Your Guide to Fall 2023’s Major Startup Events

Published On: September 6, 2023Categories: Events

We hope you’ve been saving some time on your calendar, because September and October are going to be a CELEBRATION of startups in Michigan. There are so many major events coming up that it felt necessary to compile a list so you wouldn’t miss out! See the list below, and check back often as we highlight the events you’ll want to attend.

Southwest Michigan Entrepreneurship Summit 9/8

The SW Michigan Entrepreneurship Summit brings together founders, investors, venture capitalists, economic developers, and entrepreneur support organizations from across Michigan for a half-day Workshop and Listening Lab on cultivating a collaborative ecosystem of economic growth, innovation, and prosperity in our state. This is a fantastic event to attend if you’d like to learn more about and be a part of building Michigan’s startup ecosystem.

North American International Auto Show 9/13 – 9/24

Our friends at Plug and Play Detroit are once again hosting the Startup Arena, showcasing 150 startups! 10 of these startups will also pitch to a group of industry executives (Startup Arena events are focused around 9/13 and 9/14). If you’re interested in Mobility, Smart Cities, Energy, Sustainability, Manufacturing, and FinTech, you need to check this one out.

Special shoutout to some of the Michigan Founders Fund members that will be presenting!

A2 Tech 360 9/14 – 9/22

A week long celebration of Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation! There are an absolute ton of events happening in the Ann Arbor area, so while you can check out some of the more tech-focused events below, be sure to look at the full schedule here.

πŸš€ Invest360 (9/15): SPARK’s annual pitch competition with $200k in prizes across 3 tracks – Life Science, Information Technology, and Mobility.

πŸ‡ FastTrack Awards (9/15): Celebrating the region’s rapidly growing companies (>20% annual growth for 3 years running). Have a great evening and help celebrate the great companies being built in and around Ann Arbor!

πŸ’Έ Michigan Angel Summit (9/18): This one is for anyone that is either actively or thinking about investing in startups. It’s a full day event bringing together investors from across the state and region. Come learn from each other, learn about founder/investor relationships, and get involved with the fastest growing state for venture investment (yep, that’s Michigan!). Also, special shoutout to MFF members Jen Baird and Sarah Beatty of Culturewell who will be representing Michigan startup founders at this event!

πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Women in Tech (9/18): The return of one of the most popular events of A2Tech360 celebrating the incredible women working in tech in the mitten. This event is so popular that by the time of writing it is already sold out! If you’re fortunate enough to be attending this one, expect a great evening of networking and sharing of resources for empowering women and other underrepresented groups in tech. Many of our MFF members will be presenting here, including Crystal Brown (CircNova), Kaleena Eugene-Louis (Zero to Wear), Jasmit Kaur (Culturebie), Marianna Kerppola (Poisera), Arabia Q. Simeon (Politics on the Go), and even MFF Executive Director Trista Van Tine!

🚘 Ann Arbor Mobility Summit (9/19): I heard a great definition of Mobility recently as “anything involving the movement of people or goods”. So if you’re working with or interested in autonomous vehicles, batteries, drones, electrification, or aerospace and the tools these companies need to succeed, this is one to attend. Love to see MFF member Jasmit Kaur of Culturebie on this list of speakers!

πŸ—£ Tech Talk (9/19): Keynoted by MFF Board Member and co-founder of Duo Security Dug Song, with MFF member Alex Simmons of Boon speaking, this is one you don’t want to miss! Come get inspired by the groundbreaking technologies coming out of Ann Arbor, and the vision and for both tech innovation and equity.

πŸ”¬ A2 BioSocial (9/20): If you’re in the Life Sciences space and haven’t been to this monthly meetup yet, this is a beautiful opportunity to do so! Come connect with and learn from other folks interested in biotech, medical devices, genomics, diagnostics, education, and investing in these areas.

🧩 Demystifying Go-to-Market Strategy (9/21): Explore the importance of GTM in a funding pitch, and dive into the details of exactly what to include – and what to leave out – if you want to impress investors and achieve hockey-stick growth. So great to see MFF members Dan Champoux (GEKOT Robotics), Jen Baird (Culturewell, Fifth Eye), and Alison Accavitti (RIVET Work) sharing their knowledge during this session!

Tech Week GR 9/18 – 9/23

Six jam-packed days showcasing Grand Rapids’ vibrant tech community, with events happening all over the place! If you want to learn about the growth of Michigan’s west side tech scene, it’ll all be on display here. Full schedule can be found here, and below are a few events you should definitely check out!

πŸ€– Surge AI Talk (9/19): Learn how entrepreneurs and enthusiasts are harnessing the incredible potential of ChatGPT and other AI technologies to scale their businesses!

β˜• Code, Culture, and Coffee (9/20): Nothing better than a casual coffee with other tech leaders! Great chance to connect with folks and hear a bit about their journeys.

πŸŒ‰ Bridge 96 (9/20): Grand Rapids and the tech scene being built on the west side of the state is fantastic and should be celebrated. While you’re there, take a peak at what we can do when we think and build like one big statewide innovation community.

πŸ–₯️ Freshwater Digital Technology Showcase (9/20): Showcasing the latest technology in Direct View, LCD, E-ink, Data Integration, Dynamic content, Holographic Projection & more, open to all!

🍻 VC Happy Hour (9/20): Entrepreneurs, investors, and the Midwest venture capital community to gather for a night of networking, industry updates, and making connections within the tech community.

πŸ“£ DEMO Day (9/20): 100 aspiring entrepreneurs come together to compete in 1 Demo Day. All vying to be among the 10 to receive $20,000 to launch their dream. If you want to see energy personified, it’ll be here πŸ˜‰

πŸ‘¨πŸ½β€πŸ’» Latinx in Tech (9/21): Did you know that the Latinx population is one of the fastest growing demographics in west Michigan? Come hear about the personal journeys of current Latinx tech professionals and learn how to effectively engage, recruit, and retain Latinx tech talent.

πŸš€ Innovation at Scale (9/21): learn how to beat the odds, validate your ideas, find the right market, and achieve rapid growth from launch and beyond.

Michigan Tech Week 10/9 – 10/12

Michigan Tech Week returns this year, and you know it’s going to be big when the event takes over THE BIG HOUSE in Ann Arbor! More than 50 speakers from across the country will converge in the mitten to share candid insights and engage in exclusive networking throughout the week-long conference. Over $260,000 in prizes will be won as startups pitch across FinTech, Life Sciences, AI, University students, and Michigan Founders Fund’s one-of-a-kind team pitch competition! Mark your calendar and come prepared to celebrate the culture of a state that has always been a powerhouse of innovation. Check out these pitch competitions and apply! Full schedule coming soon πŸ˜‰

  • eLab AI Launchpad 2023 Pitch Competition (10/9)
  • Michigan Life Sciences Entrepreneur’s Association Business Plan Competition (10/9)
  • CFCU Pitch + Pilot Showcase (FinTech. 10/10)
  • Michigan Founders Fund Venture Competition (Team pitch format. 10/10)
  • Michigan Entrepreneur Summit (University students. 10/11)

UnDemo Day 10/11

In collaboration with Michigan Tech Week, Renaissance Ventures is holding its annual UnDemo Day event at Ford Field in Detroit. This event exists to help connect Michigan’s startup founders with venture capitalists around that country that want to invest in Michigan companies. This is one of the year’s best events for helping founders and investors find and build relationships with each other.

Black Tech Weekend 10/12 – 10/14

Hot on the heels of (and also in collaboration with) Michigan Tech Week, the first ever Black Tech Weekend will be held in Detroit! Detroit was selected to host Black Tech Weekend based on popular demand combined with the city’s growth in early-stage funding and investor activity, rapidly emerging startup ecosystem, and abundance of Black entrepreneurial and professional talent. Full schedule coming online soon!

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