2018 Quarterfinals in Ann Arbor

11th Annual Global Automotive & Mobility Innovation Challenge

Ann Arbor Quarterfinals

Ann Arbor Spark Central, 330 East Liberty Street, Lower Level, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 5:00 PM – 8:30 PM


MI Innovation Alliance and SAE invite anyone interested in innovation and entrepreneurship to join us to connect with innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and businesses. The Southeast Michigan Quarter-finals of the 11th Annual Global Automotive & Mobility Innovation Challenge (GAMIC) will be held at Ann Arbor Spark. Six teams will compete to move up to semi-finals.

Our mission is to seek out new and innovative companies in the transportation and mobility space and help them reduce their time-to-market for commercialization. Our applicants come from around the world. Our alumni are already in production as Tier 2 suppliers; have licensed their technology to major Tier 1 suppliers; and/or have received development contracts or government funding to further their product development.

GAMIC provides early stage start‐ups with an opportunity for competition‐prep coaching and targeted exposure to decision‐makers, in addition to over $350,000 of in‐kind acceleration services and cash awards for the GAMIC winners. GAMIC competition:

  • Identifies innovative companies in the automotive and mobility spaces,
    • Cultivates new technologies and solutions, and
    • Helps facilitate more-rapid and seamless path to commercialization.

The GAMIC Quarter-finals also provides introductions to leading technology and investment perspectives for high value automotive technologies and innovations.


5:00 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.  | Networking, Innovator Tabletop Displays, Appetizers

5:50 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  | Welcome, GAMIC / SAE Leadership Team

6:00 p.m. – 6:25 p.m.  | Keynote Speaker, Fred Cartwright, Jr., President, Pruv Mobility Ecosystem

6:25 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  | Introduction to judges and judging criteria

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  | Program Presentations (Six teams to present)

8:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  | Semi-finalist Selection Announcement

Pitch Presentations:

Hear 10-minute business plan pitches from six (6) breakthrough start-up firms addressing automotive mobility innovation needs. Two teams will be presenting remotely using video conferencing. The presenting companies are:

Bedestrian LLC, Shadi T. Mere,CEO.  Bedestrian is an innovative driverless vehicle system, for use in the delivery of goods and service via a nimble, lead robot and a modular, cost-effective trailer. In addition to demonstrating remote and hybrid autonomous vehicle capability, we are incorporating various emerging technologies into our INFOBOTICS™ platform, including machine vision, facial recognition and natural language processing.

S3D Precision Dispensing, Mike Vitek, CEO.  The introduction of responsive and active surfaces is changing the way consumers will interact with their vehicles; providing new ways to activate lights, lock and unlock doors, raise and lower windows, control interior heating and cooling, and other personalized interior conditions. Our patented technology allows for integrated dispensing of smart functional components directly onto existing surfaces. These devices can be designed to meet the resolution and material diversity requirements of the next generation electronics.

The Nickel Ride, Judah Longgrear, CEO. The Nickel Ride literally drives customers to local businesses. Downtown residents and visitors experience a free door-to-door rideshare service. Our environmentally-friendly electric vehicles can be hailed on the street, or booked by phone or mobile app.

Optimotive Technologies, Scott Fairley, CEO.  We’re building one of the first fully camera based localization solutions in order to navigate harsh day-to-day environments. One of the main inhibitors facing today’s autonomous vehicles is that of harsh environments. Whether it’s heavy rain, snow, sleet, damaged road infrastructure or no roads at all, we have your back. Our novel technology, named Lighthouse, will be able to identify where a vehicle is positioned, no matter the road conditions. Designed with hardware simplicity and software robustness, lighthouse will allow for the safe navigation of harsh environments, pushing the autonomous agenda forward.

Vizrom, Emmanuel Umoh, CEO.  Vizrom is developing an electronic license plate to electronically display DMV issued vehicle registration number using an E ink display. In our modern-day technological age, one does not have to queue up in a long line at the DMV to renew their vehicle registration. The process is time consuming, antiquated and poses a great deal of inconvenience. Vizrom is solving this problem with a smart license plate. The device will allow users to automate the renewal of their vehicle registration without the need to go to the DMV.

Voxel51, Sheikh Shuvo, CEO.  Voxel51 has created advanced computer vision technology that allows automotive research teams to process, index, search, and understand their massive amounts of video data in order to make smart perception model development and vehicle-behavior analysis decisions.

Keynote Speaker:

Frederick M. Cartwright, Jr., President, Pruv Mobility Ecosystem. Fred Cartwright was appointed president of Pruv Mobility Ecosystem in early 2018, following five years as the Executive Director of the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Prior to that, Mr. Cartwright was a Vice President with General Motors in Detroit and Germany and an Executive with Allison Transmission in Indianapolis, retiring after 33 years of service. Mr. Cartwright was instrumental in the launch of several new business initiatives within GM, Allison and at CU- ICAR. He holds a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and a Masters in Business Administration from Butler University. Mr. Cartwright is a long time member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and currently sits on the SAE Foundation Board of Directors.


Three esteemed judges will score the teams and provide them feedback.

John Jennings, Global Director of Innovation & Business Development, Linamar Corporation.  John has over 30 years of experience in product engineering, program management, manufacturing and business development. In his current position, he is responsible for scouting new technologies and new markets for future manufacturing business with a focus on commercializing innovation. Linamar Corporation is a global manufacturer of engineered products for the automotive, truck, agriculture, and industrial markets. Prior to his current position, John was the Director of Product Engineering, responsible for global driveline, AWD, hybrid/EV systems, and geared system products. In this role he managed the full product life cycle from advanced R&D and customer design proposals, through the product development phases and production.

John held various engineering and management positions during 20 years at Ford and Visteon in the area of Driveline, Steering and Chassis with significant experience in multinational programs, including three years working in Germany. John holds MS and BS degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Salim Momin is an experienced executive with a strong understanding of the global electronics/semiconductor market and ecosystem, combined with a proven track record in P&L/operations management, development of new products and services, strategic marketing and business development. With strong technical knowledge of automotive electronics and Systems Engineering, Salim has a wide global network of industry contacts at all levels—both at the OEM and the suppliers. Adept at creating vision, developing strategies and executing effective action plans, Salim has a successful track record in taking on challenging problems and creating solutions. He has led design teams which created a range of products: silicon chips, automotive control units, software products, systems level design tools and IOT solutions. He is a respected professional with outstanding communication, negotiation and team-building skills, with the ability to build and maintain relationships at the senior levels.

Salim is entrepreneurial and innovative, having started three new businesses at Freescale Semiconductors Inc. and is the holder/co-holder of several patents. In August 2009, he started his own consulting business and has spent the last nine years working with technology startups in various fields: automotive diagnostics, massively paralleled image processing, MEMS packaging, Power Conversion, IOT, Automotive Mobility, Big Data and factory automation. He is currently on the Business Advisory Board for several startups in addition to serving as Expert in Residence at the Mac-OU Incubator. He is an avid golfer and loves cooking.

Keith Nagara, Director of Industrial Design and Transportation Design Programs, Lawrence Technological University. As the Director and Founder, Keith has held this role since establishing the programs in 2007. Today, the programs have been recognized by industry as one of the leading international design curriculums. Prior to joining LTU, he spent ten years at Ford Motor Company, where he spearheaded multiple projects. One of these projects included the collaboration with the sustainability guru William McDonough, Ford Global Technologies, and Ford’s leadership team by redefining the automotive business model with innovative designs and sustainable concepts. Prior to Ford, Mr. Nagara had been in an advisory and consulting capacity at various companies, including: Cosworth Engineering, Saleen Performance, and FCA.

Mr. Nagara continues to have an active role between industry and academic institutions pioneering new processes and methodologies in areas of mobility, transportation, consumer products, and advanced technologies. His collaborations with industry have resulted in five global patents for a variety of transportation products, as well as the commercialization of other consumer products. Today, he is leading a design and innovation transformation in both the education system as well as industry.


REGISTER HERE for Ann Arbor quarterfinals.

GAMIC 2018 -2019 Programs:

Regional Quarter-Finals are being held this fall in Detroit, MI; Ann Arbor, MI; San Jose, Silicon Valley, CA.

Semi-Final presentations will be held in Metro Detroit in February (location/date TBD).

Our Finals will be held during WCX 19: SAE World Congress at the Cobo Center in Detroit in April 2019, for maximum exposure to its global audience of automotive industry leaders, technologists, and investors.