DDOT coaches

Tired of the long, complicated commutes that many Detroiters face on a daily basis? Here’s your chance to do something about it.

IdeaMarket, a San Fransisco based marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with pre-funded ideas, is now accepting applications for the Detroit Transportation Challenge.

Solid public transportation is a necessity when it comes to continuing Detroit’s revitalization. People need to get to and from work efficiently, and right now, that’s not happening across Detroit.
At study done by the Michigan section of the U.S. Public Interest Group found that Detroit ranked 40th out of the nation’s 70 largest cities when it comes to offering high-tech transportation options.
There’s obviously room for improvement in Detroit’s public transportation landscape, and the Detroit Transportation Challenge wants to help facilitate that change.
With better transportation, Detroit has the potential to become better networked and attract even more investment. There’s also the positive effect that reliable transportation has on jobs and education. Detroiters will be able to work and attend school consistently, which helps the city economically.

The Challenge is a call for entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, and creative thinkers alike to craft an innovative solution that significantly improves transportation in Detroit, with a focus on public transportation. The winning team will receive an investment of cash and services of up to $250,000 to help establish a new company in Detroit.

The deadline for submitting applications is December 15, 2015. Finalists will be notified by January 15, 2016, and the winning team will be announced in February. By March 1, 2016, IdeaMarket expects to have the startup formed and funded.

If you’re interested in participating in the Detroit Transportation Challenge, click here to create an IdeaMarket account and start an application.

Applications will be reviewed by the Challenge’s Evaluation Panel. The panel will evaluate the proposed solutions based on the following parameters:

  • Efficiency
  • Reliability
  • Safety
  • Scalability
  • Convenience

One winning team with receive funding that includes:

  • Up to $100,000 in capital investment or convertible loan for solution/product development pilot
  • Up to $100,000 in hosting infrastructure provided by Google Cloud for Startups
  • Up to $50,000 in design and marketing services
  • A trip to Silicon Valley to learn about the local startup ecosystem
  • Technology and business support from IdeaMarket’s partners and startup infrastructure
  • Access to IdeaMarket’s 300 mentors and subject matter experts associated with the Challenge

After the Challenge is over, IdeaMarket will take a five percent stake in the resulting company. The winning team will enter the incubation phase, which will give it time to form a company, develop the solution product, market the solution, recruit the core team, and start subsequent fundraising.

Once the incubation phase is over, the winning team will have the opportunity to present their developed solution at a Demo Day, tentatively scheduled for May 2016.

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