Past Events

15 October 2015

NEF Pitch Pit -- Fall Fantasies

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:

  • Demetrius Hayes of Flicked. Ubiquitous cloud that provides users with reliable traffic details related to accidents, road blocks, closed ramps, etc.
  • Barry McDonald of Try2See,Inc.Provider of an app and service called SmallGyfts that allows users to raise money for charities while shopping with local businesses.
  • Chris Bogdan of Get Up and Go. Get Up and Go is the creator and manufacturer of the first caffeinated baked goods to mass market in the United States.

Pitch Pit Judges:

Jill Ford, Special Advisor to Detroit's Mayor, Mike Duggan. She heads the City of Detroit's innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives. Jill chose to come to Detroit from the San Francisco Bay Area, where as an Angel Investor and Advisor, she transformed emerging businesses using strategies forged in mobile gaming. Jill brings a wealth of global leadership in mobile and games including heading Disney Mobile's worldwide distribution to mobile manufacturers and running Motorola's global games usage. In addition to traveling to more than 15 countries,she ran a company in Ghana that discovered, developed, and funded new entrepreneurs. Jill combines a Wharton MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Harvard University.

B

David Bloom. David serves as Course Operating Officer and Lecturer at the Ross School of Business, Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance. In this role, he teaches entrepreneurial finance, and runs the Financing Technology Commercialization accelerator practicum at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. For nearly 20 years, David has been the Venture Catalyst at Factotem, providing business acceleration, technology commercialization, business modeling, market positioning, valuation, outsourcing, scalability, and incubation services for Software/Mobile/SaaS, Consumer Electronics, Big Data/Analytics, and Life Science/Medical Devices. David earned his BSE in electrical engineering and his MSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering, both from the University of Michigan.

B

David Tarver. David is the Founder and President of the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative that facilitates business innovation benefiting urban communities. He began his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories and left to start Telecom Analysis Systems out of his basement later selling it for $30 million. He founded the New Jersey community-based nonprofit, Red Bank Education and Development Initiative, catalyzing dramatic improvements in academic performance and opportunities for Red Bank children. He has served on the National Advisory Committee for the U-M College of Engineering, the U-M Alumni Association board of directors, the Red Bank, NJ Board of Education, the National Commission on NAEP 12th Grade Assessment and Reporting, and several other civic and not-for-profit organization boards. David received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan.

 

Showcase Presenter: 

17 September 2015

Raising Money & Investment

ForumLocation: 

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

According to the MVCA, the demand for future Michigan venture capital will most likely exceed availability. What is an entrepreneur to do? Find out from our panelists.

Panel:

Doug Finch,is an active early stage and angel investor based in Ann Arbor. For the past ten years he was co-owner and COO of Summit Health, Inc., a nationwide provider of employee health screenings to Fortune 500 companies, and he recently exited in an acquisition by Quest Diagnostics. Prior to Summit Health, Doug has led startup and R&D companies in the fuel cell, power electronics, automotive component manufacturing and advanced composite materials industries, and has supported M&A and acquisition integration for a leading Japanese trading and investment company. He earned BS and MS degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Doug has served for 18 years on the Board of Trustees of Allegiance Health System in Jackson, Michigan, has been a mentor for the NSF iCorps program, and is currently on the board of Levanto Financial and on the advisory board of Tappan Hill Ventures.

Dave Gregorka is a Venture Partner for Baird Capital. He also works as a Mentor-in-Residence at the University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer and is an active consultant. He serves on the Invest Michigan Board is an observer on the Molecular Imaging, Inc. Board, and regularly volunteers his services to startups and others in the entrepreneurial community. Previously, Dave was an operations executive who has been part of successful startup teams for two new companies, Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network and HealthMedia, Inc. He helped to grow both to successful exits. Dave has raised over $20 million in venture capital and grants, and has expertise in new venture leadership, fund raising, M&A, corporate administration, technology management, financial leadership, client services, and operations management. He holds a BS in Biology-Geology from the University of Rochester, an MS in Water Resources Management from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Tim Petersen is Managing Director for Arboretum Ventures. His investments primarily target capital-efficient health IT and services companies that redefine efficient models for care delivery and improving access to care. Tim has led investments and held board seats for Arboretum in more than a dozen companies, including HealthMedia, Accuri Cytometers and Inogen. He currently serves on the boards of Advanced ICU Care, KFx, Inogen, Cervilenz, MyHealthDirect, Tangent, Fidelis, and IntelliCyt. Tim has worked for the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan, serving as Managing Director as well as directing the activities of the Wolverine Venture Fund. He has also served as Chairman of the Michigan Venture Capital Association. Tim holds a BA in Economics from Williams College, an MS in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Moderator:

Emily Heintz With a background in economic development, capital markets, and finance, Emily brings technical and practical expertise to her role as Associate Director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association. She develops the MVCA Research Report, planning educational and networking events, manages talent programs, and is an advocate for Michigan's entrepreneurial community. Prior to joining the MVCA in 2013, Emily was a Capital Markets Associate at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. She designed, implemented and managed the MEDC's capital markets programs, including; the 21st Century Investment Fund, Accelerator funds, Venture Development Fund, EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, Urban Investment Program, and direct investments made in venture capital firms around the state. Earlier, She was the Accounting Manager at Ann Arbor SPARK. She also worked as an auditor with Plante Moran, the 13th largest US certified public accounting and business advisory firm. Emily holds a Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Science in Accounting from Michigan State.

Showcase Presenter: 

20 August 2015

Summer Break - 2015

ForumLocation: 

No meeting this month

Our next Forum event will be 17 September 2015 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.

23 July 2015

NEF Pitch Pit -- Summer Fun

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:

  • Bert Tiger Whitehead, Planetxlaw.com - Providing software that enables lawyers to profitably provide more affordable legal services to more clients & at lower costs.
  • Arianna Carley, DynamiX Wheels - A convenient, cost effective & risk mitigating transport method for hospital & nursing home patients.
  • Ed Wahl, N2nplus.com - Connecting buyers, sellers, renters, and job seekers from the individual, business and nonprofit groups. 

Pitch Pit Judges:

Sarika Gupta, Managing Director, Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (ZLI). In her role as Managing Director, Sarika leads the development and execution of ZLI's student-oriented programs. She also coaches and mentors U-M student teams. Prior to joining ZLI, Sarika was the President and CEO of Dance Telephone, a group party game, the COO of V-teractive, an online gaming startup, and a Senior Quantitative Research Associate at Cambridge Associates, an investment management firm. Sarika holds a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan College of Engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

Ken Kousky, CEO, Mid-Michigan Innovation Center. Ken leads the Mid-Michigan Innovation Center to drive innovation and embed a culture of entrepreneurialism into the Michigan region. He serves as President of the Blue Water Angels and is an active member of the Angel Capital Association. Ken founded Wave Technologies, took it public, then sold it to Thomson Reuters. An IT Security Expert, Ken was awarded a patent in cyber security technology. He founded IP3, Inc., an IT security education company and serves as Chair of the IEEE NESCOM Committee to establish safety and security standards. Ken has taught at several Universities as well as serving on the boards of the Washington University National Counsel, IEEE NESCOM, Michigan Sugar Corp., RetroSense, Mid-Michigan Innovation Center, Saginaw Public Schools Foundation, and numerous private companies.

Special Update: The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) will present the results of its 2015 Annual Research Report which tells the story of venture capital's success in helping to rebuild Michigan's economy. MVCA values your role in advancing Michigan's entrepreneurs as part of our economic recovery. We want to do our best to keep you updated on the activities of the venture capital community in Michigan by giving you the most current information on the growth of venture capital throughout the State.

Showcase Presenter: 

18 June 2015

The Jobs Act, Mile Act, and Crowd Funding

ForumLocation: 

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

It has been another year and although the entrepreneurial community hoped for more, much uncertainty still surrounds Crowd Based Equity and Debt funding. Listen to our panel of experts tell us where crowd funding stands with both the SEC and the state of Michigan and what this may mean for your business funding in the future.

Panel:

Angela Barbash, is the Founder of Reconsider. She leverages her understanding of finance, passion for empowering people through knowledge, and ability to make connections between trends and implementation, to help build a future that works for everyone. Reconsider is an impact economy research, education, and consulting firm based in Ypsilanti. With the support of the community in 2012, she and an advisory team then launched Revalue, a registered investment advisory firm, to serve conscious and local investors. Additionally, Angela currently serves as Treasurer of the Social Enterprise Alliance Detroit chapter. Prior to this work, she spent a decade as a financial advisor. Previous to her advising career, she worked for the Michigan SBDC at EMU while studying cultural anthropology and history.

Skip Simms is Senior Vice President of Ann Arbor SPARK. He works with technology start-up and early stage companies. He focuses on preparing start-ups for equity fund raising.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. Skip is the Managing Member of the for-profit Michigan Angel Fund which invests in Michigan based technology companies that need little capital. The Michigan Angel Fund is the state's largest angel network with 73 high net worth individuals looking for an above average return while helping grow and diversity the states economy. Skip participates on both profit and non-profit boards, and was a founding member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association.

Moderator:

Carrie Leahy, is a Partner at Bodman, PLC where she concentrates her practice in corporate and business law. Carrie counsels established and emerging businesses on general corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, compliance with securities regulations, and issues involving venture capital funding. She has drafted and negotiated M&A transactional documents, operating and joint venture agreements for publicly and privately held companies. Carrie has also advised clients on entity formation, corporate governance, and other general business issues. She has significant experience working with the University of Michigan's Technology Transfer Office and is part of a Bodman team that has represented more than one-third of the start-up and spin-off companies that have recently licensed technology from U of M. Carrie is an author for ICLE. She servers on several boards of directors. She has been recognized as a "Rising Star" in Business/Corporate law in Michigan Super Lawyers 2013 and is named a 2014 "Top Lawyer" by DBusiness magazine.

Showcase Presenter: 

21 May 2015

NEF Pitch Pit - Burst of Spring

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:

  • Reed Benet, Valor Villages USA - A military veteran-founded and led Zillow-style website for the small (2-7 unit) multi-family property space.
  • Susan Dancy-Syriac, Cooks For Me - Providing cooking enthusiasts an online platform to sell home-cooked food within their community and from their own home
  • David Silver, Horse Power Riding Center - Detroit-based equestrian center teaching urban youth horsemanship and life skills.

Pitch Pit Judges:

Alain Piette, Technology Team Manager at MISBDC. In his most recent assignment, Alain was president of an advanced manufacturing company. The company was a technology spinout from a large automotive supplier. His activities included the technology spinout, marketing and commercialization as well as leading the advanced R&D activities. The company focused its efforts in the aerospace, military and transportation industries. Alain has also worked in Europe, Southern Africa, Central and South America for international corporations such as DuPont, Sherwin Williams and Kongsberg Automotive. He has also been involved with turn-around, startup and M&A activities. Alain brings his extensive experience in organizational development, manufacturing, R&D market development, technology transfer and international expansion to the team.

Dominic Spadafore, Principal at Dominic Spadafore and Associates LLC. Dominic is dedicated to helping early stage companies, emerging technology companies and investors expand their business. He has helped commercialize new technologies, and developed messaging strategies for complex clinical products in executive leadership roles for several medical device companies, including: Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales for Netherlands-based BMEYE; Vice President, Advanced Parameters and Market Development for Covidien, and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Somanetics Corporation. Dominic earned his B.S. in Biology fro Oakland University.

Scott Olson, Managing Director, U-M Pediatric Device Consortium. Scott is an experienced entrepreneur involved in eight start-ups. He currently serves as Managing Director, M-PED Pediatric Device Consortium at the Medical Innovation Center at the University of Michigan. Previously, he spent 14 years as President of Life Science Consultants, LLC providing strategic guidance, technology validation and market assessment to companies in; pharmaceutical, biotech medical device, medical IT, and other life science segments. Scott also served as Managing Director, Entrepreneurial Business Development at Ann Arbor SPARK, leading efforts to build the entrepreneurial community in Southeast Michigan. Scott earned his BA in Psychology from Purdue University and his MBA from the University of Michigan.

Showcase Presenter: 

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