Showcase Presenters

Arbor Automation

18 October 2018
Presenter: Alexander Mills

Arbor Automation increases manufacturing throughput in CNC-equipped job shops. With our intuitive web software service, customers upload 3D CAD files of parts they intend to manufacture. We then automatically generate detailed manufacturing process plans, holding fixture designs, and executable machine code (G-Code) which they pay to download. Conventional machine programming methods are time consuming and require skilled CNC programmers; by eliminating this step, our service makes customers more competitive and increases their throughput and sales.

Alexander founded Arbor Automation out of personal frustration towards CNC machining. As a systems and robotics engineer, he routinely designed and prototyped new hardware components. He leveraged his background in software engineering to develop a new programming framework for interfacing with CNC machine tools, a project that led to the founding of Arbor Automation. Alexander is a computer science engineering graduate of the University of Michigan and a 2018 Zell Entrepreneurs Program fellow at the Zell Lurie Institute. He previously worked as an engineer at Accio Energy and Fetch Robotics, and occasionally freelances as a CNC machinist.

Legacy Shave

18 October 2018
Presenter: Mike Gutow

Our company’s name Legacy Shave reflects what is closest to our hearts – family and legacy. As the two founding brothers, we’re proud to introduce to you our company-- rooted in the past but geared toward the future.

Shaving can be a chore, especially with today’s busy lifestyles. But, what if there was a way to have a better shaving experience and pamper your self at the same time? That’s the idea behind Legacy Shave and The Evolution Brush – a unique, patented technology brings that old-fashioned barber shop experience into your home. The Evolution Brush combines the feel and benefits of a traditional barber shop shaving brush (i.e., hands free shaving cream and a clean, close shave) with the convenience of modern shaving cream and gel shaving cans. Simply attach the shave brush to the can and enjoy the ultimate shaving experience – while traveling back to a more elegant time.

Always an entrepreneur from his early adulthood, Mike started his own lawn company the year he turned 16 and could drive his own truck. Mike, attending college at Michigan State, continued the entrepreneur’s path. Along with his brother Dave, Mike in his junior year opened a new-to-market restaurant in East Lansing. Even though he took a semester off from school to get the restaurant up and running, even though he worked over 100 hours per week while still in school, Mike graduated with a Marketing degree from MSU in only four years. After successfully selling the restaurant, Mike began owning and managing rental properties with brother Dave for the past 20+ years.

Mike also has worked at Gordon Food Service becoming the top ten leader in sales achieving winner circle honors from the company while employed there for 10 years. Mike, a family man, resides with his wife and two children in St. Clair Shores.


20 September 2018
Presenter: Dr. William C. Vuillemot, CEO and Founder

SmileBOND Systems, LLC, is a Michigan based business which trains and equips dentists and their teams to deliver brilliant, gleaming smiles to their patients, using its proprietary multi-tooth bonding system.

SmileBOND has won 3 patents for method and apparatus for its unique and innovative transfer bonding process, and its custom bonding delivery apparatus has gained status as an FDA Class II Medical Device.

Procedures like porcelain crowns/veneers, and braces/clear aligners cost too much, take too much time, or are too painful and prevent many patients from moving forward with treatment. SmileBOND is painless, costs less, and is completed in 1 treatment visit, making treatment available to many more patients.

SmileBOND enjoys enthusiastic patient and dentist approval. The company is at an early revenue stage and is currently seeking seed round funding for a 2019 nationwide launch. SmileBOND also seeks team members with skills necessary to launch and grow the business.



William C Vuillemot DDS is the inventor of the patented SmileBOND process, and founder and CEO of SmileBOND® Systems, LLC.

He graduated from the University of Michigan Dental School in 1985.

Dr Bill was awarded the Louis B. Schultz award for operative dentistry and was a clinical instructor at U of M Dental School.

He has completed the LVI Esthetic and Dr Rick Litt’s F.O.R.C.E. Orthodontic continuums.

Dr Bill is a Level IV graduate and former faculty member of Orognathic Bioesthetics International (OBI).

He lectures on Comprehensive Restorative Dentistry and maintains a private practice in Lansing Michigan with his wife, Barbara, also a U of M Dental grad.


City Insight

12 July 2018
Presenter: Abess Makki, CEO

City Insight builds software solutions to solve the unique problems of municipalities.

HLX Engines

21 June 2018
Presenter: Evan Collins

Military equipment, both tactical and non-tactical, is increasingly electrified and computerized, and there is a significant need for compact, efficient, and high-quality power generation. HLX ( has built an innovative, hybrid, multi-fuel, combustion engine, designed to improve fuel efficiency by 50%, while decreasing weight and complexity.

As a mechanical engineer and product designer, Evan Collins (BSME) has spent the last decade in the automotive and robotics industries, developing engine components and manufacturing procedures.

Ascape Audio

17 May 2018
Presenter: Paul Schrems

Ascape Audio is wireless technology design company that believes that mobile music should be - Simple. Our mission is to streamline the way millions listen to music from their smart devices. We do this by providing the most convenient and fluid personal audio solutions possible. With true wireless earbuds we allow our customers to access the thousands of songs in their pocket with simplicity and ease. Our patented smartphone battery case that recharges the earbuds prevents customers from ever having to worry about losing, connecting, or recharging them again. In this rapidly growing marketing we offer the most complete solution.

With over 10 years of experience as both an entrepreneur and engineer, Paul Schrems leads Ascape Audio as its President and Co-Founder.  After gaining valuable insights from licensing his first startup to a retail distributor, Paul started Ascape Audio to build upon the customer feedback he received. His favorite role is that of Ascape’s storyteller, but he also oversees the product design and supplier management portions of the business. Paul is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan’s Masters in Energy Systems Engineering program. Paul’s devotion to process automation and hatred of tangled earbud cables can be impassioned.

Advaita Bioinformatics

19 April 2018
Presenter: Sorin Draghici, Founder & CEO

Advaita Bioinformatics was founded in 2005 as a spin-off from Wayne State University. The company’s mission is to  enable  a true  personalized medicine approach by providing advanced tools that can leverage omics and genomics data to improve drug development and patient care. The company’s expertise in big data, AI and machine learning has led to the development  of IP related to: i) the identification of mechanisms of action from omics data, ii) the integration of multiple types of data  and iii) the unsupervised discovery of patient subgroups and disease subtypes. These technologies, available either as SaaS or concierge services, can be used to improve the success of clinical trials by distinguishing between respondents and non-respondents, design optimal treatments by distinguishing between more and less aggressive types of diseases, repurpose drugs based and predict side-effects. Over 14,000 researchers from all over the world are currently using the Advaita’s SaaS platform. 

Sorin Draghici is the founder and CEO of Advaita Bio, a spinout of his research lab at Wayne State University. He is also an associate dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and director, James and Patricia Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute in the College of Engineering at Wayne State University. He currently holds the Robert J. Sokol, MD Endowed Chair in Systems Biology, as well as appointments as full professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Obstetrics and Gynecology.  His work is focused on research in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data mining techniques applied to bioinformatics and computational biology, area in which he holds several patents. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications as well as 8 book chapters and two books. To date, his work has gathered over 10,000 Google Scholar citations. Over  14,000 researchers from all over the world are currently using the Advaita’s platform. 


Update - Year 1:

Advaita Bioinformatics has had a busy year. Although they have not yet raised VC money, they did get another $720K in non-dilutive funding. Importantly, sales of existing products are up. The company recently sold a 15-seat site license to Stanford. Early reports indicate the customer loves it. The company is currently working on the clinical trial software. 

Get Up & Go

25 March 2018
Presenter: Chris Bogdan, Founder & CEO

Get Up & Go makes convenient energy products that taste incredible, equivalent to an energy shot or cup of coffee.

Pathware (Formerly Medkairos)

15 March 2018
Presenter: Michael Moore, Founder & CEO

Pathware is automating the cancer biopsy assessment process. 1 out of every 5 biopsies taken fail to collect adequate tissue samples to come to a diagnosis. We are a medical technology company building the Bioptic™ system to increase the accuracy of cancer sample collection and reduce the time and labor required to reach a diagnosis. Pathware has developed the Bioptic platform to verify sample quality at the point of care to make sure that patients will only have to undergo a biopsy procedure once. Bioptic™ uses a proprietary cartridge, camera, and image processing software package to verify that a sample has enough tissue to make a diagnosis - work traditionally done by a pathologist and a microscope.

Michael Moore founded MedKairos to address challenges that he saw throughout his medical education at the University of Michigan. Prior to entering the time constraints of residency, he decided to take a leave from his medical training to develop this venture full time and, ultimately, have a global impact on patient care.

Update - Year 1:

Pathware (formerly MedKairos), has continued to make great strides in its effort to streamline and standardize cancer diagnostic workflows. They do this with their flagship product, Bioptic™, a portable unit able to image and assess a biopsy sample in seconds with no staining or additional training required. All images are uploaded to their secure and proprietary cloud infrastructure to expand the platform’s capabilities with education, research, and machine learning. Since their pitch at NEF, their team has grown to five full time employees, proved the functionality of their platform, lined up 5 hospitals for pilots this summer, and expanded their advisory board to include the VP of Sales at Philips, the previous CIO of United Healthcare and Optum Health, and the two previous presidents of the Digital Pathology Association. Additionally, they were recognized as the number one health technology company at South By Southwest earlier this year. Together, they have been able to secure $800k in investment with an additional $1.5MM set to close in the near future to propel them through their clinical studies later this summer. In the next six months they plan to secure clearance from the FDA, freeze the design of their MVP, and initiate the soft launch of the product into their pilot institutions as they seek their Series A financing to support their scale into the marketspace.

CoPilot Vision Systems

15 February 2018
Presenter: John Gray - Co-Founder & President

CoPilot Vision Systems is developing a rear view vision system for the commercial heavy duty and do-it-yourself truck rental market. The system is portable and provides a 180° view across the rear of the vehicle. It is a straightforward solution to enable the driver to see what is behind the vehicle; improving driver safety and efficiency, and reducing fleet insurance costs. One patent has been issued and a second patent for a multi-camera vision system is under 4th office action stage review.

John Gray is Co-Founder and President.  John earned his B.S. in Engineering at Purdue University and has a rich transportation background. He has managed the start-up of a fuel system business unit from an early prototype into production for Diesel Technology (a Penske-owned company at the time). During the last 10 years, John developed a completely new business relationship with Volkswagen, Audi and BMW in Germany for a Tier 1&2 supplier. These efforts produced supply agreements in the US, Mexico, Poland and China.

CoPilot was also recently awarded a Grant from Ann Arbor SPARK to be used to obtain assistance with obtaining funding.