai will supply each team with $25,000 in funding in addition to mentorship support, office space and access to a staff of up to 10 university interns. The teams will pitch their businesses to investors at a demo day on September 12.

The startups won their place from what Michigan termed a “competitive” field of applicants, 33% of which had female co-founders. Approximately 45% of the applicants originated from outside Michigan state, while 60% brought in co-founders from outside the university.

Previous graduates from Desai Accelerator include swimming smartwatch app developer MySwimPro, augmented and virtual reality technology developer Gwydion, menswear e-commerce vendor Ash & Erie and personal safety app developer Companion.

The six participants in this year’s cohort were named as:

  • Arbor Automation, which is developing software to automate the process of manufacturing hardware prototypes.
  • Canopy, the creators of a digital platform that enables individuals and families to explore end-of-life healthcare decisions.
  • Cheddur, which hopes to market a digital currency social network that builds people’s familiarity with the technology while also acting as an advertising platform for coin and service operators.
  • Jottful, a platform that helps small businesses easily build websites at low cost.
  • Mi Padrino, which has designed an online system for planning and funding events popular with Hispanic communities, such as quinceañeras, weddings and baptisms.
  • Movatic, which has designed a digital marketplace for mobility hardware through which users can find required services via a smartphone app.

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