News
August 24, 2015
In cooperation with the Midwest Global Alliance, Polsinelli announces its seventh annual Innovation Competition.

The competition showcase and award ceremony is being held on November 12, 2015, during the Accelerating Business Growth Through Corporate Venturing program, which will focus on the Midwest's excellence in technology innovation, products and services, with experts contributing their insights on the benefits, hurdles and strategic rationale of corporate venturing in this environment.

Competition entries are due on August 28. A link to the entry form is available from the Global Midwest Alliance website at www.globalmidwestalliance.org.

The Polsinelli Innovation Competition was created by the Global Midwest Alliance to help emerging and venture ready technology companies gain visibility and make connections within and beyond the Midwest region, which is home to key players in the manufacturing, clean technology, energy, logistics, food and water industries. The winner receives $10,000 in free legal services from Polsinelli, as well as a host of other benefits noted in the competition rules and policies.

This year’s competition is unique in that it focuses on connecting innovators with corporate investors looking for new opportunities and partnerships, rather than independent venture capitalists.

“In many key segments of the economy, like energy and agriculture, there’s a lot more corporate venture funding available than private venture capital,” says Shez Bandukwala, an advisor to clean technology companies for KPMG Corporate Finance. “But some entrepreneurs are reluctant to pursue it, as it does require more care and strategy going in. The corporation wants a relationship with the enterprise, perhaps becoming their exclusive, or at least primary, customer. Still, the opportunities are such that these deals can be well worth the extra effort it might take to make them happen.”

Bandukwala will be a judge in this year’s competition, along with Polsinelli shareholders James Asmussen, Michael Rosenthal and panel of industry and investment experts.

“Being part of this competition is always exciting,” Asmussen says, “because we get a real preview of where innovation is heading and we develop relationships with the enterprises we know will be industry leaders in the future.”

“People might think of venture investing as being the stuff of dot-coms and software companies,” adds Rosenthal, “but the fact is that ‘real world’ industries, like logistics and food and manufacturing are driving incredible innovations as well. And there is enthusiasm on the part of the business community to be part of this great research and development.”

This year’s top five entrants, as rated by the judging panel, will present their technology during the November 12 showcase program to an audience of corporate R&D and business development executives, financiers and entrepreneurs. Their presentations will be rated by the audience and a select group of evaluators and the winner will be announced at the end of the half-day long program.


About Polsinelli

Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with 750 attorneys in 18 offices, serving corporations, institutions, entrepreneurs and individuals nationally. Ranked in the top five percent of law firms for client service and top five percent of firms for innovating new and valuable services*, the firm has risen more than 100 spots in Am Law’s annual firm ranking over the past six years. Polsinelli attorneys provide practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, life sciences and technology, and business litigation. Polsinelli attorneys have depth of experience in 100 service areas and 70 industries. The firm can be found online at www.polsinelli.com. Polsinelli PC. In California, Polsinelli LLP. *BTI Client Service A-Team 2015 and BTI Brand Elite 2015

About Global Midwest Alliance

Global Midwest Alliance is a 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. 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 www.globalmidwestalliance.org.