DETROIT – Orbio Space Technology, founded by Michigan Technological University Professor L. Brand King, won $500,000 in cash and an additional $39,000 in in-kind services in the $1 million Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. Orbio develops systems to propel small satellites into space for big data projects.

“Orbion is honored to be chosen from the dozens of exciting new companies that participated in the competition,” King said.  “Our biggest challenge right now as a space start-up is getting our product to market quickly.  The award will accelerate our product development and help Orbion continue on our upward trajectory.”

Mi Padrino of Ann Arbor, a crowd funding and event-planning platform for Hispanic milestone events, was the runner-up, winning $100,000.

All of the top winners will also receive in-kind services from sponsors including WeWork, Varnum, Google, and Plante Moran.

The other 2017 Accelerate Michigan winners are as follows:

2nd Runner Up: Alerje, a Detroit-based company that develops modular cell phone cases that carry a slim epinephrine auto-injector and notify 911 in emergencies. $50,000.

3rd Runner Up: Carma Car of Detroit, providing all-inclusive monthly car rental packages without the hassle of owning a vehicle. $20,000.

Up and Coming Prize: Novolux BioSciences of Houghton, making dyes brighter in any color. $20,000.

People’s Choice Prize: Spellbound an Ann Arbor-based company that develops augmented reality experiences for pediatric patients in hospitals. $10,000.

2017 Student Venture Winners include:

  • • Grand Prize: Locker Lifestyle (Grand Valley State), $6,000
  • • 1st Runner Up: GoSpot (Northwood University), $4,000
  • • 2nd Runner Up: Xgrip (Northwood University). $3,000
  • • 3rd Runner Up: MP Insert Engineering (Western Michigan), $2,000
  • • Graduate Grand Prize: Canopy (University of Michigan), $6,000

The award winning companies were reviewed and selected by a panel of judges, including: Beth Ardisana (CEO of ASG Renaissance), Herman Moore (Founder of Team 84 Marketing), Maria Thompson (Entrepreneur in Residence at Arsenal Venture Partners), and Matt Ziskie (Head of Global Procurement at Airbnb).