NEF Awards Forum Was A Great Success!

On February 16, NEF awards forum set a new record in attendance. Many business cards were exchanged as new connections were made.

Dykema has been a NEF Stakeholder for several years. Tom Vaughn informed the audience that they help startups with all kinds of legal services. Of note is their Emerging Business Tech program which provides a suite of services to help entrepreneurs secure financing.

Good news was shared about two companies NEF influenced through the coaching process. Araianna Carley of AOE Medical sold the business in May. AOE was a medical device company that solved the problem of patient transfer within care facilities. She will be finishing up her Mechanical Engineering degree at the U of M this year.

HireNiche wrote a testimonial about their experiences with the NEF coaching process. While they did not present at a forum, they are growing the business of recruiting job boards. They thanked NEF for their coaching expertise that helped them expand their business and acquire similar companies with in their core focus area.

AkkeNeel Talsma of Melius Outcomes was the showcase presenter. They provide software-enabled clinical intelligence solution for point-of-care quality improvement to address gaps in current performance. It was interesting in that hospital errors are the third leading cause of death and usually due to poor reporting of information. Their software analyzes trends, causes, and actions to get the correct information to the correct people at the right time which saves lives and the cost of care for hospitals.

Out of nine teams, four were presented with awards for their outstanding 2016 presentations in three categories:

The Best Business Model went to Bert Tiger Whitehead IV, CEO of PlanetXLaw. They provide software that enables lawyers to profitably provide more affordable legal services to more clients at lower costs.


The Best Technology went to Mehrzad Samadi, CEO of Parabricks. They provide whole genome sequencing data to insight in one hour.


The Best Presentation went to Nestor Lopez-Duran, CEO of Ripple Science. They accelerate life science research by helping research teams become more efficient and effective in the recruitment and management of research participants.