19 May 2016
NEF Pitch Pit - Burst of Spring
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:
- Abess Makki, CityInsight - A mobile application for Detroit Water & Sewage Department to help residents track their water usage and maintain their budgets.
- David Cai, Gaudium - Armor Blitz, A mobile game in which players lead a squad of anime-style tank girls from the WWII era into battle.
- Doug Peterson - Won'tBuy, Inc. A tools sharing app to save money by renting tools and listing equipment you own to earn extra cash.
Pitch Pit Judges:
Lauren Bigelow, is CEO at Growth Capital Network. Dr. Lauren Bigelow has served as the CEO of the Growth Capital Network since 2010. She and her team manage programs for the philanthropic, health care and innovation community by providing strategic, project management, research, analytic, and evaluation services. Lauren has been part of the Michigan entrepreneur ecosystem since 2000 when she was the director of the IT Zone. Succeeding positions as Managing Director of the Cleantech Group and North American Commercial Director at New Energy Finance round out her background in clean energy and early stage company engagement. Lauren is a Lecturer for the University of Michigan Ross School of Business where she teaches an advanced energy finance and modeling course that reviews private equity through project finance. She has served on numerous boards of directors. Lauren holds an MA and PhD in Anthropology from Northwestern University and a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Alisyn Malek, was named Investment Manager, at General Mortors Ventures, LLC effective February 1, 2014. She manages deal flow in the automotive and transport sector to support these thesis. Alisyn leverages business unit relationships to create value add opportunities for potential investment companies. She is also the owner and manager of Corktown Studios, a small artist collective in Detroit including gallery and studio space. Alisyn's background also includes being an engineering business manager supporting strategy development in GM's Electrification Group and lead engineering responsibilities supporting technology adoption in GM's Infotainment Group. Alisyn joined General Motors in 2008, leading the early development of the DC charging system for the Chevy Spark. Alisyn was honored in Crains Detroit 2014 List of 20 in their 20's. She is a U of M masters gradate in Energy Systems Engineering and holds an MBA from Indian University - Kelly School of Business.
Helen Ewing, is President at The Ewing Group, LLC where she is a Procurement Consultant providing procurement optimization services and training to manufacturing companies who want more value from their supply chain and procurement staff. As a business coach, Helen has enjoyed working with entrepreneurs for over six years. Along with private clients, Helen has coached numerous entrepreneurs through multiple organizations. Helen has coached for; SPARK, Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, the Michigan Angel Fund, Tech Town Detroit, and past first-round judge for the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. She works with companies in manufacturing, advanced materials, medical devices and B2B Software as a Service systems. She is a Board Member and past Vice President for New Enterprise Forum. Helen holds a BBA and a MS in Industrial Technology from EMU and is a member of the Institute for Supply Management.
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.