Past Events

19 October 2017

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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

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.

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.

Two Score Two

Sam Savant, Founder and CEO.  TwoScoreTwo is a cloud platform built on Blockchain technology that that enables implementation and management of secure chain-of-custody, commercial trading, and low cost financial transactions. Available toolsets allow centralized administrative control and efficient user processes to simplify the use of Blockchain technology.

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:

  • Anthony Azzi, Deelio. Deelio helps local businesses get their customers talking about them on social media, and converts posts into sales.
  • David Ross, Snookiz. Snookiz is heated products manufacturing technology through which it is possible to create vast variety of products that can apply to many uses such as indulgent, rehabilitation and preventive medicine.
  • Travis Flake, EyeRes. Eyeres is an integrated marketing communication platform that utilizes live streaming as its medium.

Pitch Pit Judges:

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

Brenda Jones, Chief Operating Officer, TrueJob, Inc. She is a seasoned executive with experience in technology startups, strategic and financial planning, professional services management, and SaaS. Brenda 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 board member 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.

Maggie McCammon, is the Investment Portfolio Manager at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where she manages a $30M+ high tech investment portfolio. She researches, designs and implements new programs to increase high tech entrepreneurship and related investment capital. Maggie acts as a consultant to help companies achieve milestones, raise capital, resolve legal issues, and create new partnerships. She fosters industry collaborations, business growth strategy, as well as monitors evaluation, metrics, and impact for the Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Venture Capital team. Maggie is active on related boards, committees, and focus groups.

Michael S. Melfi, JD, MBA, is an intellectual property attorney and entrepreneur. He has a dynamic background that allows him to provide insightful legal services while creating business development strategies for funding and growth. With a vision to empower the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Michael is focused on creating value for his clients through a portfolio of products including programming and training.  Over the last decade, Michael founded and led a national multimedia company. As COO and general counsel, Michael pioneered various experiential and digital marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 clients. As a thought leader and innovator, Michael utilized the digital marketing and various social media platforms to develop an online presence for his company in the top 1 percent of all websites globally. Since then Michael has worked with numerous national industry leading products and brands to monetize and grow their business digitally. Michael understands entrepreneurs, because he is one. Part of being an entrepreneur is seeing an opportunity and moving through uncertainty to take advantage of those situations, as well as understanding how to deal with the obstacles. His work with startups and early stage companies has helped him understand how to create an Identity of being an entrepreneur. By developing this identity, an entrepreneur can create success around an idea, or business -without this shift in identity growth becomes impossible. Michael also sits on multiple boards, professionally and philanthropic. Additionally, he has authored four books and speaks publicly around the world.

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 link available on the home page. Registration recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: 

21 September 2017

Term Sheets - Understanding What Your Investors Want

ForumLocation: 

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

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.

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.

Circadian Risk

Daniel Young, Founder and CEO. Circadian Risk has dramatically improved the physical security risk analysis process so Security Consultants and their clients (organizations) can better understand their risk to an undesirable event at one of their properties, and do so on a daily basis, to actively reduce the probability and severity of those incidents.

Panel Discussion: Term Sheets - Understanding What Your Investors Want

In addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through understanding importance of taking the right steps 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.

When you raise a round of funding for your company, you will negotiate the terms of the investment with a lead investor.  What is the process to close the deal?  What are the investors looking for?  What do you need to know about the types of terms?  Whether you’re talking straight equity or convertible debt, our panel of experts has the answers.

We hope that this will be of greater interest and value to founders and it will be a dynamic discussion between entrepreneurs, investors and the audience. Join us to learn more.

Panelist:

Prem Bodagala, Director, Invest Michigan (MI Pre-Seed Fund 2.0)

Prem Bodagala leverages his experience in venture capital, investment banking, valuation and economic development to provide Invest Michigan and its clients a diversified skillset across the continuum of tech companies’ development.  Prem leads the life sciences sourcing, diligence and portfolio management functions at Invest Michigan, an early stage investment fund, where he joined as Director in 2017 after successful tenures in venture capital, investment banking, valuation and economic development. In his most recent full-time role prior to Invest Michigan, Prem managed a portfolio of 20 startups & 3 venture funds. He also created and co-authored the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s first internal valuation summary for its $140 MM equity and loan portfolio. Before the MEDC, Prem sourced investment opportunities, triaged deal flow and researched market intelligence while working as an Associate for a $15 MM life sciences focused early-stage venture capital fund. He led the diligence team in performing deep market, financial and organizational analysis on 15+ deals, resulting in the fund investing $9.75 MM along with 31 co-investors in 7 portfolio companies for a total equity raise of $160 MM. Prem launched his career in finance as an associate at an investment banking firm serving the middle market, where he led the analysis, research and project management functions across the buy-side, sell-side, valuation and capital raise practice for the firm’s healthcare, furniture, automotive, defense, nutraceutical, oil & gas and facilities management clients resulting in transactions totaling over $100 MM.

Mike Flanagan, Director of Capital Programs, Ann Arbor SPARK

Mike Flanagan is Director of Capital Programs at Ann Arbor SPARK, which includes the Michigan Angel Fund, Michigan Pre-Seed Fund, and Microloan programs, all designed to help early stage technology companies and entrepreneurs get the capital they need to grow and succeed.  Prior to joining SPARK, Mike was Director of Equity Programs at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) responsible for the state’s venture capital, private equity, and mezzanine program investments through the 21st Century Investment Fund, Venture Michigan Funds, and Venture Development Fund.  Prior to that, Mike held several other positions at MEDC including Director of Capital Markets, where he was instrumental in the design and management of multiple development finance programs across the capital continuum, including the Collateral Support, Loan Participation, Venture Development, Small Business Investment Tax Credit, and Small Business Mezzanine Fund.  Mike also helped lead the application and fund raising process to secure $80 million for Michigan businesses through US Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), an evergreen fund that now supports many of the state’s development finance programs.  Prior to joining the MEDC, Mike held several commercial banking roles at JP Morgan Chase Bank and Morgan Stanley for 10 years.  Mike holds a BA and MPP/MPA from the University of Michigan and holds certifications from the Venture Capital Institute and Michigan Bankers Association.  He is also a frequent speaker and panelist at economic development and industry events in Michigan and nationally.

Stewart V. (Stew) Nelson, CEO, 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.

Moderator:

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. Client engagements have covered a broad range of services including market strategy, portfolio structure, and the IPO process. Bill has managed over $125 million in client assets.

Areas of specialty are financial modeling, pricing strategies, the process of private and public equity securitization, management of business assets, and fundraising. 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. This allows Bill to effectively position clients from an investor’s viewpoint in order to maximize a venture’s ability to receive funding.

Bill has held multiple securities broker licenses for over ten years. This positions him to facilitate the placement of capital directly. Bill holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

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: 

17 August 2017

Summer Break - No Forum in August

ForumLocation: 

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

Our next Forum event will be on 21 September 2017 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.

27 July 2017

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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

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: 

22 June 2017

Critical Hires for Your Startup Venture

ForumLocation: 

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

Past Presenter Update

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.

This month Genomenon will present their story and give us an update since they initially presented in July 2014 as NEF Showcase Presenter.

Genomenon

Mike Klein, CEO.  Genomenon is a software-as-a-service company offering products that minimize errors and maximize the efficiency of genomic sequence analysis. Mike is an accomplished CEO with 25 years of experience developing, building and growing high tech, software and IT companies. Before joining Genomenon, Mike was CEO of 3 high-tech start-ups, raising over $50M in investment capital, completing an acquisition and leading 2 successful exits, including Online tech, which secured a 10x return for its investors in 2012. He has the technical and financial background in guiding businesses to meet their objectives and extensive experience with financing, acquisitions and delivering successful exits.

Panel Discussion: Critical Hires for Your Startup Venture

In addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through understanding importance of hiring the right people for the success of your venture. What do entrepreneurs go through in hiring the right people in growing their companies? We are not talking about just the C-Suite hires, but also the other critical people, like, developers, engineers, and support managers that make the business work. Hear the stories and learn straight from the entrepreneurs themselves around this controversial topic.

We hope that this will be of greater interest and value to founders and it will be a dynamic discussion between entrepreneurs, investors and the audience.

Panel:

Bill Crane, Founder & CEO, IndustryStar Solutions, LLC

William Crane is the Founder & CEO of IndustryStar Solutions, which provides technology companies with Supply Chain as a Service powered by their Supply Performance SystemTM cloud software. He is an experienced entrepreneur and executive in supply chain with demonstrated results launching and enhancing procurement, logistics, supplier quality, and manufacturing operations for startups and established companies, globally. William has held senior positions and managed for Stage 2 Innovations and Bright Automotive, and consulted for Grant Thorton, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, GM, Mahindra, ThermoFisher, Tesla, KARMA, Proterra, Visteon, Mopar, TREMEC, Lear, Multimatic, Dura, and JAC Products. He is an MBA in-progress at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and has his BBA in Integrated Supply Management from Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business. He holds APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional and ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management certifications. William brings unique perspective having worked at every stage within the supply chain.

Jeff Mason, Founder and CEO, Groundspeed Analytics

Jeff Mason is the Founder and CEO of Groundspeed Analytics. Formed in early 2016, this innovative insurance tech start up utilizes machine learning to transform unstructured business documents into streamlined, actionable data. By making the process more nimble and efficient, insurance carriers and brokers now have a game-changing tool to meet their goals. Groundspeed recently closed on a $2 million investment.

Prior to Groundspeed, Jeff served as SVP and executive committee member of Chelsea Rhone, an insurance holding company where he led sales, marketing and all innovation efforts.  It was during this time Jeff first caught the entrepreneur bug and found QAreader.com, an insurtech SaaS company and Evolucent, a risk management consultancy. Jeff has an MBA with high distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business as well as a keen knowledge of all things Star Wars.

Stewart V. (Stew) Nelson, CEO, 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.

Steve Schwartz, Co-Founder and CTO, Genomenon

Steve Schwartz is the Co-Founder and CTO for Genomenon which reduces the time Pathologists and Geneticists spend researching and interpreting genomic variants from hours to minutes. Genomenon was recently awarded a $1.8M grant by the National Institutes of Health. Steve is also the Managing Member of Alfa Jango which provides web-based software and application development for early-stage startups. In the past, he was Co-Founder and CTO of Carcode who had a product, CarcodeSMS, which helps customers to purchase cars via text message. In 2014, Edmunds.com acquired CarcodeSMS. It was for this achievement that New Enterprise Forum awarded Steve with the NEF Entrepreneur of the Year. He holds two BS degrees from Kettering University in the fields of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.

Moderator:

Helen Ewing, President, The Ewing Group, LLC

Helen Ewing is President of The Ewing Group, LLC a provider of consultant services. She consults with Mi-Light as the Executive Director to grow the organization. Mi-Light is a trade association for the Michigan photonics industry with 30 members, reaching 2,650 employees and $873M in sales. Helen consults with manufacturers in offering procurement optimization services and training. Her 20+ year procurement career includes management and senior roles in supply chain management for the automotive, consumer products and banking industries. Helen is an experienced business consultant coaching entrepreneurs on how to improve their business plans and be more attractive to investors. She is a current Board member for New Enterprise Forum with past Vice President and Program Chair roles. Helen's coaching activities include; New Enterprise Forum, SPARK, Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, Michigan Angel Fund, Tech Town Detroit, and past first-round judge for the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. She holds a MS degree in Industrial Technology and a BBA both from Eastern Michigan University.

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.

18 May 2017

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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

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. 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.

CARROT

Michael Antaran, Founder and CEO.  Carrot is a mobile health and wellness program that motivates participants to meet personal goals using a proprietary algorithm that provides instant gratification that increases success.

SpellBound

Christina York, Founder and CEO.  SpellBound 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.

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:

  • Bryan Richardson, Bryan’s Backyard, Community sports amusement parks
  • Nicolas Theoret, Jacket 360, Wearable blind spot detection devices
  • Mike Westcott, Wellwith, Wellwith is the wellness rewards network built to save local businesses money and reward customers in the fight against single-use waste.

Pitch Pit Judges:

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.

Jane DeLancey, DeLancey Design, Ann Arbor, MI

After working for the in-house marketing departments of ADP Network Services and Gelman Sciences Jane launched DeLancey Design in 1984. Since then she has worked for over 150 clients on a wide variety of designs projects for clients representing a wide variety of industries. She currently is focusing on marketing projects for the manufacturing industry. An NEF Board member and past Chair of the NEF Marketing Committee, Jane has coached entrepreneurs for NEF for the last six years, and has been a coach for Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest.

Angela Kujava, Managing Director, Desai Accelerator, Ann Arbor, MI

Angela Kujava is the Managing Director of Desai Accelerator, responsible for the execution and development of the program, including mentoring startups and selecting and managing investments. She works closely with the region’s business and campus communities to further existing relationships for the benefit of not only the participating startups but also the broader entrepreneurial landscape.
Prior to Desai, Angela was the Director of Innovation at a global application development firm, where she led the marketing, creative, and eCommerce teams.

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 April 2017

Financials: Tying Your Financials to Your Story

ForumLocation: 

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

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.

CLINGFISH

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. 

PANEL:

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.

MODERATOR:

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.

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 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.

 

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