Showcase Presenters

Carrot

18 May 2017
Presenter: Michael Antaran, Founder

CARROT is a mobile health & wellness program that motivates participants on an individual level. Its proprietary algorithm allows members to compete equally for rewards, providing instant gratification for meeting personalized goals. CARROT's easy-to-manage program delivers three times the engagement at one-sixth the cost of traditional fitness initiatives.

Michael Antaran is the Founder and CEO of Marvel Apps, an independent software company based in Royal Oak. A lifelong Metro Detroiter, Michael earned degrees from Wayne State and Central Michigan before spending 15 years as a powertrain engineer with Chrysler and General Motors. Michael took the lessons learned in the auto industry - primarily, a focus on customer experience - to successfully guide his own company.

Since 2008, Marvel Apps has specialized in creating fun, engaging mobile games - and in January 2016, they gamified health and wellness with an innovative program called "CARROT".

Update - Year 1:

The number of CARROT clients has tripled in the last year; 25-plus organizations now offer CARROT to nearly 90,000 paid users (employees).

A promising new B-to-B channel, “CARROT for Community Health”, was recently introduced with Beaumont Health launching the program in Metro Detroit. CARROT is the high-tech centerpiece to support Beaumont’s community health efforts at its eight regional hospitals. CARROT is currently in negotiations with several other community health organizations.  

In the first quarter of 2018, CARROT raised $40,000 through Netcapital.com, a crowdfunding platform. CARROT is in the process of raising another round to allow the company to boost its sales and marketing efforts globally.

Looking ahead, CARROT will introduce “CARROT Premium” with the launch of CARROT 3.0 in Q3 2018. For a monthly fee (an in-app purchase), “Premium” will allow any user worldwide to enjoy the same benefits as participants in a CARROT wellness program. CARROT is also finalizing gamified twists to address two other foundational elements of wellness – nutrition and sleep.

Spellbound

18 May 2017
Presenter: Christina York, Founder & CEO

Christina York - SpellboundSpellBound is a therapeutic tool that uses augmented reality technology to calm children before medical procedures and increase their cooperation with treatment. SpellBound’s 3D experiences are being used in top-tier pediatric hospitals to distract during painful procedures and encourage motor skill rehabilitation, reducing trauma for children and cost of care for hospitals.

Christina York is the founder and CEO of SpellBound, an Ann Arbor-based technology startup that is anchoring the $95Bn augmented reality industry in the Midwest. Christina comes from a user experience background and spent 15 years designing technology solutions for health care and higher ed, building high-performing teams and managing 7-figure budgets. She holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a Master’s in Information Science and is active in the STEM movement in southeastern Michigan.

Update - Year 1:

SpellBound is a digital pain and anxiety management tool that is used by hospital therapists to get patients to cooperate with medical treatment. Since we were part of NEF (pitching in May 2017), we have gone from 8 to 21 hospitals as customers, seen revenue grow by 210% over Q2 last year, and now have 3 FTEs and 5 contract to round out our team. SpellBound was recognized at Accelerate Michigan this year, making it to the top 10 and taking home the People’s Choice award. We’ve also started to raise a seed round to fuel our growth and have a lead investor out of Chicago.

Clingfish

20 April 2017
Presenter: Tasneen Bowe, CEO & Co-Founder

A patented vacuum accessory mount that allows use on aluminum-bodied vehicles without damaging the roof or any interior or external elements.

As the CEO and Co-Founder of Clingfish Products, Tasneen Bowe is responsible for running all facets of the business. Tasneen has a proven executive management track record and over 10 years of experience driving sales, strategy, and marketing strategies in the real estate, retail, and technology industries. She serves on the board of directors for The Women’s Council of Washtenaw County. In addition, Ms. Bowe earned a BA in Marketing from Eastern Michigan University and a Certified Associates in Project Management accreditation.

MySwimPro

16 March 2017
Presenter: Fares Ksebati, Co-Founder & CEO

MySwimPro is the #1 fitness application for swimmers around the world. The mobile application for iPhone and Android delivers personalized swim workouts, instructional video content and detailed analytics so swimmers can improve their performance and health. Apple named MySwimPro the Best Watch App of 2016 and the company has been featured on the home page of the App store and in Sports Illustrated and numerous international sports-technology publications.

Fares is the Co-Founder and CEO of MySwimPro. A fitness application that helps swimmers achieve their goals. He is a former collegiate swimmer, U.S. Masters swimming national champion and American Swim Coaches Association Fellow. The company has received international accolades by Apple and has been featured in Sports Illustrated and on the home page of the App Store. Without further delay, I'd like to introduce you to Fares of MySwimPro.

Update - Year 1:

Since last March, TMySwimPro has made significant traction and developed global partnerships. The team successfully raised a round of equity crowdfunding that included over 150 angel investors and venture capitalists meanwhile doubling their conversion rate to premium subscribers. MySwimPro has grown revenue by more than 40% for the last 7 consecutive quarters. The team has brought on a full-time Marketing Director and is actively hiring.

MySwimPro launched the world's first swimming app for the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch and recently initiated a partnership with CASIO for their Android Wear App. The company's CEO, Fares Ksebati was just in Tokyo, Japan speaking at the CASIO press event discussing the partnership. They received the TechTown on Tap Labs Award presented by Ernst & Young, and there are more product and partnership announcements that will be forthcoming. 

Melius Outcomes (TM)

16 February 2017
Presenter: AkkeNeel Talsma, CEO & Founder

AkkeNeel Talsma - Melius CEO & FounderMelius Outcomes™ is a cloud-based software/services solution for hospital clinicians to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.  Using a hospital’s existing electronic health records (EHR) system, Melius identifies point-of-care quality issues and then provides evidence-based recommendations and training videos to correct them.

AkkeNeel Talsma is the Founder and CEO of Melius Outcomes. Dr. Talsma led the development of a prototype data methodology from initial concept to a 25-hospital pilot demonstrating significantly improved surgical patient outcomes. She has over 20 years of clinical performance improvement expertise and is a noted international speaker on quality and safety. Dr. Talsma completed her graduate nursing education from the University of Michigan.

Update - Year 1:

Melius Outcomes has seen great progress in 2017 with the addition of a business development officer, Erik Lovell. We have also rounded out our technical capacity (database developer, analytics) and our targeted market information.  We received two years of data from a previous pilot hospital that is used for demo purposes. Melius has started working with a Michigan health system (8 hospitals) to implement the Melius measures for a prototype version. Fundraising in 2017 includes an initial round from the founders, MedHealth ($10K) and completion of BAF allocated projects. We are working on a pre-seed round ($300k) and are pursuing private investors and grant opportunities to complete the MVP and develop customers in our target market. 

Ripple Science

17 November 2016
Presenter: Nestor Lopez-Duran, Founder

Ripple is a HIPAA-compliant web-based tool that facilitates the recruitment and management of research participants for clinical studies.

Research participant under-enrollment is an endemic problem in the life sciences, with over 70% of clinical trials not meeting their recruitment targets.  In fact, participant under-enrollment is the #1 reason why clinical trials fail. Our solution is Ripple, a HIPAA-compliant web-based tool that facilitates the recruitment and management of research participants.  Ripple provides teams with new marketing skills via an innovative campaign creation and management tool, more time via extensive marketing automation tools, and better insight into their performance through smart regional analytics.  Ripple accelerates the entire research lifecycle by increasing the recruitment and retention of research participants.

Dr. Nestor Lopez-Duran is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. He conducts clinical translational research on the development of mood disorders in children and adolescents.  He is also an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Ripple, a HIPAA-compliant web-based that facilitates the recruitment and management of research participants for clinical studies. Under his direction, Ripple evolved from a simple idea to a comprehensive cloud utility that transformed the process of research participant recruitment. In his spare time, Dr. Lopez-Duran is an avid sailor who plans to one day circumnavigate the globe.

Update - Year 1:

Ripple is a web-based software that facilitates the recruitment and management of participants for clinical and translational studies. 2017 has been a defining year for Ripple Science as we achieved multiple major milestones. First, and most importantly, we launched our first product commercially in January. We also hired our first full-time employee and now have 4 employees and the two co-founders working for the company. We raised a first seed round of funding with the participation of Invest Detroit (First Capital Fund), Invest Michigan, and the Monroe Brown fund. Finally, since the launch, we have 28 paying clinical research laboratories at 24 Universities in the USA and the UK using our platform to manage over 20,000 clinical participants. In 2018, we plan to expand into industry clinical trials and begin selling enterprise-level licenses to large Universities and Academic Medical Centers. 

Parabricks

20 October 2016
Presenter: Mehrzad Samadi, Founder

Parabricks provides accelerated 'data-to-insight' DNA analysis in one hour, which enables hospitals and clinics to provide targeted, life-saving, patient-specific treatments.

Parabricks provides access to personalized medicine for each and every patient.  It accelerates data to insight for DNA analysis in one hour instead of days, which enables hospitals and clinics to provide patient-specific medicine and care.  Their software runs on the cloud and is positioned to meet the phenomenal challenges of personalized medicine.  It was founded by researchers in the Dept. of Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan and is based in Ann Arbor.

Mehrzad Samadi, Ph.D. University of Michigan, is the CEO of Parabricks.  He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2014.  He has pioneered several technologies to accelerate software by orders of magnitude.  His work has been recognized by more 20 conference and journal papers.  He has received numerous awards, including the Young Innovator Award, the I-Corps top team award, the Towner prize, and the MICRO Best Paper Award.  He has also worked as a researcher at Microsoft research. 

 

PlanetXLaw

15 September 2016
Presenter: Bert Tiger Whitehead, Founder

Software that enables lawyers to profitably provide more affordable legal services to more clients at lower costs.

Brightable

15 September 2016
Presenter: David Vanker, Founder & CEO

Brightable helps teams work together on anything, from anywhere. The cloud-based platform visually organizes and prioritizes shared content and related conversations, so you can see everything you’re working on and what needs to be done next. Brightable doesn't make the work easier, but it does make working easier.

Update - Year 1:

Brightable.com is a fresh take on the team collaboration concept, focusing not on a chat thread or isolated, fragmented cloud storage but on your working content - all the stuff you share with your colleagues, customers and partners.

Shortly after presenting at the NEF Showcase, we began a modest Google Adwords campaign, which has produced more than 100 new-account signups.  Seeking to ramp up our ad spending and add key hires in marketing and software engineering, Brightable continues to aggressively seek an equity investment in the four to five hundred thousand dollar ($400,000-500,000) range.  Reach out to info@brightable.com if you’re interested in hearing more – or sign up today at Brightable.com.

TrueJob

28 July 2016
Presenter: Scott Goci - Founder

TrueJob has built a site that asks smart questions that let job candidates and recruiters get to know each other better and applies matching technology to reduce effort and speed the recruiting process.  TrueJob changes how you find your next job.

Update - Year 1:
In the past 12 months, a lot has happened with TrueJob. We partnered with Ann Arbor SPARK to replace their job board, and we are now Ann Arbor's biggest site for jobs. We also brought on a third person to the team, Brenda Jones, and have 2 interns from Eastern Michigan University helping us out.
 
Using our experience with Ann Arbor SPARK, we are now focused on selling TrueJob to other communities that need a job board. We think we can use our technology to help other Economic Development Organizations, Schools, Trade Associations, and many more to help job seekers and employers find each other more easily.

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