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Driving Innovation and Growth
2017 Polsinelli Innovation Competition

Competition Opens:

Entry Deadline:

Entry Fee:

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Global Midwest Alliance is pleased to invite you to participate in the 8th annual Innovation Competition presented by Polsinelli, which will take place during the Corporate Venturing program on April 4, 2017.  The Innovation Competition focuses on the Midwest's excellence in technology innovation, products and services.

​October 3, 2016

March 1, 2017


​The companies featured in this competition are developing products and services which:

  • Improve resource utilization
  • Promote the productive and responsible use of natural resources
  • Reduce negative ecological impact
  • Provide superior performance at lower costs

Meet the 2017 Innovation Competition Judges
Submissions will be judged by a panel of experts representing regional universities, venture capitalists and business executives. All finalists will receive recognition through conference print materials and the event website, and will be eligible to attend the April 4 Corporate Venturing program and Innovation Competition Awards program free of charge.  Additional finalists’ representatives will also be eligible to attend at a reduced registration rate. 

The top five competition finalists will receive coaching from a qualified competition judge and have the opportunity to compete, presenting their technologies during the program to an audience of early stage investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and financiers, and corporate R&D and business development executives. The top three finalists will be selected and receive cash prizes during the April 4 showcase. In addition to a cash prize, the competition winner receives a credit of $10,000 to be applied toward corporate review and transaction legal services from Polsinelli.

​We look forward to receiving your application this year.

The Innovation Competition presented by Polsinelli was created to help emerging and venture ready companies gain visibility and make connections. The competition will provide a showcase for developers of new technologies that offer competitive returns for investors and customers while providing solutions to global challenges.  

Past Innovation Competition winners and finalists have gone on to compete and win in national and international competitions, received access to funding, gained beneficial partners for growth and won new business opportunities. We are proud that many of our past finalists are currently doing business on a global scale.

Competition entries may include, but are not limited to, products, services and technologies in the areas of:

  • Renewable and alternative energy
  • Infrastructure and community
  • Food and agriculture
  • Manufacturing and industrial
  • Water
  • Logistics and sustainable distribution

  • Applicants must be focused on products, services and technologies that improve the resource utilization in the areas of renewable and alternative energy, infrastructure and community, food and agriculture, manufacturing, water products, logistics and sustainable distribution
  • Applicants should have a sound business plan
  • Ideally, applicants will have completed an initial or angel round of funding
  • Companies presenting and/or sponsoring the April 4 Corporate Venturing program are not eligible to participate

  • To enter, please visit the Innovation Competition presented by Polsinelli (opens November 1, 2016).  Entries must be received no later than March 1, 2017 (11:59 p.m. CST).
  • Finalists will be notified of acceptance by March 17, 2017.
  • There is no cost to apply or present at the April 4 program.
  • The competition judging panel reserves the right to disqualify submissions not adhering to the application requirements or to request resubmission in the event that application criteria are not met.
  • International applicants located outside of the USA will have the option to submit a video presentation instead of attending in person. These finalists will be notified and will need to arrange to submit their video prior to March 27, 2017.

For those finalists selected among the top five to present their company at the showcase, a presentation length of eight minutes will be strictly enforced. PowerPoint slides are allowed, with a six-slide maximum. Slides MUST be submitted no later than March 27, 2017.  Presenters will have the opportunity to respond to audience questions following the presentations.

The Innovation Competition presented by Polsinelli and Corporate Venturing program will be held on April 4, 2017 at the 5-Star Worldwide Conference Center, 161 N. Clark Street, 12th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601.  Additional information on the program will be available to all entrants. 

About Our Sponsor
Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 800 attorneys in 20 offices, serving corporations, institutions, and entrepreneurs nationally. Recently ranked #17* for client service excellence among firms servicing Fortune 500 clients, the firm has risen more than 50 spots in Am Law's annual firm ranking over the past five years. Polsinelli attorneys provide practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, mid-market corporate, labor and employment, and business litigation. Polsinelli attorneys have depth of experience in 100 service areas and 70 industries.The firm can be found at Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in California. *2017 BTI Client Service A-Team Report.
L to R: Adam Weiss, Polsinelli; Piero Salvo, GAME Consultants; John Slagter, Mackinac; Susan Sprentall, SurClean; Winner Deepinder Singh, 75F; Claire Tramm, Effortless Energy; and Tony Nasharr, Polsinelli.
Past Competition Video Highlights  
See more highlights from the 2014 Polsinelli Innovation Competition
L to R:  First runner-up Bruce Toyama, VP of Product Development of BessTech; winner of the 2015 Polsinelli Innovation Competition, Mike Pintar, COO of NETenergy; sponsor Tony Nasharr of Polsinelli; and second runner-up Mark Hope, CEO of Pegasus Sustainability Solutions.
L to R:  Kelly Burris, Burris Law, PLCC; Susan Sprentall, SurClean, Inc.; and Allen Dines, WICS Partners