In a Jan. 2, 2018 article on the Ann Arbor SPARK website, Joe Licavoli gave an interesting review of what is new at SPARK East. "The big news is that in 2017 not only did we paint the inside and outside of SPARK East but the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti SmartZone was one of only three SmartZones in Michigan to receive a 15-year funding extension. You will see some substantial changes at SPARK Est in 2018 but rest assured that we will still have the same great coffee! Read More
Date Posted: 4 January 2018
Date Posted: 28 December 2017
Here are some key statistics on how NEF made a difference in 2017:
- NEF provides coaching and business plan review support to over 14 programs and events.
- In the past year, NEF-coached companies secured over $24.7M in equity funding!
- This is in addition to $2.5M in government funding.
- NEF coaches approximately 12 companies a year. A company who completes the program does a final presentation at our monthly forum.
NEF also provides coaching, judging, teaching and business plan review for a variety of competitions and entrepreneurial programs:
TechTown DTX, Desai Accelerator, Michigan Angel Fund, SPARK Education Series, China Business Challenge, Ann Arbor SPARK Boot Camp, Wayne State Entrepreneurial Program, Zell Lurie Entrepreneurship Challenge, Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS), Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC), Crain's Detroit Homecoming Urban Entrepreneurship Showcase, Global Automotive and Mobility Innovation Challenge (GAMIC), and David Brophy's Financing Technology Commercialization course at University of Michigan
- Other awards and recognition for NEF-coached companies
- Advanced Interactive Response System - top 2017 ACE prize
- MySwimPro $40K grand prize at the Green Light Michigan Business Model Competition; named the Best App of 2016 for the Apple Watch
- Melius Outcomes - 2017 MedHealth Summit prize
- Varsity News Network – one of Endeavor’s 34 high-impact entrepreneurs at its 66th International Selection Panel (ISP)
- Civionics - ‘Elite Entrepreneur’ on the TiE list of Top-20 Early Stage Startups at TiEcon Midwest
- Ten of the 36 semi- finalists and 2 of the finalists for the 2017 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (AMIC) are NEF-coached companies
- Seven of the 2017 Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) presenters were NEF-coached companies
- Civionix and Genomenon selected as finalists for Rise of the Rest
Date Posted: 12 December 2017
In a recent email, Candace Chapman, ContentOro VP of Marketing, shared the good news. “We are thrilled to finally be able to announce a strategic partnership we have been working on for months! The news is out that we are now partners with NewsCred, the global leader in enterprise content marketing, and they love what we do! We have already been working with them to find content for several of their enterprise customers - Content they cannot get themselves. This is a huge validation of our product and future potential! Please Note! We have extended the Netcapital raise period to December 23. [We] thank all of you for your continued support of ContentOro.”
ContentOro was coached by NEF and presented at the forum in September 2015.
Date Posted: 11 December 2017
CampGig.com wins $25,000 as "Best of" Ann Arbor SPARK Boot Camp.
December 07, 2017 03:32 PM Eastern Standard Time
ANN ARBOR, MICH. - (BUSINESS WIRE) - At the conclusion of its latest Entrepreneur Boot Camp, Ann Arbor SPARK awarded CampGig.com its $25,000 Best of Boot Camp prize and Breath of Life its $10,000 runner up prize. The winners were selected by an esteemed panel of experts, based on the business's investor pitch. Read More
Date Posted: 10 December 2017
At the NEF November forum meeting, Scott Taylor, Steve Schwartz and Michael Sherman changed things up a bit when discussing Entrepreneurs’ Tech War Stories. Each of them put the audience in the entrepreneur’s driver seat by using real-world examples of company technology dilemmas and then asked the audience to choose what they would do. The room was divided into two groups and then asked to defend their position. In each of the scenarios, more information became available and the audience could change sides based on new facts. For those who changed their positions, they were asked why. Needless to say, they kept us all guessing. It was surprising to learn how similar the points of the audience and the entrepreneur’s management team were. In the end, the audience was told what position the company chose. However, some of the decisions will not play out for years to come which highlighted the point of the exercise in that entrepreneurs make decisions today that can sink the business tomorrow. It all depends on the information available at the time of the decision and the flexibility of the company to adapt to changes in that information to either stay the course or chose a different path.
Date Posted: 9 December 2017
At the November NEF Forum, Chris Roebuck, Founder & CEO, described how Clicktivated is transforming the way videos are used by consumer product manufacturers to “create an enhanced interactive user experience.” How does it work? “The Clicktivated experience allows users to interact with individual products featured within a video.” What this means is that while a user is watching an advertisement video, they can click on an item shown in the video and then buy it instantly. This kind of Amplified Video Technology (AVT) is revolutionizing the marketing industry. Visit them at: http://www.clicktivated.com.
Date Posted: 30 November 2017
In this 'you do not want to miss' event, SPARK will invest in the top two teams from Boot Camp. SPARK would like to cordially invite you to attend. "Since October, our entrepreneurs have worked tirelessly to validate their business concepts. After countless hours spent developing a business model and finding beta customers, the entrepreneurs are ready to present their progress to the community. Come celebrate the evolution of our current Boot Camp entrepreneurs as they share their journey with you and our illustrious panel - Adrian Ohmer, Evan Ufer, & Angela Kujava. Heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, wine, beer and soft drinks will be served in honor of everyone’s hard work." See you there! Register
Date Posted: 29 November 2017
In an article by Brian Taylor of Ascension and published by Cision PRWeb, Workit Health and Brighton Center have partnered together to fight addiction. This is an important relationship in combining resources with Brighton Center’s in-patient and Workit Health’s out-patient services to those suffering from addictive behaviors. Workit Health was a NEF Showcase Presenter in November of 2015 and has gone on to raise capital to grow their business. Read more
Date Posted: 20 November 2017
The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition announced its winners last Thursday night at the gala event held at the Masonic Temple in Detroit. Two NEF Showcase Presenters were included in the winner’s circle. They were, Mi Padrino and Spellbound. The $500,000 Grand Prize winner was Orbion Space Technology. The $100,000 First Runner-Up was Mi Padrino. The $50,000 Second Runner-Up was Alerje. The $20,000 Third Runner-Up was Carma Car. The $20,000 Up-And-Coming award went to Novolux Biosciences. The $10,000 People’s Choice award went to Spellbound. Congratulations prize winners.
Also, congratulations to the other five companies who made it into the top ten finalists not mentioned above. They were; ChangeDynamix, IC-Surgical, Foodstand, MTBISense and Switched Source.
Date Posted: 20 November 2017
Have you ever wished you could get a piece of a startup, but you couldn't because you're not an accredited investor? Recent changes to the regulatory environment allow limited equity crowdfunding, and a company named Net Capital has set up a mechanism to take advantage of the new rules. Past NEF Showcase Presenter, ContentOro, has launched a campaign through this mechanism. Chick it out here: https://netcapital.com/companies/contentoro#opportunity.