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Ann Arbor SPARK Awards $200,000 To Tech Startups During Invest360 Competition

During a2Tech360, Ann Arbor SPARK awarded $200,000 to startups through Invest360, a pitch competition that recognizes promising emerging companies in the mobility, healthcare, and information technology sectors. The winners, Bedestrian, Espervita Therapeutics, and LoanSense were each awarded $50,000 and went on to compete for an additional $50,000 “People’s Choice” prize, which was awarded to LoanSense.

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The mobility sector winner, Bedestrian, designs and builds logistics robots for delivery inside healthcare systems. Healthcare sector winner Espervita Therapeutics has developed a pipeline of novel compounds with preclinical evidence of safety and efficacy for the treatment of liver cancer. Information technology sector winner LoanSense is a debt management platform that reduces student loan payments, and as a result, increases student borrowers’ budget for a home.

“LoanSense founder Catalina Kaiyoorawongs gave a great pitch that showed she’s a go-getter with a passion for this opportunity, and she knows the space,” said Mike Flanagan, Ann Arbor SPARK’s vice president of capital programs. “We all know that student debt is a growing problem nationally, and Catalina and the team at LoanSense have developed a really innovative product to help alleviate the burden on borrowers and help them meet their financial goals. LoanSense is a product that resonates with a lot of people right now.”

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Invest360 was embedded in a2Tech360’s Michigan Angel Summit, Mobility Summit, and MI-HQ’s Tech on the Edge events. The “People’s Choice” competition was held during Ann Arbor SPARK’s Tech Talk event.

Ann Arbor SPARK’s a2Tech360 program, featuring seven days of inspiring events showcasing Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation to the world, was sponsored by KLA and the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti SmartZone/ Local Development Finance Authority.

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