Ann Arbor, Michigan: Entrepreneur Coaching for Investment Opportunity

New Enterprise Forum (NEF) is an Ann Arbor-based not-for-profit corporation
founded in 1986 to help entrepreneurs prosper and grow.

For more than 25 years we've linked entrepreneurs to management expertise, potential joint venture partners, mentors, business services, capital, and other critical resources. Since its founding, NEF has been a model for similar groups and a magnet for entrepreneurs and investors throughout Michigan and the Midwest. Our success has captured national media attention and is unique among organizations of its kind in longevity, dynamism, and the number of deals assisted.

If you share in our passion of helping entrepreneurs succeed, you will want to explore the services we offer. We offer many opportunities to participate whether you are:

  • An entrepreneur seeking capital
  • A service provider or consultant wanting to get involved
  • A student who wants to learn more from experts
  • An investor searching for business opportunities
  • An entrepreneurial organization looking for project collaboration

You have come to the right place to get connected.

Next Event

NEF Pitch Pit - Trick or Treat?

Date: Thursday, 16 October 2014 - 5:00 pm   

Location: Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

Three entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $100 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

The three entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Zachary Lewis of Phone Bar - providing cell phone charging stations for events .
  • Phil Mather of Speedsters Indoor Kart Racing - providing European style indoor cart racing for kids and adults.
  • Kevin Hagedorn of Metastable Materials, Inc. - providing magnetic labels to improve point-of-care medical diagnostic devices.

Pitch Pit Judges:

Arcadio Ramirez, a Technology Business Consultant for the State of Michigan, advises technology companies preparing to raise private equity. As an attorney he worked with venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital, Benchmark, New Enterprise Associates, Mayfield Fund and Institutional Venture, and with the Silicon Valley investment banking community on public offerings such as Apple, Seagate, Atari and Atmel. He started and sold two companies, including one of the first venture-funded transaction-based Internet sites, Do It Sports, raising over a million dollars in private equity, selling the company to He earned his J.D. from Stanford Law and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Francis Glorie, Director of International Sales for Tangent Medical Technologies, Inc., has more than 25 years of successful experience in international executive management, consulting, and entrepreneurship. He has been involved with several startups, turnarounds and successful exits. Past roles include: Director of International Sales at Accuri Cytometers, Inc.; Managing Director – Europe at DataCore Software Corporation; CEO at MicroWarehouse – France; and Founder, Senior Vice President, and CFO at Irwin Magnetics. He earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a BBA from Skema Business School in France.

Nancy Benovich Gilby Ehrenberg Director of Entrepreneurship, Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. She has done ten high tech startups, with eight successful exits to date, twelve new market products launched, and has been involved in twelve rounds of venture capital funding. Nancy focuses on bringing great ideas to market and driving their adoption. She is a mentor to University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) Student Teams and two girls robotics competition teams. She earned her BSE in Computer and Electrical Engineering and her MSE in Computer Engineering, both from University of Michigan.

Showcase Presenter

Blue Water Satellite

Presenter: Milt Baker, CEO

Blue Water Satellite (BWS) uses satellite imaging and proprietary image processing to monitor the world's land and water resources.

Today, companies want high value information on land and water resources globally to increase sales (i.e., resource extraction) and cut costs (i.e., lower remediation costs). This information was previously unavailable at a reasonable cost. BWS is able to provide customers information on minerals, chemical, and biological constituents for a fraction of the cost of traditional ground sampling. In addition BWS technology provides much higher data density, faster cycle time, wider area of coverage, historical archives back to 1984 and early detection as competitive advantages over traditional methods. The Company holds exclusive licenses to six issued US patents with six more pending.

The company's focus is in four major verticals; Oil and Gas, Power Utilities, Agriculture, and Environmental Engineering companies. The company has acquired a number of customers including a super major oil and gas customer, a major pipeline operator, four of the world's largest power utilities, and five of the world's largest environmental engineering firms. BWS has recently been named a partner by Google for its Earth Engine and Maps Engine products.

The company has been selling for four years with anticipated 2014 sales in excess of $1 M.

learn more:

Showcase Presenter


Presenter: Daniel Riess, CEO

Simpathic creates software that automates clinical training. Our software analyzes and reproduces physician diagnostic expertise, allowing it to take on and augment certain roles of a doctor. Our first adaptation of this technology is to create a digitized teaching physician. Demands on physicians are on the rise, especially with the vast injection of insured patients into the American medical market. At the same time, physicians operating independently see 25% more patients than when they are training students. In our customer discovery we learned that this 25% represents a $4.3 billion loss every year to American medical schools. Simpathic is creating a digital physician that can offload the teaching burden from doctors and make students more efficient, reducing student-driven inefficiency from 25% to 15%, representing a value to American medical schools of $2.58 billion.