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The room was packed to see who would win the bragging rights to the NEF March Pitch Pit. But first, a bit about the companies the judges had to choose from.

Jack Griffin of FoodFinder explained how thousands of families are “food insecure” which means they lack food in either quantity or quality or both. In his research, he discovered that those who need food providers did not know where to go to find food assistance for their families. Jack created a platform with a map to show where local food providers were located. The platform is accessible by computer or cell phone. Over 30,000 people have used his product which is available in a few states thus far and growing.

Robert Vogt IV of IOSiX ELD presented his company which provides intelligent connected-truck hardware to the commercial vehicle industry. Some 90% of truck accidents were caused by sleep deprivation and fatigue. His product is an electronic logging device that obtains more accurate data than the traditional logs and the data cannot be faked by truck drivers. They have made 100,000 devices for sale and have sold 55,000 to date.

Salahadin Mustapha of RAYN Inc. is a philanthropic social media application that allows a donor to follow the progress of the project to see how the cause is being helped. Charities can use the platform to showcase what they are doing and how much more money they need to meet their goal. Their plans are to get major charities on board to attract donors and use the momentum to attract other charities and donors.

Sound the drum roll please. Jack Griffin of FoodFinder won the $220 cash prize along with a winner’s certificate.

 

At the 2018 GAMIC Competition event on Feb 23, twelve entrepreneurs were named as finalists in preparation for the April 10 finals being held at SAE's WCX World Congress in Detroit's Cobo Center. Read More 

NEF members mentored seven of the finalists, as follows: 

Sheu-Jane Gallaghar – HLX Engines

Barbara Boldt – Suerv  

Vic Havele – TalaSecure

Jay Mahler – GhostWave

Steve Field – ArqBravo

Paul Henchey – Arbor Automation

Scott Taylor/Vic Havele - Scientel

In a Detroit Crain's article by Dustin Walsh on Feb 21, 2018, 5:30 AM, it was reported that Splitting Fares, Inc. (SPLT) was acquired by Robert Bosch Gmbh. SPLT developed an app where employers set up ride-sharing programs for their employees. Read More 

Spark Central was packed in anticipation of the presentations of the NEF 2017 awards. Four entrepreneurs received awards and were congratulated for their hard work, dedication, and ingenuity. From left to right - Chris Roebuck of Clicktivated won for Best Technology. Francis Glorie accepted the award for Chris. Clicktivated transforms video into an immersive, interactive, and shoppable brand experience allowing viewers to easily shop and learn more about the products they like with a click or touch. Christina York of SpellBound won Best Presentation. David Nesbitt accepted for Christina. SpellBound is a therapeutic tool that uses augmented reality technology to calm children before medical procedures and increase their cooperation with treatment. Jeff Mason of Groundspeed Analytics won Entrepreneur of the Year. Groundspeed Analytics utilizes machine learning to transform unstructured business documents into streamlined, actionable data to help insurance carriers and brokers meet their goals. They recently closed on a $2 M investment. Kimberly Gamez of Mi Padrino won Best Business Model. Lauren Lively accepted for Kimberly. Mi Padrino is a moderating organization specializing in crowed-gifting events for the Hispanic event market offering both a B2C and a B2B revenue model. Congratulations again to all of them. 

John Gray, Co-Founder and President, informed us all about CoPilot Vision Systems at the February NEF Forum. They have an exciting rear view camera that will drastically reduce accidents involving trucks. Heavy duty trucks are not required to have a rear view vision system. Consequently, 20% of forward moving accidents occur when changing lanes at a cost of about $17,000 per accident. Also, 39% of accidents occur when backing up with an average cost of $2,300 per accident. CoPilot's dual camera vision system gives truck drivers a 180 degree rear view of people and objects. 

Deep Patel, Flipboard, Feb 6, 2018, wrote an article that described seven concepts young people often get wrong about entrepreneurship. How many can you identify? Read More   

MSU's Conquer Accelerator program is on the hunt for entrepreneurs for their 10-week experience starting on June 1st, 2018 and ending on August 10th. They are accepting applications now. As a member of the Cohort, teams receive; $20,000 in funding, a creative working space in The Hatch, 40+ mentors and resources to grow their startup. Learn More

In an article by Jim Dalke , Jan 26, 2018 of Chicago INNO, Valerie Obenchain, of Advanced Interactive Response Systems (AIRS), was mentioned as one of three companies that shared the top prize at the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Catalyst Challenge in Chicago. Valerie was a graduate of NEF and presented at the Nov 2014 forum. Read More

Annalise Frank, of Detroit Crain's, Jan 26, 2018 7:21 am, reported how much the business incubator programs received from the MEDC to support entrepreneurs. There were a total of five grants extending funding. Of note, TechTown's Detroit Technlogy Exchange (DTX), Automation Alley and Lawrence Tech were among the recipients. Read More 

In a Detroit Crain's article, Jan 28, 2018 9:44 pm, Tom Henderson reported that Sean Ainsworth is heading up Immusoft Corp., as their new CEO. Immusoft produces RST-001 which is an exciting technology and is hoped to "use a patient's immune cells to treat diseases." Read all about it. RetroSence was sold to Allergan in 2016 for around $60 million. Sean successfully completed NEF coaching in April of 2010. 

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