20 September 2018


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

Doomed, Frustrated and Seeking Funding?

New Enterprise Forum invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to join us at our monthly Forum to connect with entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and businesses.

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. 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 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.


Dr. William C. Vuillemot, CEO and Founder.

SmileBOND Systems, LLC, is a Michigan based business which trains and equips dentists and their teams to deliver brilliant, gleaming smiles to their patients, using its proprietary multi-tooth bonding system. SmileBOND allows dentists to permanently transform smiles and bites in 2 visits with little to no tooth grinding required. Unlike the patient’s alternative options, SmileBOND’s injectable composite bonding materials are also easily reparable and cost less.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Doomed, Frustrated and Seeking Funding?

In Addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through current trends in funding, especially funding the early stage deals.

Have you ever wondered what the right steps are to raise startup capital? When you feel "Doomed, Frustrated" and continue to seek funding deals, you don't see too many options. Our experienced panel will 'tell all' the ins and outs of the funding opportunities and challenges in the deal process in this don't miss panel discussion.

We intend to discuss various options available to raise money for your startup. In this month's forum, we want to focus on what founders can do to raise startup capital above and beyond traditional sources of investments. We hope that this will be of greater interest and value to founders and it will be a dynamic discussion between investors, founders and the audience.


We have an outstanding panel of investors and entrepreneurs. 

Herbert (Herb) E. Gibson, Jr., GAPro System, Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Herb Gibson is Founder and CEO of GAPro, the data sharing Verification-as-a-Service platform. GAPro, named by Insurance Thought Leadership as one of the “Six Startups to Watch” delivers significant new capabilities while reducing both costs and errors associated with legacy certificate of insurance form based approaches. GAPro’s ecosystem provides all insurance stakeholders (carriers, agent/brokers, insured and third-parties) with secure self-service access to their insurance information, providing real-time and ongoing insurance confirmation and compliance verification globally. Additionally, GAPro can provide new customers and sources of revenue for carriers and agent/brokers alike.

Herb has overall responsibility for strategic direction and operations. His unique mix of pragmatic entrepreneurial technology and insurance experience positions GAPro towards significant growth and customer engagement. His experience includes founder of ITG Advisors (a commercial lines insurance agency), President/CEO for Aversien Science (risk management technology company) and Vice-President of Meadowbrook Insurance Group. A native of Detroit, Herb graduated from and played football for Notre Dame under the tutelage of Coach Lou Holtz. Herb received his Masters of Science in Management from Walsh.

Patricia Glaza, Venture and Managing Director, Invest Detroit Ventures

Patti joined Invest Detroit in 2014 with more than 20 years of experience in the development, implementation and commercialization of advanced technologies. She manages Invest Detroit’s venture funds and portfolio of investments. Patti leverages her broad industry relationships and operational experience to serve as a resource to nurture and promote technology startup companies. Prior to joining Invest Detroit, Patti was with Arsenal Venture Partners, a multi-stage national venture capital firm focused on IT, energy and industrial technologies.

Fares Ksebati, Co-Founder & CEO

Fares is the CEO of MySwimPro, a technology and media company that creates mobile and wearable applications that help swimmers around the world improve their performance and health. He is a former collegiate swimmer, U.S. Masters swimming national champion and American Swim Coaches Association Fellow. MySwimPro has received international accolades including being named the Best App of the Year by Apple and has been featured in Sports Illustrated. The company has secured partnerships with CASIO, Strava and the Global Swim Series with a growing international subscriber base. His team successfully raised a round of equity crowdfunding that included over 150 angel investors and venture capitalists meanwhile doubling their conversion rate to premium subscribers. MySwimPro has grown revenue by more than 40% for the last 7 consecutive quarters.


Stewart V. (Stew) Nelson
If you are active in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in SE Michigan, it is likely that you have met Stew Nelson. Stew is past Board President of the New Enterprise Forum, NEF. He 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.


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.

The event is FREE. Registration is not required but recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: