A conversation with our EPIC prize winner Centrepolis:
OTT: Congratulations on receiving $50,000 as part of OTT’s EPIC prize! First, please tell us a little more about your company/who you are.
Centrepolis Accelerator: Centrepolis Accelerator is accelerating the growth of Michigan’s cleantech, climatech, circular economy, advanced manufacturing, innovative hardware entrepreneurs and small manufactures by providing access to funds, experts and key business and product development resources.
OTT: Will you give us a brief description of your winning program plan?
Centrepolis: C3 Accelerator program. The C3 Accelerator program is a global accelerator dedicated to supporting the growth & commercialization of Cleantech, Climatech, & Circular Economy technologies.
OTT: How has this program impacted your region/local community?
Centrepolis: What makes Centrepolis unique is we concentrate on helping physical product developers design, engineer, prototype and manufacture in Michigan. When we help a company commercialize a product, it not only helps that company grow, but also supports the local supply chain. Year in review numbers. We helped raise 11M in funding, served 201 companies, & 155 contracts went to local suppliers in 2020.
OTT: When it comes to lessons learned with building out your regional innovation ecosystem, what is one thing that has worked and one thing that has not?
Centrepolis: Michigan strength is in developing physical products. What makes Centrepolis unique is we concentrate on helping physical product developers design, engineer, prototype and manufacture in Michigan. When we help a company commercialize a product, it not only helps that company grow, but also supports the local supply chain. We’ve helped many cleantech products get to market and be manufactured here in Michigan.
A challenge in Michigan is identifying investors that will fund hardware physical product companies. Due to the heavier capital costs and longer commercialization timelines, many investors shy away from the clients we support.
OTT: What does it mean to be an accelerator/incubator during the coronavirus pandemic? What is one lesson learned from this virtual experience?
Centrepolis: That innovation never sleeps. While face to face meetings have been limited, we have stayed incredibly busy trying to help entrepreneurs and start-ups achieve technical and business milestones. In fact, in 2020 we helped a number of companies commercialize their product and make significant progress in their product development.
OTT: How can we stay up to date on the latest news or events with your company?
Centrepolis: Our website, social media, and our newsletter every other month. We also do monthly email blasts.
Thank you Centrepolis! Congratulations again on being an EPIC prize winner!
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