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LTU's Centrepolis Accelerator to host 'Micro Makers Pitch Event'

Release Date: June 6, 2022

SOUTHFIELD—Ten companies will compete for $35,000 in prizes at the “Micro Makers Pitch Event” to be held on Wednesday, June 22 at Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University. 

The virtual event will feature startups creating innovative physical products—startups that are being established by historically underrepresented populations in the City of Southfield and Wayne County. 

The event begins at 3:15 p.m. with an introduction and welcome from Dan Radomski, executive director of the Centrepolis Accelerator; Southfield Mayor Ken Siver; and Wafa Dinaro, executive director of the New Economy Initiative. An introduction on the program will be led by Experts-in-Residence at Centrepolis Accelerator, Dennis Shaver and Daniel Hodges. 

Ten companies will pitch in two sessions, 4:10 to 4:55 p.m. and 5:35 to 6:20 p.m. Between the sessions, Nezar Akeel, founder and CEO of exercise equipment maker MaxPro, will provide insight on “lessons learned and pitfalls to avoid from a successful consumer goods company.” 

Judges for the event are Mayor Siver; Wafa Dinaro; Nezar Akeel; Rochelle Freeman, director of business development for the city of Southfield; Paul Riser, senior program officer at the Ralph Wilson Foundation; and David Farbman, partner at Farbman Group. 

The pitching companies are: 

  • AptumBuild: Designers of a lightweight, high strength, easy to assemble modular wall and building system; which allows for the creation of versatile temporary structures
  • Carpet Puller:Developers of power-assisted, carpet cutting and removal products
  • Celcius: Developers of all-natural ionized water material through a proprietary process that has proven effective to kill bacteria and viruses
  • Leafinator: Developers of a rugged, all-in-one leaf and lawn care clean up device
  • LucyPop: Developers of a nano-fiber product designed to offer a healthy and long-wearing nail polish alternative within the nail care industry
  • Pareto Aluminum Systems LLC: Developers of lightweight, easy to assemble, low-cost, multi-functional flooring systems for vans, buses, and specialty vehicle  
  • Pingree Detroit: Developers of hand-crafted bags, accessories and footwear, using high-quality leather reclaimed from the auto industry
  • PlugZen LLC: Manufacturers and distributors of electric vehicle charging systems
  • VersaWare: Developers of smart kitchen appliances that allows users to build any meal by virtue of its own nutritional composition in real-time.
  • Wareologie LLC: Developer of a portable parallel bar system for physical therapy

The following prizes will be awarded:

  • $10,000 for best growth stage company
    • $5,000 runner-up growth stage company
  • $10,000 for best early stage company
    • $5,000 runner-up early stage company
  • $5,000 for a People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Ward Law

To register, visit CentrepolisAccelerator.com/Events.

Centrepolis Accelerator, launched in 2019 by LTU and the City of Southfield, provides funding, mentoring, expertise, and services to manufacturing startups and established small manufacturing enterprises, one of the nation’s few business accelerators concentrating on physical products rather than software or services. It has helped commercialize hundreds of new products and has more than 300 clients. The Accelerator has 6,000 square feet of coworking space and a high-tech product prototyping lab on LTU’s campus with 3D printers, metalworking, and virtual and augmented reality equipment. The Accelerator has a focus on advanced manufacturing technologies; cleantech products, those that reduce emissions and fuel consumption, and which avoid or help clean up pollution; circular economy products, which boost the use of recycled and upcycled materials; and companies owned by historically underrepresented populations. More at www.centrepolisaccelerator.com.  

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists LTU among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include over 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.



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