The GreenLight Business Model Competition announced on Thursday, March 30, the winners of its fifth annual event. Twenty-two teams took the stage at Michigan State University’s Wharton Theatre for Performing Arts, to pitch their ideas to a panel of experienced judges.

This year’s event offered $100,000 in total cash prizes, the largest in GreenLight’s history. In addition to competition prizes—including a $40,000 Grand Prize, sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and a $25,000 Second Prize, sponsored by MSU Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU)—the event connects entrepreneurs with some of Michigan’s top talent in angel and venture capital investment.

This year’s awardees:

• THIRD PRIZE ($10,000): Switched Source
• FOURTH PRIZE ($7,500): MTBIsense
• FIFTH PRIZE ($5,000): Pretch
• SIXTH PRIZE ($2,500): Parabricks
• UNDERGRAD FIRST PLACE ($6,500): Kulisha
• UNDERGRAD SECOND PLACE ($2,500): CarryCott
• UNDERGRAD THIRD PLACE ($1,000): Stir It Up

“Every year, GreenLight draws more and more inspiring talent,” said Paul Jaques, director of student and community engagement at Spartan Innovations, GreenLight’s Program Sponsor. “This year we saw a record number of applications and event attendees. Michigan’s entrepreneurial roots are alive and well.”

Honoring Michigan’s entrepreneurs, GreenLight also provided the opportunity to celebrate MSU Federal Credit Union’s President and CEO, April Clobes, recipient of 2017’s inaugural Future Thinker Award.

“April is the first Future Thinker recipient, because she inspired it. April began this competition,” said Jaques, “and her vision and thought leadership are vital to the Greater Lansing Area’s, thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

“It is an honor to receive this award,” said Clobes. “Helping entrepreneurs, small business owners is critical to the vitality of our community and the success of the region and State.”

The GreenLight Business Model Competition was co-created in 2013 by Spartan Innovations and MSUFCU. Working to expand entrepreneurship and small business success in Michigan, the fifth annual GreenLight Michigan event included winners of recent regional GreenLight events in Detroit, Flint, Port Huron and East Jordan.

“Our partnerships allow us to support great ideas and innovators from around the state,” said Jaques. “Michigan startups are poised to compete on a global scale, and we’re proud to offer GreenLight as an opportunity, in addition to funding support, to help grow small businesses and entrepreneurship.”

GreenLight was held at MSU’s Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing. Finalist teams included:

• AvidCor Inc.
• CarryCott
• CovertCasa
• Find Your Ditto
• Kulisha
• LooUQ Incorporated
• MTBIsense LLC
• MySwimPro
• Mytual
• Neonatal Solutions, Inc.
• Parabricks LLC
• PayLow Rate
• Pretch, LLC
• PrndL
• Safe Balance
• SAHI Cosmetics LLC
• Six Sents, Inc.
• Stir It Up
• Switched Source
• VADE Nutrition
• Valley View Malt House
• Vertexer

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