22 June 2017


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

Critical Hires for Your Startup Venture

Past Presenter Update

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. 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.

This month Genomenon will present their story and give us an update since they initially presented in July 2014 as NEF Showcase Presenter.


Mike Klein, CEO.  Genomenon is a software-as-a-service company offering products that minimize errors and maximize the efficiency of genomic sequence analysis. Mike is an accomplished CEO with 25 years of experience developing, building and growing high tech, software and IT companies. Before joining Genomenon, Mike was CEO of 3 high-tech start-ups, raising over $50M in investment capital, completing an acquisition and leading 2 successful exits, including Online tech, which secured a 10x return for its investors in 2012. He has the technical and financial background in guiding businesses to meet their objectives and extensive experience with financing, acquisitions and delivering successful exits.

Panel Discussion: Critical Hires for Your Startup Venture

In addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through understanding importance of hiring the right people for the success of your venture. What do entrepreneurs go through in hiring the right people in growing their companies? We are not talking about just the C-Suite hires, but also the other critical people, like, developers, engineers, and support managers that make the business work. Hear the stories and learn straight from the entrepreneurs themselves around this controversial topic.

We hope that this will be of greater interest and value to founders and it will be a dynamic discussion between entrepreneurs, investors and the audience.


Bill Crane, Founder & CEO, IndustryStar Solutions, LLC

William Crane is the Founder & CEO of IndustryStar Solutions, which provides technology companies with Supply Chain as a Service powered by their Supply Performance SystemTM cloud software. He is an experienced entrepreneur and executive in supply chain with demonstrated results launching and enhancing procurement, logistics, supplier quality, and manufacturing operations for startups and established companies, globally. William has held senior positions and managed for Stage 2 Innovations and Bright Automotive, and consulted for Grant Thorton, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, GM, Mahindra, ThermoFisher, Tesla, KARMA, Proterra, Visteon, Mopar, TREMEC, Lear, Multimatic, Dura, and JAC Products. He is an MBA in-progress at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and has his BBA in Integrated Supply Management from Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business. He holds APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional and ISM Certified Professional in Supply Management certifications. William brings unique perspective having worked at every stage within the supply chain.

Jeff Mason, Founder and CEO, Groundspeed Analytics

Jeff Mason is the Founder and CEO of Groundspeed Analytics. Formed in early 2016, this innovative insurance tech start up utilizes machine learning to transform unstructured business documents into streamlined, actionable data. By making the process more nimble and efficient, insurance carriers and brokers now have a game-changing tool to meet their goals. Groundspeed recently closed on a $2 million investment.

Prior to Groundspeed, Jeff served as SVP and executive committee member of Chelsea Rhone, an insurance holding company where he led sales, marketing and all innovation efforts.  It was during this time Jeff first caught the entrepreneur bug and found QAreader.com, an insurtech SaaS company and Evolucent, a risk management consultancy. Jeff has an MBA with high distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business as well as a keen knowledge of all things Star Wars.

Stewart V. (Stew) Nelson, CEO, Mayasil, LLC

If you are active in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in SE Michigan, it is likely that you have met Stew Nelson. Stew is the past President of the New Enterprise Forum. Stew is a serial entrepreneur with Founder’s title in Mayasil, LLC, GAPro Systems, Adrelenventis, LLC, Solidspeed Networks and Geostrip Systems just to mention a few.  As an active angel investor, he has ownership equity positions in Blaze Medical Devices, Sentinl, SurClean, Catalyst, Family Mint, among others.  Stew is a retired pilot with over 30 years of military and commercial experience and more recently as a commercial insurance professional with Kapnick Insurance Group.  Not satisfied with retirement three times now, Stew is currently serving as CEO of Mayasil, LLC.  Stew is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan, BA, 69 and Eastern Michigan University, MBA 92.

Steve Schwartz, Co-Founder and CTO, Genomenon

Steve Schwartz is the Co-Founder and CTO for Genomenon which reduces the time Pathologists and Geneticists spend researching and interpreting genomic variants from hours to minutes. Genomenon was recently awarded a $1.8M grant by the National Institutes of Health. Steve is also the Managing Member of Alfa Jango which provides web-based software and application development for early-stage startups. In the past, he was Co-Founder and CTO of Carcode who had a product, CarcodeSMS, which helps customers to purchase cars via text message. In 2014, Edmunds.com acquired CarcodeSMS. It was for this achievement that New Enterprise Forum awarded Steve with the NEF Entrepreneur of the Year. He holds two BS degrees from Kettering University in the fields of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering.


Helen Ewing, President, The Ewing Group, LLC

Helen Ewing is President of The Ewing Group, LLC a provider of consultant services. She consults with Mi-Light as the Executive Director to grow the organization. Mi-Light is a trade association for the Michigan photonics industry with 30 members, reaching 2,650 employees and $873M in sales. Helen consults with manufacturers in offering procurement optimization services and training. Her 20+ year procurement career includes management and senior roles in supply chain management for the automotive, consumer products and banking industries. Helen is an experienced business consultant coaching entrepreneurs on how to improve their business plans and be more attractive to investors. She is a current Board member for New Enterprise Forum with past Vice President and Program Chair roles. Helen's coaching activities include; New Enterprise Forum, SPARK, Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, Michigan Angel Fund, Tech Town Detroit, and past first-round judge for the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. She holds a MS degree in Industrial Technology and a BBA both from Eastern Michigan University.


Mark your calendar. The meeting opens at 5:00 pm with networking and appetizers. Around 5:45 pm, the program portion of the meeting begins with an introduction from our President including upcoming entrepreneurial events and past NEF Showcase Presenter news. The program continues with our featured Showcase Presenter(s) who are graduates of the NEF coaching process. Depending on the month or otherwise noted, the program includes the engaging NEF Pitch Pit or intriguing topic and panel. The program typically finishes at 7:15 pm with more networking afterwards. Please feel welcome to join us.