Past Events

16 March 2017

NEF Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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

Four 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 four entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Mark Couling, Head, Business Development, Deeptalk. Deeptalk develops voice & text bots that provide a reliable, pleasant, and sustained automatic conversational experience surpassing human assistance, centered around consumer facing businesses. Deeptalk is an AI company that is revolutionizing how people interact with machines using deep conversational understanding.
  • Norman Kutemperor, Scientel IT Corporation. Gensonix NoSQL Database - New Data Base Systems to solve Todays Big Data Problems.
  • Felicia Maxwell, Fit4Life Health and Fitness LLC. Health, nutrition, and physical fitness classes, services, and solutions for all age groups and backgrounds.
  • Charles Richison, Creative Technology. LeafEasy - an innovative tool for collecting leaves easily.

Pitch Pit Judges:

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

Francis Criqui, President, Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Managing Partner, Technology Highway, L3C. 

Francis “Tex” Criqui, former Director of the LTU Collaboratory at Lawrence Tech, is now President of the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Managing Partner in Technology Highway, L3C.  Technology Highway designs unique, comprehensive, process driven solutions to entrepreneurial challenges. Mr Criqui has served as a mentor, judge, and advisor for numerous competition in SE Michigan over the past 5 years.  He is also an instructor for a customer discovery program based upon the NSF I-Corps.

Sheu-Jane Gallagher, S'Jane Group

As the principal of the S’Jane Group, Sheu-Jane Gallagher consults for startups and entrepreneurial service organizations, advising on commercialization strategies, portfolio management, and investment due diligence. She has held various positions in the automotive industry with Ford Motor Co. and Decoma International, and taught mechanical engineering at Wayne State University. Sheu-Jane holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University with a special expertise in biomedical engineering.

 

Gary Hessenaur, President and owner of Hessenaur & Associate, C.P.A., P.C..
The firm provides a full range of accounting, tax, consulting and part time CFO services. The firm focuses on small to mid-size businesses with a specialty in start ups and technology businesses. Start up business clients have been funded through owner funds, grants, angel and VC investors. He is very well networked in the startup and financing community. Gary is a coaches several startup programs including SPARK and NEF. He has been on the NEF board since 1993, past president and program committee chair.

Agenda:

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: 

16 February 2017

NEF Celebrates 31 Years

ForumLocation: 

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

The February 2017 meeting is our 31st birthday party, where we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. Join in on the fun as we celebrate entrepreneurialism by awarding the 2016 NEF Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Guess which 2016 NEF Showcase Presenters will take home pitch awards for Best Presentation, Best Technology and Best Business Plan. Be a part of coaching, perfecting and connecting at NEF where entrepreneurs rule!

SHOWCASE PRESENTER

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. www.meliusoutcomes.com

2016 NEF Entrepreneur of the Year – Sean Ainsworth, CEO and Founder, RetroSense

Sean Ainsworth has twenty years of experience in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. He has had deep involvement in the launch of two earlier startup companies, Compendia Bioscience, Inc. and GeneVivo, LLC where he assisted in developing business models, licensing technologies, building management teams, securing capital and first customers. Compendia BioScience was acquired by Life Technologies in October, 2012. His experience also includes research at Medical Biology Institute (now Avanir Pharmaceuticals developers of Abreva, the leading cold sore medication) in San Diego, intellectual property at Koyama and Associates in Tokyo, international corporate development consulting at The Mattson Jack Group in St. Louis, MO. In 2004 Mr. Ainsworth launched Ainsworth BioConsulting to provide licensing, strategic planning, and business planning services to the life science and entrepreneurial community. Mr. Ainsworth’s clients included large pharma, small biotechs, universities, CROs, and venture investment funds. He has worked with clients at all stages of development. Mr. Ainsworth holds a BS in Microbiology from University of California, San Diego and an MBA in strategy and finance from Washington University in St. Louis.

2016 NEF Showcase Presenter Awards

Here are the contenders for the 2016 Showcase presenter awards. They worked hard. They all deserve congratulations on their presentations, but only three will be taking home an award for their outstanding efforts.

  • AOE Medical, Arianna Carley, CEO
  • Axon Spark/Odeum Learning, Ian Natzmer, CEO
  • Alchemie, Julia Winter, CEO
  • LegalEase, Tariq Hafeez, CEO
  • TrueJob, Scott Goci, CEO
  • Brightable, David Vanker, CEO
  • PlanetXLaw, Bert Tiger Whitehead IV, CEO
  • Parabricks, Mehrzad Samadi, CEO
  • Ripple Science, Nestor Lopez-Duran, CEO

The winners’ names remain secret until show time, even they do not know which award they have won.

Agenda:

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: 

26 January 2017

17th Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE'17)

ForumLocation: 

Westin Hotel, Southfield, Michigan

ACE '17 is the place where Great Lakes region entrepreneurs gather to network, learn and connect. Each year at ACE, you engage with an exciting, forward-thinking community of innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders – people – like you who have the vision and drive to build new ventures for a new future. Each year’s ACE event, along with the year-long activities of its supporting organizations, is helping to make the Great Lakes region a better place to start and grow a business. Join the crowd of attendees as they take advantage of learning and networking opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs, funding sources and entrepreneurial resources at  ACE’17.

See www.ace-event.org for more information.

NEF participation at ACE'17

As one of the founding partners of ACE, NEF has a strong interest in the success of this event. At ACE'17,  NEF will be sponsoring a pitch-pit workshop.

Four 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 PowerPoint. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and each judge will score the business. At the end, the person with the highest score will receive a special ACE'17 cash prize of over $200.

 

15 December 2016

Holiday Break 2016

ForumLocation: 

ACE'17 - Jan 26th, 2017

To allow everyone to unwind and relax, we will be taking a break from our normal Forum schedule for December. However, that does not mean we are taking a break from NEF coaching or participating in other entrepreneurial events around the area.

The next NEF gathering will be at ACE 2017 when NEF will participate with our famous Pitch Pit. Save the date for ACE 2016 on January 26 at the Southfield Westin Hotel from 12:30 – 6:30 pm. For more details, see www.ace-event.org.

Our next Forum event will be our annual awards meeting. Mark your calendars for February 16, 2016. We be will be celebrating past NEF Showcase presenters, awarding entrepreneurs, reminiscing, and having fun. Whether you are a past NEF supporter, a current supporter or are interested in entrepreneurialism, come on by and join in the festivities.

17 November 2016

Technology Trends in Healthcare IT

ForumLocation: 

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

Innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors are always in search of the "next-big-thing." Hear from our November panel about some of the disruptive technologies presently in the pipeline in Healthcare IT and learn from them what is fundable and what is not.

Healthcare IT continues to transform at an amazingly rapid pace. Healthcare providers have spent the past few years adopting electronic medical record (EMR) solutions, as mandated by federal regulations; and are now faced with the challenge of dealing with Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). As with other recent changes, MACRA changes the focus from quantity of care to quality of outcomes, an approach that necessarily requires technology solutions. Because of the breadth of its reach, Healthcare IT presents a huge opportunity for startups, but the field is not without its challenges. Those venturing into this space need to understand fully the technical challenges, to show how their solution directly addresses quality of care, to rise above the noise to demonstrate uniqueness, and to be able to withstand the long, arduous sales cycle. Join our panel of experts who are uniquely qualified to speak to these matters.

Panel:

Justin Adams, CEO, AlertWatch

Justin Adams is the CEO of AlertWatch, a UM spin-out that develops patient monitoring software focused on reducing medical errors. He has a knack at working with strong technical founders on converting their visions into marketable products. Justin is a recovering software developer who has been leading high-tech start-up firms since getting his MBA from Ross in 2009. He previously spent time at EDF Ventures, providing back-office and due diligence support.

Helen L. Hill, FHIMSS, Principal, The Kiran Consortium Group, LLC

Helen is a nationally recognized expert in healthcare information technology (HIT) and management, health information exchange (HIE), identity assurance and healthcare public policy. Ms. Hill has successfully led health system wide and enterprise wide I T selection projects, contract negotiations as well as business process redesign / implementation projects. In addition, she has formed non-profit organizations and has led innovative software development initiatives for major integrated healthcare delivery networks, community and state-level consortia. She has successfully founded and led several non-profit organizations for HIE/HIT at the local and state level in Michigan and participates actively in national / international standards and identity assurance initiatives.  She has been instrumental in bringing more than $35 million in state and federal contracts, grants and cooperative agreements to Michigan.  Ms. Hill actively serves on major boards and committees for HIT/HIE and quality initiatives at the state and national level. Finally, Ms. Hill has an extensive record of publications, white papers and executive presentations for local, regional, state and national healthcare IT conferences and webinars.  She has received national awards for her service to the healthcare industry.

Lucy Mancini Newell, MBA, FHIMSS, Managing Partner, The Kiran Consortium Group LLC

Lucy is an Information Technology and management professional with experience in clinical operations, healthcare application vendors from start-up stage to mature firms, systems integrators and strategic management consulting.  Her experience includes work in complex environments as well as project turnarounds. She was previously a Practice Leader of Information Technology Strategic Planning and System Selections, mentoring colleagues, working in collaborative and high impact teams, and actively contributing to an employer-based Thought Leadership Group and professional societies such as the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).  She contributes to publications and industry presentations  on timely topics.  Ms. Mancini Newell has authored an electronic course on Strategic Planning, past Chair of the Personal Health Records (PHRs) Committee (2008-2009), past Co-Chair, Programs (GCC HIMSS 2012-2013), Chair of the Midwest Fall Technology Conference (2013-20145), and Executive Board member for Cures Within Reach (2015). Finally, she is a mentor and instructor in sales and marketing for the Canadian Healthcare Accelerator for Healthcare in Philadelphia.

Tom Stewart, Professional Manager and Business Coach

Tom Stewart is a professional manager and business coach, with primary expertise in organizational design and operational strategy. Over the last decade, he has provided consultation to over 50 organizations in a wide range of industries – the majority of which were new or small companies. Tom has also worked on transition teams for larger organizations such as Neogen Corporation, Demmer Corporation, the State of Michigan, and Michigan State University.Tom currently manages portfolio and community relations at Quantum Medical Concepts, a pre-seed fund for medical startups. He also operates The Center for New Enterprise Opportunity (NEO Center), a small business incubator in Lansing. He was the winner of the Lansing Regional Chamber’s 10 Over the Next Ten award in 2010, was named MLive’s “Ones to Watch in 2013,” and received the Young Alumni of the Year Award from Michigan State University in October 2015.Tom has been active in several community organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Capital Area United Way.

Moderator:

David J Morin, Serial Entrepreneur and Health Care Technology Executive

Dave Morin is a serial entrepreneur and health care technology executive.  Currently, he is a Co-Founder of Impellia, a national firm focused on injury prevention, rehabilitation and athletic performance for professional and collegiate sports, healthcare organizations and amateur athletes, and Mountain Pass Solutions, a provider of faculty management software for academic medical centers and hospitals. He is also the Director of the Department of Family Medicine Technology Acceleration Program at The University of Colorado-Denver.  Prior to Impellia, Dave was the Co-Founder and CEO of Cielo MedSolutions LLC, an Ann Arbor, MI-based health care technology organization that was acquired by The Advisory Board Company.  Dave is an Advisor to the Automation Alley Technology Investment Committee, Tappan Hill Ventures and the Coulter Translational Research Partners Program at The University of Pittsburgh.  He serves as a Board Member at AlertWatch, an Ann Arbor-based digital health firm. Dave is a frequent speaker, both nationally and internationally, on entrepreneurship and on the use of technology in healthcare.

Agenda:

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: 

20 October 2016

NEF Pitch Pit - Fall Colors

ForumLocation: 

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. 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:

  • Richard Doerer, Owow- Horror/Halloween based products for adults (18-44) and kids (8-5) that are for entertainment and STEM based learning through making stuff
  • Sean Carrol, Enbiologics- Advancing more intuitive and innovative veterinary wound care
  • Elliott Brannon, SmallWorld - Strengthens communities by facilitating high-quality connections between community members

Pitch Pit Judges:

Romy Kochan, Managing Partner, Gingras Global
As founder, Managing Partner and lead administrator for Gingras Global. Romy is primarily responsible for the strategic growth and oversight of the company, which is a third party administrator for impact capital programs, funds, and investors. She founded and hosts a podcast, “Bonfires of Social Enterprise”, and serves on the boards of a variety of philanthropic and impact investing organizations.

Romy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from Northern Michigan University, her Certified Financial Planner designation from College of Financial Planning, and a Chartered Life Underwriter designation from American College.

Robb Lippitt, Partner, Secret Sauce Capital
As Partner at Secret Sauce Capital, Robb is committed to empowering, growing, and helping Entrepreneurs achieve their visions through deployment of the firm's strategic, operational, and capital resources. Previously, he served as CEO of Revolution Dancewear. As COO/General Counsel of ePrize, he oversaw the company’s growth from 17 to 325 employees, opened offices in New York, Chicago, Dallas, LosAngeles and London, and oversaw the growth of the company’s European subsidiary. Robb also co-founded Scrapbuck, LLC in 2008.

Robb earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan, and his JD from Wayne State University Law School.

Paul Nucci, Eastern Michigan University, Center for Advancing Social Enterprise
The Eastern Michigan University Center for Advancing Social Enterprise’s mission is to be a catalyst for Michigan's social entrepreneurship ecosystem, including social enterprises, the firms that fund them, the researchers that examine them, and the agencies that regulate them. Paul works to engage faculty with clients for consultative opportunities and to facilitate consulting projects. Paul also manages the organization’s communications, online and social media presence, and media relations.

Agenda:

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: 

15 September 2016

Raising Money: The Deal

ForumLocation: 

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

Have you ever wondered what the right steps are to raise startup capital? Our experienced panel will 'tell all' the in's and out's of the deal process in the don't miss panel discussion. 

Panel:

Dan Kidle, is a Senior Associate for Arboretum Ventures where he is an Analyst. Dan’s efforts are focused on reviewing new investment opportunities and providing support to Arboretum's portfolio companies. He has undertaken significant due diligence responsibilities to support more than a dozen of Arboretum’s new and follow-on investments, including NeuMoDx, IntelliCyt, Rethink, Cardiac Dimensions, Strata Oncology, and SIBone. Dan’s portfolio company involvement has included serving on the board of directors for life science tools company IntelliCyt, until its $90 million acquisition by Sartorius in 2016. Dan is currently a board observer for NeuMoDx and Strata Oncology. Outside of Arboretum, Dan serves on the Oversight Committee for Wayne State University’s M-TRAC program and on the Investment Advisory Board for the Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Arboretum, Dan was a Financial Analyst at Eli Lilly & Company, supporting the company’s U.S. sales and marketing operations. Dan earned his BBA and MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Josh Beebe, is a Director at MK Capital, a venture capital firm headquartered in Chicago with more than $250 million in capital under management.  Josh operates out of MK’s Ann Arbor office and leads the firm's supply chain and industrial technology investment practice, as well as certain portfolio investments in the broader enterprise software category. Prior to joining MK Capital, Josh served as a Partner with Arbor Partners, an Ann Arbor based venture capital firm focused on early-stage enterprise software opportunities. He also has prior experience managing mergers and acquisitions transactions in the healthcare services industry, and also previously worked as an equity analyst covering various companies operating in the technology, manufacturing and energy sectors.  Josh currently sits on the board of directors of LLamasoft, Junction Solutions, CMS Technologies, and Bulbs.com.  Josh also presently serves on the board of directors of the Michigan Venture Capital Association and is the chairman of the organization’s Research Committee.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hillsdale College and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan.

Reda Jaber is a Partner at IncWell, an early-stage venture capital fund based in Birmingham, MI. He participates in the company’s advisory services and leads all medical sector investment activities for the fund, which with more than 40 investments in the last three years has been one of the most active seed funds in the Midwest. Reda joined IncWell in 2014 after he earned dual MD / MBA degrees at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Ross School of Business. Prior to joining IncWell, he gained investment experience as an analyst at the $100M private equity fund, Stage 2 Innovations. Business-minded with an entrepreneurial spirit, he has also co-founded several startups. Reda was selected as a Venture Fellow by the Michigan Venture Capital Association and a Davidson Digital Health Fellow by the Henry Ford Innovation Institute. In 2015 he was named to Crain's Detroit Business 20 in their 20's list, and in 2016 he was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Healthcare. Reda was featured on the cover of the February 2016 edition of Forbes Middle East Magazine.  

Moderator:

Skip Simms is Senior Vice President of Ann Arbor SPARK, where he focuses on preparing start-ups for equity fund raising.  Skip has been successful in raising over $25 million in grants through the states 21st Century Jobs Fund program for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund.  This program provides very early stage start-ups with small loans, and provides a matching investment of up to $250,000.  He is the Managing Member of the for-profit Michigan Angel Fund which invests in Michigan based technology companies. The Michigan Angel Fund is the state’s largest angel network with 73 high net worth members who help grow and diversify the state’s economy. Prior to his role at Ann Arbor SPARK, Skip was the Managing General Partner at the Ralph Wilson Equity Fund, which is a $31 million fund-of-funds with LP investments in several venture capital funds.  He performed due diligence and analyzed nearly 100 opportunities, made investment recommendations, participated at board meetings and served on advisory committees.  Skip served for 29 years in management positions at several television stations around the country. Skip participates on both profit and non-profit boards, and was a founding member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association.  

Agenda:

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.

Registration

This is a FREE event. Registration is not required, but recommended for planning purposes. Also, it helps us keep your name tags ready for you.

Showcase Presenter: 

18 August 2016

Summer Break

Our next Forum event will be 15 September 2016 as we will be taking a break from our normal Forum schedule for August. However, that does not mean we are taking a break from NEF coaching or participating in other entrepreneurial events around the area.

We are extending to you, our NEF Supporters, a huge thank you and hope to see you again at the September Forum meeting. Details will be posted after returning from our brief respite.

28 July 2016

Summer Fun - Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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. 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:

  • Kid Stuf - revolves around one simple idea; make great toys that promote cognitive thinking and inspire creativity.
  • Parisa Soraya of Ditto is a mobile platform that connects individuals living with the same chronic illness locally for on-demand, in-person support.
  • Janet Wolforth, Save Niche Products, where the ICevac system makes anesthetizing animals safer for people and less stressful for the animal.

Pitch Pit Judges:

Angela Barbash,Principal at Revalue and Founder of Reconsider. Angela is the founder of two local-social-impact companies: Reconsider, a social impact economy hub in the Great Lakes region specializing in community capital, social entrepreneurship, and information on the growing local investing movement by providing research, community facilitation services, cross-pollination opportunities, and education through speaking engagements and collaborative events. Revalue: a registered investment advisory firm exclusively serving impact and local investors.

Gerry Roston, CEO of Civionics, Inc. providing asset managers a comprehensive wireless monitoring solution that reliably tracks the performance and predicts the future health of advanced engineered systems operating in demanding environments. He is also an Executive in Residence for TechTown Detroit where he identifies technology opportunities, provides business assistance to startups and co-facilitates the annual DTX Launch Detroit accelerator program. Gerry is an experienced small-business executive who has led companies and multi-million dollar projects. He has successfully managed start-up businesses and teams within publicly-traded companies; pursued investment opportunities; and brought new products to the market. Gerry's experience ranges from the development of microscopic biological sensors to the redesign of diesel-electric locomotives.

Brenda Jones has held executive leadership positions with technology-based organizations in Ann Arbor including Arbortext, MyBuys, NSF International and the Medical Innovation Center at the University of Michigan. She currently serves as a coach for the New Enterprise Forum. Brenda received her Bachelors Degree from Yale, and her MBA from the University of Michigan. She has volunteered in Kenya, Colombia and Thailand.

Agenda:

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: 

16 June 2016

C-Suite Hires

ForumLocation: 

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

Founders of startups start looking for C-Level expertise as their venture begins to evolve. With seed funding in place, founders need to bring in the right talent to help them build their dream enterprise. Our panelists will help you navigate through this landscape. Learn about: the challenges in hiring C-Level staff; the cultural and economic impact on your organization; and about developing and implementing short-term and long-term strategies C-hires can bring to meet desired milestones. The right talent can help you build a new culture, implement strategy, grow the company, connect with customers and get funding to scale your business.

Panel:

Mike Klein, Mentor-in-Residence, University of Michigan Technology Transfer Office. Mike is an accomplished CEO with over 25 years of experience developing, building and growing high tech, software and IT companies. Mike wrote the business plan for his first company, Steeplechase Software while in the MBA program at the University of Michigan and started the company shortly thereafter. Steeplechase was #89 on the Inc 500 fastest growing company list when it was sold to Schneider Automation in 2000. In 2001, he was brought on by venture capital investors to lead the turnaround of Interlink Networks, a network security software company where he raised $11M in new financing and lead the management buy-out in 2005. In 2008, Mike joined Online Tech as Co-CEO and grew the company 500% over 7 years. He lead the company through a successful exit for its investors in 2012 and recapitalized the company with over $30M from new investors to continue its growth trajectory. Mike received his BS in Computer Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University.

Barbara Koenig, Barbara brings over 25 years’ experience working as an executive coach and organizational development consultant, primarily in areas related to leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship and career transition and she has partnered with start-ups, small businesses and global organizations such as Toyota, Stryker and ProQuest. Prior to working in Tech Transfer, Barbara worked at UM Stephen Ross School of business providing career consulting with MBA students interested in Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Technology and Careers with impact. In her current role at Tech Transfer, Barbara works with alumni, and other partners in the ecosystem to provide talent and other resources for new venture spinouts from UM. More recently, she partnered with Ann Arbor SPARK and MEDC to lead and facilitate a career transition program known as Michigan Shifting Gears. Barbara earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Centre College and a M.S. Human Resource Management and Organizational Development from Eastern Michigan University.

Michael Kraft, Managing Partner, MKT Partners LLC and Mentor-in-Residence, UM Tech Transfer Office. Michael delivers strategic vision and business development in advanced materials and technology systems markets. He’s led businesses in several countries from start-up to revenues of $300 million and focuses on business model validation, money raise, and team building. Michael completed many global acquisitions ($5 million to $1.5 billion) and leads transaction diligence, integration, and synergy realization. His focus is to quickly identify critical business drivers, build strategic partnerships and partners with the Global 500, grow revenues and market share organically, and complete accretive acquisitions. Recently, he was CEO of Covaron Advanced Materials (Ann Arbor, MI) and EVP of Ceradyne Inc. (NASDAQ: CRDN; $700M revenues). Michael holds a Master of Management (PSU) and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering & Systems Science (MSU) and completed courses in Strategic Planning and Technology Marketing at Caltech.

Moderator:

Vic Havele, Founder/CEO, Rockstar Innovations, Inc. Vic brings a wealth of experience and expertise to NEF. He is a Board member and is our news article director. Vic is the President of CAEtech International, Inc. provider of engineering and Information Technology Services to the automotive and non-automotive industry. He is Founder and CEO of Rockstar Innovations which is launching a non-profit organization/portal “iendeavor.org” for helping entrepreneurs in successfully launching technology ventures through coaching, mentoring and partnering using talent, technology, innovation and resources. Vic’s other venture is PeopleForge Technologies in which he is engaged in developing and implementing PeopleForge Talent Solutions such as StartupTalent, StemTalent, GlobalTalent etc. for diverse market segments. He has served NEF as a business coach helping entrepreneurs be successful. Vic is also currently serving as an I-Corps mentor for a tech startup from the University of Michigan and recently mentored teams in the Lawrence Technological Universities’ Customer-to-Cash(C2C) program. Vic holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University, Wisconsin, and Business Executive training from Tuck School of Business and Loyola School of Business.

Agenda:

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: 

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