Interested in startups? Join us for our next Forum Meeting, in person or online. Find out more here.
A panel of experts will discuss how founders can find the right investors to help their company grow considering all aspects of the founder-funder relationship.
Kurt Baumgarten is a Partner with GM Ventures, the venture capital arm of General Motors.. Kurt has been involved in Michigan’s investment and entrepreneurial communities for most of his career. Kurt co-founded Applied Licensing, LLC, an angel investment organization specializing in the development and monetization of intellectual property. A licensed attorney, Kurt has a background in public policy, and a passion for early-stage company growth and success. Kurt is a founding member and former group Lead of the Pointe Angels angel investment club and is a Board Member of the New Enterprise Forum.
Kai Evelyn Smith Daniels is a Senior Associate with GM Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of General Motors. Currently completing a master’s in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics from Carnegie Mellon University, Kai is responsible for analyzing and supporting investments across automotive cleantech, advanced robotics, smart materials, and other Industry 4.0 automotive-related technologies. Additionally, Kai has supported over $200M+ of venture transactions across the US, Canada and Israel over her 6+ years with the GM Ventures team. Prior to her role at GM Ventures, Kai was a Global IT Project Manager within General Motors and co-founder of SoFitU, a fitness mobile application launched out of the Florida State University’s College of Business and TechTown Detroit in 2014. Kai graduated from Florida State University, with honors, obtaining both a Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurship Degrees. In her free time, Kai enjoys traveling and working with underrepresented founders through her organization PitchBlackx to support increased success for minority owned businesses.
Justin Turk is Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Livegistics, Inc. By preparing businesses for a sustainable future, Livegistics, Inc., a Detroit-based MBE Certified Company, is committed to automating tedious manual tasks creating a more sustainable future. Previously, as Vice President and Chief Estimator at one of Michigan’s largest heavy civil (Minority-Owned) construction companies before becoming CEO, Justin Turk was instrumental in the introduction and advancement of construction technology utilization throughout the organization, with a background in both computer science and civil engineering/construction management. Turk is a third-generation entrepreneur in the construction industry and a member of the Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance, EY’s (Ernst & Young) Entrepreneur Access Network, and the National Black Supplier Development Program presented by Stellantis North America and the National Business League. Justin holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Bowling Green University and a master’s degree in construction engineering from Lawrence Technological University. As the winner of the inaugural $1 million Black Ambition Pitch Competition, Livegistics closed a $6 million seed investment in March of 2022.
Linda Fingerle is the Tappan Hill Ventures founder & president of Tappan Hill Ventures, providing investment and operating expertise to B2B software SaaS companies. Linda has 16 years of venture capital experience and 30+ years of business experience, including and CFO and Principal of EDF Ventures in Ann Arbor, MI. During this time, she was a board member of Stabilitas (sale to OnSolve), BuildPulse (sale to Coppertree), Vontoo (sale to One Call Now), currently a board member at BeTheBeast (sale to LiveBarn), board observer at Kumanu and Casted, and and advisor to ParentSquare and Livegistics. Prior to EDF, Linda was a Group Operating President for MascoTech, Inc., a Michigan based Manufacturing Corporation. Linda was active in MascoTech’s robust M & A program as well as oversight responsibilities for several operating units. Prior to MascoTech, Linda was a Group Operating Vice-President with TriMas Corporation, an Ann Arbor-based industrial proprietary products manufacturer, and a key member of TriMas’s strategic acquisition team and played a key role in expanding TriMas’s growth & profitability via acquisitions. TriMas was acquired by MascoTech, Inc. at a purchase price of $1.4 billion representing 10 times EBITDA.
David Bloom is a serial entrepreneur, educator, and Executive Director of the Pointe Angels investment club, where he is responsible for scouting, screening, due diligence, and coordinating deal flow with Angel investors across the state. David is a veteran of thirteen startups, an advisor or director with four emerging companies, and a mentor for scores of innovative technology ventures in Life Science/Medical Devices, Advanced Materials/Cleantech, and Cloud/Mobile Applications. David founded the Factotem Constellation, a global team of business formation and development professionals who provide hands-on engineering, marketing, and analyst/diligence services to entrepreneurs and investors. Previously David worked as a product developer, project manager, magazine writer, and editor. David also lectured at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School and served as Course Operating Officer for its Financing Technology Commercialization accelerator practicum. David is a founding director of the a2geeks educational foundation, an organizer of the a2newtech meetup and Ann Arbor Ignite. David holds a BSE in Electrical Engineering, and an MSE in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.
Peter Pacult is Co-founder and CEO of Avana Health, a US-based startup focused on developing treatments for women’s health where there is significant unmet need. Peter has 20 years of experience in finance and life sciences. With extensive operational experience, he has previously built organizations from the ground up and assembled high-performance teams. He served as the Vice President, Research and Development, for a commodities firm. Attracted to making a positive impact on human health, he transitioned to life sciences where he has led large drug and clinical development programs in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. He has consulted across several industries, and has a passion for health, sustainability, and education. He holds an MBA, with a focus on strategy and leadership, from University of Michigan Ross School of Business and a BA from Northwestern University.
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.