27 July 2017


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

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

Showcase Presentations

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.

This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community.  Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. 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.

Join us at this meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Mi Padrino

Kimberly Gamez, Founder and CEO.  Mi Padrino is a moderating organization specializing in the crowd-gifting events for the global Hispanic event market. The company offers a reliable alternative to traditional means of padrinos (financial sponsors) and promotes traditional Latin American cultural celebrations such as Quinceañeras, Weddings, Tres Años and baptisms. Offering both a B2C and B2B revenue model, Mi Padrino has solved a huge problem for the Hispanic people yet has given national and local businesses an opportunity to capture the attention of the fastest growing demographic in the US

NEF Pitch Pit

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:

  • Omari Lewis, Putt Tracker. An electronic device that tracks golf putts from 0 to 20 feet.
  • Rick Coughlin, Grove Studios. Creative Maker Space
  • William Becker, RevMatch. A social networking application matching car lovers.

Pitch Pit Judges:

A panel of three esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams.

Bill Mayer, Vice President, Entrepreneurial Services

Bill Mayer has founded and exited multiple start-ups in the technology and finance sectors. His areas of expertise are in finance, securities and quantitative analysis. He has founded and worked with numerous businesses covering a broad range of industry sectors, ranging from start-up ventures through Fortune 500 companies. Bill has managed over $125 million in client assets.

He has extensive experience in creating financial models, business valuations, and capitalization tables, as well as navigating advanced business tax issues and the complex issues surrounding securitization.  Bill has held multiple securities broker licenses for over ten years, which positions him to facilitate the placement of capital directly. Bill holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Michigan."

Amanda Lewan, Co-Founder, Bamboo Detroit

Amanda Lewan is an entrepreneur and award-winning writer. She is Co-founder of Bamboo Detroit, a real estate company that builds inclusive community focused spaces. She is Founder of Michipreneur.com, a digital publication on business and innovation. She received a Bachelor's in Professional Writing from Michigan State University and a Master's in English from Wayne State University. As an entrepreneur and marketer, she has over seven years of startup operations, sales, and strategic marketing experience. Her marketing work has helped dozens of startups and all the way up to fortune 100 companies. Her work has been honored locally and nationally.

Hirak Parikh, Seed Fund Manager, Neuroscientist and Entrepreneur, University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship

Hirak Parikh is the Program Manager for the Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed fund. Initially funded by a $3M gift from the Monroe-Brown Family Foundation, the Seed Fund provides necessary early-stage capital  to nascent U-M biomedical start-up companies to successfully commercialize their research in the most impactful way possible. With the help an external advisory Board, Hirak is responsible for evaluating and making investments ($50K to $300K) in biomedical spin-outs from U-M in the domains of therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and health IT/digital technologies. He serves as a mentor to the funded companies and supports other commercialization efforts and programs at the University.
 Before taking on this new role, Hirak was Principal Scientist and Director of US Operations for The Neuromarketing Labs – a startup based in Germany. His previous background is in neuroscience research and product development. Hirak is a Wolverine, having obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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: