20 April 2017


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

Financials: Tying Your Financials to Your Story

Showcase Presentation

We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.


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.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Tying Your Financials to Your Story

In addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through understanding importance of financials in presenting your venture to investors. There are certain things investors are looking for in the financials presented by entrepreneurs in their executive summary or initial investor pitch when they are seeking funding. Although no forecast can be counted on with certainty, investors look for a reasonable business model, expectations of sales growth and cash flow, P&L forecasts, and valid assumptions behind any plan. They also look for red flags: sure signs that the numbers are not to be trusted and that the founding team might need too much help. In this month's forum, we want to focus on what founders can do to use Financials to emphasize their story (Plans behind the Financials) - what they want investors to know to reinforce the Investor Thesis.  We are including some founders on our panel to tell us what worked and didn't work from the founder perspective.  We hope that this will be of greater interest and value to founders and it will be a dynamic discussion between investors, founders and the audience. 


Jen Baird, CEO of Accio Energy

As a CEO of Accio Energy, Jen brings her track record of successfully commercializing transformational technologies to develop Accio’s revolutionary EHD wind energy systems. From 2005 to 2010, Jen was President and CEO of Accuri Cytometers, a rapidly growing company developing and marketing breakthrough life science products for research and clinical use. Jen co-founded Accuri and led the company from inception through development and commercialization. She raised over $30 million in venture equity and debt funding and achieved more than $10 million in sales, a global reach and near-profitability in just five years time. In 2011, Accuri was successfully sold to Becton Dickinson for $205 million, generating 5-6x returns for investors. Previously, Ms. Baird was a key member of the senior management team at Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc., a technology development firm focused on using micro-electromechanical systems for medical and scientific sensing applications. Earlier in her career, as a Vice President at Keane Consulting Group, she managed over $10 million in projects and helped the firm quintuple in size to over 150 staff.
Jen began her career in commercial banking. She received her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where she shared Top-of-Class honors, and a BA degree from the University of Michigan.

Christine Gibbons, Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer of HistoSonics, Inc.

Chris has over thirty years of financial management, fundraising and operating experience and for the past twenty years has been deeply involved with early-stage emerging technology companies, both as an investor and part of entrepreneurial management teams.  Together with other founders, she has raised over $80 million in start-up capital to launch and support fourteen new ventures.

Chris is currently Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer of HistoSonics, Inc., a medical device company developing a non-invasive, image-guided, highly precise tissue ablation technology for cost effective treatments of significant cancers and diseases. She has served the company in various roles including president, chief operating officer and interim chief executive officer.  Prior to HistoSonics, she held various leadership roles in entrepreneurial ventures including Executive in Residence (EIR) for Venture Investors, LLC, chief financial officer for Sensicore, a company with lab-on-a-chip sensor products (acquired by a division of GE), VP of Finance for Ardesta, an investor in “small-tech” opportunities and Partner and CFO of Seaflower Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage biomedical opportunities.  Her Board and other advisory roles:include: ONL Therapeutics board member, Apjohn Ventures Fund LP advisor, University of Michigan (UM) Venture Center Council member, Michigan State University Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance advisor and UM Coulter Program Technical Oversight Committee (past member, 2008 – 2016).

Chris serves as a guest lecturer at Michigan State University’s Business School.  She holds an MBA from Wayne State University and a BA from Michigan State University.

Dan Rhodes, PhD, CEO, Strata Oncology and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan

Dan Rhodes is a scientist and entrepreneur focused on precision medicine in oncology.
He is currently co-founder and CEO of Strata Oncology, a venture-backed company leveraging its state-of-the-art cancer genome sequencing laboratory to accelerate precision medicine clinical trials.  From 2012-2015, Dan was Vice President of Oncology for Thermo Fisher Scientific (Life Technologies) where he oversaw the development of cancer sequencing products and pharma companion diagnostic partnerships. From 2006-2012, Dan was co-founder and CEO of Compendia Bioscience, a University of Michigan spin-off formed to further develop and commercialize his thesis project, Oncomine™, a cancer genome data-mining platform. Over six years, Compendia grew to 20+ pharma customers, 10,000+ users and nearly $10M in annual revenue, culminating in the acquisition by Life Technologies in 2012. Dan has co-authored 40+ publications and is a co-inventor on 10 patents, including the discovery of gene fusions as a genetic cause of prostate cancer. He received the Weintraub Award, the AACR Team Science Award and was recognized by Crain’s Detroit as a Mergers and Acquisitions Deal of the Year Finalist. Dan serves on the oversight committee for the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Program and on the Advisory Boards for eLab Ventures and the Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund. Dan received both a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and a Doctorate in Bioinformatics from The University of Michigan.


Stewart V. (Stew) Nelson, CEO of Mayasil, LLC.

If you are active in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in SE Michigan, it is likely that you have met Stew Nelson. Stew is the past President of the New Enterprise Forum. Stew is a serial entrepreneur with Founder’s title in Mayasil, LLC, GAPro Systems, Adrelenventis, LLC, Solidspeed Networks and Geostrip Systems just to mention a few.  As an active angel investor, he has ownership equity positions in Blaze Medical Devices, Sentinl, SurClean, Catalyst, Family Mint, among others.  Stew is a retired pilot with over 30 years of military and commercial experience and more recently as a commercial insurance professional with Kapnick Insurance Group.  Not satisfied with retirement three times now, Stew is currently serving as CEO of Mayasil, LLC.  Stew is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan, BA, 69 and Eastern Michigan University, MBA 92.


Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.

Showcase Presenter: