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The “Final Ten” for the ACE Challenge have been chosen for the 15th Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurs (ACE ‘15) evening program.

January 15, 2015

ANN ARBOR, MI January 15, 2015 – Ten promising entrepreneurs have been chosen as ACE Challenge finalists from a broad range of applicants and each will give three-minute presentations to showcase their ventures during the evening program on January 29.

With eight hundred attendees expected at ACE’15, the ACE Challenge guarantees the finalists a high visibility opportunity to present their companies to a large and significant audience. 

The finalists include:
• Valerie Obenchain, Advanced Interactive Response Systems (Newaygo)
• Kevin Kesseler, AsystBio (East Lansing)
• Andrew Zimmerman, Civionics (Ann Arbor)
• David Porter, Clavis Sinica (Ann Arbor)
• Marshall Khwaja, Exo Dynamics (Ann Arbor)
• Nevin Brittain, Health Numeric (East Lansing)
• John Lopes, Microcide, Inc. (Sterling Heights)
• Alex VanDerKolk, Mountain Labs (Ann Arbor)
• Barak Leibovitz, Seat Side Service (Ann Arbor)
• Lauren Shampo, Transcuro, LLC (Fenton)

The ACE Challenge winner will receive media recognition, a professionally filmed copy of their presentation on the ACE’15 website for a year, and $5,000 cash.  Barak Leibovitz, founder and CEO of Seat Side Service, one of the finalists, captures the spirit of the competition, “The ACE Challenge provides our organization with a unique opportunity to share our entrepreneurial journey and give back to the local ecosystem that’s fostered our growth.” 

ACE ’15 will be Michigan’s standout entrepreneurial event in 2015. It’s a not-to-be-missed opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn, network and make important connections.  ACE ’15 attendees will represent a Who’s Who of the Michigan entrepreneurial scene and include innovative entrepreneurs, investors, support professionals, and subject matter experts.

Online registration is only $25; tickets at the door are $40.  Registration for ACE’15 is open and details on the Thursday, January 29, event can be found at

About the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship
The Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) began as an Ann Arbor event in 2000.  In 15 years, it has grown from a modest local business-building event into the largest event of its kind in Michigan.  Partner organizations and lead sponsors include: MiQuest, MIT Alliance of Michigan, New Enterprise Forum, Ann Arbor SPARK, Atomic Object, Automation Alley, Brinks Gilson & Lione, Comcast Business, Howard & Howard, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Rehmann, and the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.  For more event information visit

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