ZURICH (News release) - Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging solutions, announced it has launched an Amcor Lift-Off session dedicated to Michigan State University (MSU) with the support of the MSU Research Foundation and its network. The program offers an opportunity for early-stage start-ups from MSU and its wider network to win up to $250,000 in seed funding. Additionally, through collaboration with the MSU's Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, MSU student teams will compete for a grant of up to $10,000. This initiative follows the April 20 opening of the newly renovated MSU School of Packaging building, a program Amcor supported with a $10 million investment that included the establishment of an Endowed Chair of Packaging Sustainability.
Start-ups and student teams who participate in the Lift-Off program are invited to present their ideas within one of six focus areas: alternative barriers; smart and connected packaging; new business models; biomaterials; fiber; and recycling. Up to eight start-ups and student projects will then be shortlisted to present their innovations to a team of Amcor leaders in a pitch event at MSU on Nov. 2, 2023. Winners may have additional investment opportunities from Red Cedar Ventures and Michigan Rise - subsidiaries of the MSU Research Foundation - that could provide greater access to seed funding.
Entries will be assessed on the merit of their technology, business model, and scalability, as well as how well they fit within Amcor's existing operations. Winning start-ups will have an opportunity to take their packaging innovations to the next level through a combination of funding, access to Amcor's world-class research and development teams, and inclusion in the MSU Research Foundation entrepreneurial ecosystem in Michigan.
Amcor's Vice President of Corporate Venturing and Open Innovation, Frank Lehmann, said, 'Since its inception a year ago, the Amcor Lift-Off program has led to several key partnerships with early-stage start-ups in the packaging space. Our collaborative approach is helping pave the way for the next generation of innovators, and we're excited to see ground-breaking ideas from the teams at MSU.'
'We're thrilled to collaborate with Amcor on this Lift-Off program to provide MSU start-ups, student teams, and local businesses with access to funding and resources to advance their packaging innovations,' said Dr. Brad Fingland, Director of Venture Creation at the MSU Research Foundation's Spartan Innovations. 'This initiative aligns with our mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurship while creating economic opportunities for the state of Michigan.'