At the conclusion of its latest Entrepreneur Boot Camp, Ann Arbor SPARK awarded SafetyBit its $25,000 Best of Boot Camp prize and Vidyut Wheels its $10,000 runner-up prize. The winners were selected by an esteemed panel of experts, based on the business’s investor pitch.
“Ann Arbor SPARK”s Boot Camp is an exciting event that’s an important part of our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Bill Mayer, Ann Arbor SPARK vice president of entrepreneurial services. “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.”
Boot Camp is designed for entrepreneurs who are prepared to assess and validate the feasibility of their business concept, build a business model, and find beta customers. Participants get hands-on assistance to test ideas over an intense multi-week program, interacting with multiple mentors and early-stage investors.
Best of Boot Camp winner SafetyBit, which is being incubated at the SPARK East Innovation Center, has developed and is launching its security technology application to eliminate the billions of dollars of cryptocurrency that have been stolen by hackers. SafetyBit’s private exchange is a paradigm shift for secure trading of cryptocurrency on the internet without using the web or “cloud”.
“The Boot Camp prize money will help cover legal costs required for regulatory approval,” said SafetyBit founder and CEO Thomas Perry. “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.”
Boot Camp runner-up Vidyut Wheels is an hybrid-electric two-wheeler startup for the Indian market. Its hybrid-electric two-wheeler concept is poised to not only reduce the cost burden related to operating two-wheelers, but also provide a greener two-wheeler option in the Indian market.
“Building prototypes from the designs is an expensive and iterative step,” explained Dr. Rutooj Deshpande, a co-founder of Vidyut Wheels. “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 non-profit 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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