15 February 2018


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

NEF Celebrates 32 Years

The February 2018 meeting is our 32nd birthday party, where we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. Join in on the fun as we celebrate entrepreneurialism by awarding the 2017 NEF Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Guess which 2017 NEF Showcase Presenters will take home pitch awards for Best Presentation, Best Technology and Best Business Plan. Be a part of coaching, perfecting and connecting at NEF where entrepreneurs rule!

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.

Showcase Presenter

CoPilot Vision Systems

John Gray, Co-Founder & President

CoPilot Vision Systems is developing a rear view vision system for the commercial heavy duty and Do It Yourself truck rental market. The system is portable, and provides a 180° view across the rear of the vehicle. It is a straightforward solution to enable the driver to see what is behind the vehicle; improving driver safety and efficiency, and reducing fleets insurance costs. One patent has been issued and a second patent for a multi-camera vision system is under 4th office action stage review.


2017 NEF Entrepreneur of the Year

Jeff Mason -  CEO, Groundspeed Analytics, Inc.

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.

2017 NEF Showcase Presenter Awards

Here are the contenders for the 2017 Showcase presenter awards. They worked hard. They all deserve congratulations on their presentations, but only three will be taking home an award for their outstanding efforts.

  • Carrot, Michael Antaran, CEO
  • Circadian Risk, Daniel Young, CEO
  • Clicktivated, Chris Roebuck, CEO
  • Clingfish, Tasneen Bowe, CEO
  • Melius Outcomes, AkkeNeel Talsma, CEO
  • MI Padrino, Kimberly Gamez, CEO
  • MySwimPro, Fares Ksebati, CEO
  • SpellBound, Christina York, CEO
  • TwoScoreTwo, Sam Savant, CEO

The winners’ names remain secret until show time, even they do not know which award they have won.


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.

Showcase Presenter: