18 January 2018


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

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

Showcase Presentation

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 meeting to ask questions, keep pace with local entrepreneurs, and connect with people who support the local start-up community.

Mandy & Pandy

Christopher Lin, Founder and CEO.  The strength of Mandy and Pandy lies in its magic power to arouse curiosity among young kids, who will then be engaged to learn the language with interest and fun. Everything in the book (texts pictures, activities, etc.) was meticulously developed for this purpose. Mandy and Pandy Co. was formed in 2007 with success in the book market - teaching American kids Chinese.  With Chinese becoming more important in the global economic and cultural landscape, the company was re-invigorated in 2016 with a more ambitious B2B model selling to schools.  The proven content is being digitized to scale and penetrate the school market.

NEF Pitch Pit

Four 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 $100 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

The four entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Erin Barbossa, Intuissa. On-premises preventative, proactive therapy service program to help companies improve employee engagement and productivity.
  • Colt Correa, Digibit. The world's first wearable game system for your smart device - you be come the mobile game controller.
  • Curtis McFall, Camp Gig. Hosted software platform to help summer camps find staff.
  • Brad Wilson, Write About. A classroom writing community and publishing platform built by teachers to motivate students to write.

Pitch Pit Judges:

A panel of four esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams.

Melanie de Vries
Melanie is a Technology Business Consultant with the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where she continues a long career in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  She advises start-ups on strategic planning, market analysis and positioning, brand development, and customer discovery.  Melanie also served as the senior marketing officer for Deloitte Consulting, The Learning Care Group and ForeSee Results.  Most recently she served as CEO with edtech start-up PaymentScholar.

Moses Lee
Moses has contributed to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem as a mentor and instructor at the Desai Accelerator, the UofM Center for Entrepreneurship, TechArb and Ann Arbor SPARK.  In his journey as a serial entrepreneur, he co-founded Seelio which was awarded the Startup of the Year in 2015 and was acquired by Keypath Education. He is now the CEO of the Michigan Language Center, the longest running private English language school in Ann Arbor.

Sireesha Mandava
In 2012, Sireesha launched TraQtion, a quality and compliance SaaS business within NSF International.  Under her leadership as the Global Managing Director, TraQtion has become  a profitable, multimillion dollar international business. Outside of work, she and her husband financially support 69 underprivileged children in India to provide basic needs. Locally, Sireesha is involved several humanitarian activities and enjoys mentoring high school students and young adults in college prep and career planning.

Shamir Ozery
For the past 12 years, Shamir has worked with a wide variety of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to early stage startups. He helps entrepreneurs build and execute lean marketing plans that maximize existing resources and create scalable growth. He also teaches Entrepreneurial Marketing at UofM’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Shamir lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and 2 children and spends his spare time researching blockchain technology and ways it will change the world.

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.

Registration link available on the home page. Registration recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: