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Our panel will explore the different kinds of startup accelerator and incubator partners, and how founders and entrepreneurs can identify the right one for their business.
Jeff Ponders II, Principal, Portfolio Success at ID Ventures. Jeff works closely with portfolio company founders as they scale toward major growth milestones and reach material valuation inflection points. Since 2013, Jeff has been a passionate catalyst for entrepreneurship in the metro Detroit ecosystem, and in addition to his role of Entrepreneur in Residence with TechTown, Jeff sits on the board of the New Enterprise Forum, and is a co-founder of Commune Angels, a Michigan-based angel community bridging capital for diverse founders and funders.
Darren Riley, Co-Founder and CEO of JustAir Solutions. After earning his B.S. in Information Systems, Darren decided to use his love of data and technology to mitigate the issue of air pollution, specifically in BIPOC communities, by starting JustAir. JustAir aims to collect data and make it accessible to all so that air quality disparities can be identified and solved in order to ensure everyone has access to clean air, regardless of what community they were born into.
Sergio Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of ToDooly. Originally from Chile, Sergio attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan before becoming the primary founder of Detroit based company ToDoolie Inc., a Grosse Pointe Park-based platform for matching students seeking cash and homeowners seeking odd jobs done around the house.
Andrea “Dre” Wallace, CEO of Opnr. Entrepreneur, and beloved local DJ Andrea “Dre” Wallace founded Fourtifeye, in 2018 to help artists aggregate and understand their fanbase using data. The platform was acquired last year by another tech company, Opnr, which then appointed Wallace CEO. Opnr is a service for connecting touring musicians with local concert organizers to help easily bring in talent as concert openers.
Monica Wheat, Managing Director of Techstars Detroit Accelerator Powered by JP Morgan, part of a global seed-stage accelerator in 40+ cities worldwide. She previously served as a Techstars Startup Programs Lead for 10+ years leading programs globally and is the Founding Co-Director of Founders Boost, a global Pre-Accelerator and for Techstars program now live in 20 cities.
Claire Smith, Founder & CEO of Tenera Grains, grew up on a 2,300 acre farm thinking it was normal. She studied Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, but ultimately chose not to pursue medicine. Instead, she returned to her family’s 7th-generation farm, where she is leading a pivot from traditional cash crops of corn and soybean to alternative grains and seeds, including teff and buckwheat.
Come join us in person to enjoy food and drink and conversation with members of the local startup community.
Portions of this meeting will also be available for viewing online via Zoom. For remote viewing, select an Online Ticket when registering via Eventbrite.
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