We all know the New Enterprise Forum helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses, but that’s not all we do – as evidenced at the September meeting, a panel discussion by an eclectic group of investors about the current investment scene in Michigan -- and ultimately, beyond. The audience was 40-plus entrepreneurs (nearly a dozen of whom indicated they planned to try to raise money for their businesses at some point), investors of every stripe (friends, family, solo angel, group angel, and corporate VC), and service providers offering the full buffet of services for every growth stage.
Yet audience questions and feedback submitted after the meeting indicated that even the “experts” continue to learn. Coaches who are themselves experienced entrepreneurs or service providers asked for clarification or additional info on subtle differences across investment markets, as well as best practices among investor types. Others expressed surprise about angel or VC requirements that may have changed over time or are different from practices in other areas of the US with which they may be more familiar.
Because Ann Arbor is a “transient” town due to its ties to the University of Michigan, our audience and its needs change rapidly as well. With the acceleration of that change due to the University Research Corridor, the deeper engagement of Tech Transfer, Detroit redevelopment including Tech Town, and an improved economy that allowed investment throughout southeast lower Michigan, change will continue to be a primary characteristic of the area and its entrepreneurial community.
The September meeting discussion and its audience response was a perfect example of NEF’s value as the “go-to” place in such a community. Join us to take advantage of the coaching, connecting, and perfecting opportunities for those at every level of the game. All are welcome!