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Mspire 2024 Now Accepting Applications

MSPIRE Logo 2024-1MAGNET is welcoming applications for its annual Mspire Pitch Competition, the premier event in Northeast Ohio tailored exclusively for manufacturing-focused entrepreneurs. This competition is ideal for individuals or companies innovating in hard tech or advanced materials, those needing manufacturing for a physical product or idea, or innovations advancing the manufacturing industry. More than $75,000 will be available in grants and prizes for Northeast Ohio-based manufacturing start-ups.

The Huntington Innovation Award, a $10,000 cash prize, is designed to recognize and support groundbreaking entrepreneurs who have developed a physical product, innovative idea, or manufacturing innovation. This award seeks to accelerate the growth of pioneering ventures that have the potential to transform industries and create significant economic impact. Andrea Navratil, Director of New Ventures, emphasized the crucial importance of fostering diversity within the hard tech and manufacturing sectors, which have historically seen underrepresentation of minorities. Navratil highlighted that, “With Huntington's support, this prize aims to foster greater diversity among local entrepreneurs.” By promoting diversity, the Huntington Innovation Award aspires to bring a wide range of perspectives and experiences to the forefront, ultimately driving innovation and growth in the hard tech and manufacturing industries.

Past winners have leveraged Mspire's support to connect with key industry partners, develop prototypes, and expand their products to national markets. The 2023 competition saw various innovators honored for their contributions to manufacturing:

ARMA (Engineering Award and Huntington Innovation Award): Introduced second-skin glove technology reducing glove waste by 80%.
Aspire Sports (Engineering Award): Developed a training belt that maximizes athletic training efficiency.
bTECH (Huntington Innovation Award): Created new wound healing technology based on enhancing microcirculation.
Disinfection Technology Solutions, LLC (Engineering Award): Innovated a more efficient device for disinfecting medical equipment to prevent the spread of infectious materials.
Land Energy (Operations Award): Pioneered specialty “e-moto” bikes, a hybrid between e-bikes and e-motorcycles.

Finalists will showcase their products and ideas to industry experts and potential investors through the Advanced Manufacturing Fund, a venture group focused on supporting promising Northeast Ohio-based startups requiring manufacturing capabilities.

Applications are accepted online from June 4 to July 14, 2024. More details and the application form are available online here. The finalists will present their innovations on September 12, 2024, to a panel of judges, with awards to be announced on September 19, 2024 at MAGNET.

Mspire is proudly supported by Huntington, the State of Ohio’s Entrepreneurial Service Program, and the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

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