The Conquer Accelerator program at Michigan State University announces their inaugural cohort at the MSU Innovation Celebration held in the Huntington Club at Spartan Stadium. Designed to help both newer and established companies overcome business hurdles, Conquer emphasizes smart planning and growth, extensive mentorship from an experienced bench of professionals and structured educational components.
“The Conquer Accelerator acts as a final launching platform for startups from MSU and beyond, preparing companies to hit the ground running,” says Paul Jaques, Conquer Accelerator Director. “Our program put the finishing touches on startup teams and preps them for investment.”
Accepted teams will work through a ten-week program starting May 2016. Five of the six teams are provided with $20,000 each in funding, and all six will receive mentorship, a creative working space, support and resources to enable them to grow their startup company in exchange for 5% equity. The six teams participating in the 2016 series are listed below:
AerBots: AerBots are fully customizable, buildable, plug-and-play drone kits with interchangeable components that children and families can use to create their own unique machines to fly, discover and explore. Mario Swaidan is CEO, and this team is a MSU Student Startup exhibiting at the Innovation Celebration.
Artificially Intelligent Machineshop (AIM): AIM is the next generation machine shop that dramatically reduces the fabrication time of manufacturing equipment through the use of automation and robotics.
Conecter: With Conecter, students are able to search for and create events that they want to do with other students, helping them connect to others with similar interests, and in their local community. Zoe Zappitell is CEO, and this team is a MSU Student Startup exhibiting at the Innovation Celebration.
Golfler: Golfler is an application that routes food and beverage orders from a mobile device to a course clubhouse. Golfers can pre-order food and beverage to be ready at the turn or have items delivered on demand anywhere on the course.
Protection by TechTwurl: Protection provides affordable, convenient, guaranteed same-day, local device repair. Usman Majeed is CEO, and this team is a MSU Student Startup.
York Project: The York Project is a retail fashion design company with a cause. For every product sold, a needed article of clothing is donated to a homeless man or woman on the streets of an American city. Josh York is CEO, and this team is a MSU Student Startup exhibiting at the Innovation Celebration.
Any qualifying business may apply to join Conquer, an existing affiliation with Michigan State University is not required. For startups from Michigan State University, the Conquer Accelerator serves to fill a crucial gap in the development cycle of student startups in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Built with a strong bench of more than 40 entrepreneur and business leader mentors, each of the ten weeks in the Conquer program focuses on completing specific goals, as well as working with mentors and instructors on topics like fundraising, technology and sustainability. Conquer culminates in demo day presentations with investors.
Ideal student Conquer candidates will have worked through the MSU Hive, Hatch program, taken Business 201 and be prepared to pitch in business competitions. Companies not affiliated with Michigan State University interested in participating in the program must have a product prototype or service, and meet a set of development criteria.
Learn more about Conquer at www.conqueraccelerator.