NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit - Online Event
New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us for an ONLINE Forum Meeting.
During this unprecedented time, we want to continue to support our entrepreneurs and give them a chance to connect with the entrepreneurial community, even if it means going VIRTUAL in presenting their ideas and business plans.
We showcase an outstanding team of entrepreneurs who are looking to raise capital for their venture. They have gone through an extensive coaching from our experienced coaches and these founders are eager to present their venture to the entrepreneurial community at this event.
This event gives the start-up the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community. Each presentation will reflect NEF training on what is important to communicate and what not to do. They would greatly appreciate your feedback, insights and encouragement. You will also learn a few tips and techniques in sharpening your own pitch for your venture.
Join us at this ONLINE meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.
Vic Havele, President, New Enterprise Forum
RIZZARR is a tech-enabled content marketplace for brands to work with Millennial and Gen Z content creators worldwide. RIZZARR acts as an intermediary marketing platform for brands to find, connect, and collaborate with over 5,300 content creators from around the world. RIZZARR helps Millennial and Gen Z nano-influencers and micro-influencers to authentically produce high-quality videos, selfie videos, podcasts, social posts, articles, and photos for brands to use across their apps, social media, and other digital media properties.
Ashley M. Williams is the founder and CEO of RIZZARR. She also founded Millennials Change, an event series created to inspire Millennials to make a positive impact on the world. Before starting her journey into entrepreneurship, Ashley was an award-winning journalist working for NBC News, WBAL Radio, and USA TODAY. She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California, earning a B.A. in broadcast and digital journalism as well as minors in international relations and Spanish. As a collegiate debater, she received a scholarship and placement on the USC Trojan Debate Squad. In her spare time, Ashley is a board member for various mission-driven entities including Techbridge Girls and the National Association for Media Literacy Education.
NEF Pitch Pit
Three entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. 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 $250 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.
The entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:
- Sumeet Chhawri, nuBoxZ. Anyone that uses Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo or OfferUp like second hand marketplaces have to meet face to face when buying or selling. nuBoxZ provides smart lockers to people to drop-off or pick-up items making the transactions safe and convenient.
- Kai Cui, Unbuyist. Enable fashion retailers sell more and spend less by optimizing merchandise supply through understanding of their target consumers and market with modern technology like AI and ML.
- Kaitlin Zurdosky, Destination Bachelorette. We provide bachelor/ette parties with the tools they need to book destination trips. The bachelor/ette party industry is a $16 billion dollar industry that involves hundreds of thousands of brides and guests booking vendors and traveling.
A panel of three esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams. The judges are:
A leading authority on technology commercialization, entrepreneurship and innovation, he is the former Director of Undergraduate Entrepreneurship at Michigan State University where he built the program to a Top 25 national ranking in 2 ½ years. Kane is the former co-Executive Director of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Center at Argonne National Laboratory and was (the first!) Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Illinois. He was the founding CEO of several startup companies based on university research in areas such as nanotechnology and advanced materials. Earlier he held engineering, sales and business development positions at IBM and Microsoft.
He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from The University of Chicago. Named a 2007 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, he twice attended their annual meeting in Davos. Recognized for Outstanding Entrepreneurship by the National Science Foundation. Twice an invited witness on tech transfer for the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Research & Science Education. Contributor to Forbes.com. Co-author of The Innovator’s Secret Formula.
Niki Kennedy, MD, MBA, MSE, MS. Arborhive Innovation
Dr. Niki Kennedy is a vascular surgeon with a background in both engineering and business. She began her career as an electrical engineer, graduating from Lawrence Technological University in 1995 with her BS. She then went on to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for graduate work where she obtain Masters degrees in both electrical and biomedical engineering. Dr. Kennedy then made the jump into the clinical world, completing her MD at Wayne State University in 2003. From there, she went on to complete her general surgery residency at St. John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit as well as her vascular surgery fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital. She maintains active board certifications in both fields.
Dr. Kennedy has been in active clinical practice since 2012 and is currently the section chief of vascular surgery at Henry Ford West Bloomfield hospital in the Detroit area. She also obtained her MBA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2019. Since her undergraduate days, Dr. Kennedy has worked as a consultant for startups in the healthcare field. She is experienced in device development, regulatory affairs and quality assurance. She is a member of multiple surgical organizations including the American College of Surgeons, the Society for Vascular Surgery and the Academy of Surgery of Detroit.
Jeff Ponders II, Entrepreneur in Residence, TechTown Detroit; Managing Partner, The Better Company
Jeff Ponders II is a modern-day Batman. By day, he helps entrepreneurs grow thriving companies and develop smart marketing & product strategy. Along the way, he also helps unfulfilled professionals ditch their contrived corporate personas to bring their authentic selves to market everyday. By night, he performs nationally as a professional saxophonist. A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Jeff resides in the Detroit area with his family.
Fireside Chat with Prof. David Brophy, Director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance
We will chat with Prof. Brophy about challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs in these unusual times. Founders and aspiring entrepreneurs would love to hear from Prof. Brophy his advice and insights on potential strategies to adopt as we all look forward to recovery. Come and particpate in the Q&A.
David Brophy joined the finance faculty at U-M in 1968 and has served since 1992 as Director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance, where he assists emerging and mid-size companies. He is a founding member of the editorial board of the Journal of Private Equity and the International Journal of Venture Capital. Dr. Brophy’s consulting activities in the public and private sectors include his advisory work with funds such as Compass Technology Partners, Plymouth Ventures and Bio-Star Ventures, as well as with various government agencies in the United States, Australia and France. He holds an MBA from University of Detroit and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University.
Mark your calendar. The webinar meeting starts at 4:00 PM and will end at 5:30 PM.
The event is FREE. Registration is required.
Check registration confirmation email. You will receive Zoom link, password and instructions to join the online meeting using Zoom. Make sure to download Zoom Client App prior to joining the meeting.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.