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Jan. 17, 2024

MSU Research Foundation announces Conquer Startup Accelerator in Detroit

The Michigan State University Research Foundation announces the launch of its Conquer Accelerator program for health care-related startup businesses in Detroit. Building upon the success of the program in East Lansing and Grand Rapids, this new accelerator offers programming, mentorship, and investment opportunities that emerge from the Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences partnership.

Tom Stewart, Director of Venture Programming at the MSU Research Foundation, expressed his excitement about the expansion, saying, "We've supported startups in various industries over the past eight years, and working with the Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences partnership will be a great compliment to the work our organizations are already doing."

Michigan’s thriving health care industry and Detroit’s strategic location make it an ideal base for a healthcare-focused accelerator program. In 2021, Henry Ford Health and Michigan State University Health Sciences announced a 30-year partnership focused on setting new standards for how individuals and communities experience care within the state of Michigan and across the nation.

“Henry Ford has been a leader in clinical research and innovation for over 100 years,” said Lisa Prasad, vice president and chief innovation officer at Henry Ford Innovations. “Collaborating with the MSU Research Foundation and MSU Health Sciences underscores our commitment to advancing research, innovation and community impact.”

The Henry Ford + Michigan State University Health Sciences partnership has introduced expanded research and a new MSU College of Human Medicine campus at Henry Ford Hospital. In 2022, the partnership announced the funding of nearly $1 million in cancer research grants, with 40 percent of initiatives addressing disparities in cancer outcomes. The National Institutes of Health has recognized the partnership as a single, aligned research organization.

"The future of healthcare is not just in the discovery of new treatments, but in how we deliver care and engage patients using technology and innovation," said Norman Beauchamp, executive vice president for MSU Health Sciences, director for the MSU Research Foundation and Board Chair for the Henry Ford + MSU Health Sciences partnership. "This new startup accelerator compliments the Henry Ford + MSU partnership by engaging with healthcare innovators that can help bring advancements to the marketplace, while catalyzing economic growth in Detroit."

All startups are encouraged to apply; however, the program will give preference to healthcare and health tech businesses. The Conquer team will select five Detroit-based startups for the 2024 cohort, offering comprehensive startup support, mentorship, and the potential for investment through the MSU Research Foundation, upon successful completion.

Applications for the Conquer Detroit Accelerator are open until January 31, and the program will commence on March 11. The program will have a hybrid format, with the initial week taking place in Detroit, providing participants with access to the city's vibrant resources and networks.

For more information about the Conquer Detroit Accelerator and details on the application process, visit

This story originally ran on the MSU Research Foundation website.


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