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Driving Innovation and Growth
Press Release
October 28, 2014

75F Wins 2014 Polsinelli Innovation Competition 
Michigan-Based Companies SurClean, Inc. and The Mackinac Technology Company Named Runners-Up

CHICAGO – Global Midwest Alliance today announced that 75F is the winner of the 2014 Polsinelli Innovation Competition. 75F offers an HVAC control solution that addresses the wide temperature imbalances in light commercial buildings. The competition was held on October 23 during the Alliance's annual clean tech industry program, Trends in Clean Technology, which featured the Polsinelli Innovation Competition showcase. 75F is also the recent winner of the Minnesota Cup and Rise of the Rest Road Trip competitions. Two Michigan companies – SurClean, Inc., based in Wixom, and the Mackinac Technology Company, based in Grand Rapids – were runners-up in the 

​“Entering the Polsinelli Innovation Competition made us really focus on the core of our business and hone the pitch," said Deepinder Singh, CEO of winner 75F. "Sharing our technology with a luminary audience is huge for exposure, and winning the competition is validation that industry thought leaders approve of our technology and business strategy.” 

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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.
75F offers a HVAC control solution that addresses the wide temperature imbalances in light commercial buildings. 75F's system offers per room individual temperature control while saving 40% in energy costs. A combination of wireless sensors and patented dampers cuts installation labor by 80% over traditional zone control systems with a three-year payback.

Two Michigan companies were runners-up in the 6th annual Polsinelli Innovation Competition. The first runner-up, SurClean, Inc., based in Wixom, MI, was represented at the competition by Chief Executive Officer Susan Sprentall. SurClean Inc., an emerging company has disruptive laser technology that selectively removes paint, debris, oxides and other surface coatings from almost any type of surface. Aircraft, ships, and other major assets require regular surface stripping for mandated inspections and maintenance.

Second runner-up, The Mackinac Technology Company, based in Grand Rapids, MI and represented by President John Slagter, has developed a transparent, color neutral, diamond‐like coating material for polymer substrates. The coating is used in a retrofit window insulation system that can provide R‐13 performance at prices points low enough to achieve payback in three to five years.

Rounding out the top five competition finalists were two additional companies: Chicago-based Effortless Energy, a residential energy services company that uses finance and software-as-a-service to help homeowners get cost-effective home upgrades at no cost to them, and GAME Consultants USA Inc., based in Port St. Lucie, Florida, a specialized consulting firm that provides a full range of live drinking water main condition assessment using various JD7 Technologies from the UK. 

The Polsinelli Innovation Competition helps emerging and venture-ready clean and green tech companies gain visibility for their technology and make connections with early-stage investors, researchers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and financiers that are focused on clean technologies, along with corporate R&D and business development executives. Entries are judged by a panel of experts from regional universities, venture capitalists and business executives familiar with clean and green technologies.

Entries in the competition were required to provide solutions to global challenges in such areas as environmental technologies, renewable and alternative energy, infrastructure and community improvements, or green building science. Those solutions must offer competitive returns for investors and customers. Products, services and processes eligible for entry must improve and promote the productive and responsible use of natural resources; reduce or eliminate negative ecological impact; and provide superior performance at lower costs compared to other approaches.  

In addition to a cash prize awarded to the top three finalists, winner 75F received a Tech Start-Up Legal Service Package valued at $10,000, which was sponsored by Polsinelli. Marengo Hampshire Associates, a senior executive recruiting firm, has offered the winner $10,000 of in-kind services towards an executive level search.

The Polsinelli Innovation Competition is presented by the Global Midwest Alliance and the Midwest Research University Network and sponsored by the law firm of Polsinelli and Marengo Hampshire Partners.

About Our Sponsors
Polsinelli is a first generation Am Law 100 firm serving corporations, institutions, entrepreneurs and individuals nationally. Our attorneys successfully build enduring client relationships by providing practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and with a passion for assisting General Counsel and CEOs in achieving their objectives. Polsinelli is ranked 18th in number of U.S. partners and has more than 740 attorneys in 19 offices. Profiled by The American Lawyer and ranked as the fastest growing U.S. law firm over a six-year period, the firm focuses on healthcare, financial services, real estate, life sciences and technology, energy and business litigation, and has depth of experience in 100 service areas and 70 industries. The firm can be found online at

The Midwest Research University Network (MRUN) is a commercialization collaborative focused on fostering the formation and growth of high tech start-ups in the Midwest. MRUN members include individuals engaged in venture formation at universities and research institutions, investors, entrepreneurs and those who help them. All are either in, or interested in, the Midwest. The MRUN community helps members make connections informally to solve common problems in startup business development including, angel and seed–stage financing, placement of management talent and opportunities for collaboration. MRUN is built around the idea that working together regionally in new business formation can accomplish more than working independently locally. For more information:

Marengo Hampshire Partners was founded on the belief that there is a better way to serve our clients in executing senior level executive search than the alternatives being offered by large and traditional executive search firms. Our clients' interests always come first and we are committed to providing a level of service that exceeds that of our competitors. For more information:

Global Midwest Alliance is a business-led, region-wide, not-for-profit education organization dedicated to transforming the Midwest into an internationally recognized leader in innovation and business growth. The Alliance aligns and integrates resources throughout the Midwest helping businesses to grow by leveraging existing resources to develop new products and find customers throughout the world. The Alliance is the Private Sector Liaison Office for the World Bank and a member of Global CONNECT. Through these and other affiliations, the Alliance facilitates access to global business opportunities for Midwest business. The Alliance offers educational opportunities through a variety of programs and resources designed to promote innovation, technology development and access to global opportunities in the clean technology, energy, food, logistics, manufacturing and water industries. For more information, visit