Ann Arbor startup founder wins 25,000,000 in Eastern Michigan University pitch competition
ANN ARBOUR, Mich. – Sarah Beatty, Eastern Michigan University alumnus and founder of Culturewell, won $25,000 after impressing a panel of judges.
As part of EMU’s eight-week Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Venture Challenge programme, registered entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to local business leaders for the chance to win funding.
Culturewell, Beatty’s Ann Arbor-based startup, is an analytics platform that helps administrators prevent infections through data-driven assessments of healthcare facility cleanliness.
“It was an honor to win this award as the tremendous effort I have put into building Culturewell is beginning to make a difference,” Beatty said in a statement.
The Brighton resident added that her winnings will help the startup develop methods for testing surfaces for COVID-19, which will boost customer confidence when employees return to the office.
She said potential entrepreneurs should use free or low-cost resources in their area.
“There are a host of free and low-cost resources available from SBDC and Ann Arbor SPARK, among others,” Beatty said in a statement. “For entrepreneurs interested in future angel or venture capital funding, build and leverage your networks by attending virtual and in-person networking events, such as A2 NewTech, A2 Biosocial, or Shine+Rise.”
Five program finalists will receive a physical address and mailbox and 20 hours of monthly conference room access from the Ann Arbor-based coworking space at the Michigan Innovation Headquarters. Ann Arbor SPARK will provide similar benefits to two additional finalists, EMU officials said.
The Entrepreneurship and Venture Challenge Certificate Program, offered by Ypsilanti University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, combines in-person and virtual programming to help participants evaluate startup ideas, acquire customers, solve legal issues, plan their finances and develop funding proposals.
During the course, participants learn from early stage investors, industry and academic experts, mentors and professional coaches.
The director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Sanjib Chowdhury, said that although 60-70% of jobs over the past decade have been created in the small business sector, many entrepreneurs still need guidance.
“That’s where this program can help,” he said in a statement. “Our mission is to help entrepreneurs start and run their small business.”
The eight-week program was first launched last January.
To learn more about WCC’s Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Venture Challenge program, click here.
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