Past Events

15 March 2018

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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

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.

MedKairos

Michael Moore, Founder and CEO.  MedKairos is automating the cancer biopsy assessment process. 1 out of every 5 biopsies taken fail to collect adequate tissue samples to come to a diagnosis. We are a medical technology company building the Bioptic™ system to increase the accuracy of cancer sample collection and reduce the time and labor required to reach a diagnosis. MedKairos has developed the Bioptic platform to verify sample quality at the point of care to make sure that patients will only have to undergo a biopsy procedure once. Bioptic™ uses a proprietary cartridge, camera, and image processing software package to verify that a sample has enough tissue to make a diagnosis - work traditionally done by a pathologist and a microscope.

 

NEF Pitch Pit

Four entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $100 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

The four entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Gail Brown, Platters Chocolatier. A full service chocolatier that specializes in designing, creating, and manufacturing gourmet chocolate custom molded items for corporate branding initiatives, promotional gifting and specialty items for all occasions.
  • Jack Griffin, FoodFinder. Non-profit organization that uses technology to directly inform a food insecure child and their family of the nearest place where they can receive help.
  • Sulaiman Mustapha, RAYN Inc. A philanthropic social media application where volunteers can share first hand experiences of their work by using photos or videos to help donors get on board.
  • Robert Vogt IV, IOSiX ELD. A pioneer in the nascent Electronic Logging Device space, selling intelligent connected-truck hardware to players across the industry.

Pitch Pit Judges:

A panel of four esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams.

Sanjib Chowdhury is the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management at the Eastern Michigan University. He leads the university wide entrepreneurship curricular and has developed and executed several co-curricular programs to engage students, faculty and community entrepreneurs.   Dr. Chowdhury's scholarly papers have been published in several high level scholarly journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Business Research, Human Resource Management, etc. He has presented in several academic and professional conferences. In addition, he serves in the editorial board of several entrepreneurship journals. Dr. Chowdhury also serves as a consultant for a variety of small and mid-sized businesses.

Dave Haviland worked for 5 start-ups before starting his consulting firm, Phimation Strategy Group.  He has raised or helped raise $15MM in venture capital and $40MM in government capital, was COO of 3 start-ups, and has helped his clients launch dozens of new products and services.  Phimation is a management consulting firm focused on Stage 2 companies – those who have made it past the start-up phase and are working to grow. Dave is a featured blogger for Crain's Detroit Business on matters related to business growth, speaks regularly to professional associations in Michigan, and has been actively involved with the Small Business Administration of Michigan, the Association for Corporate Growth and Ann Arbor SPARK.  He also contributes insight and articles on Stage 2-related topics to industry publications and is frequently quoted as a Stage 2 subject matter expert in outlets such as inc. Magazine and the American Management Association's publications.

Eric Mandell is the founder of Mandell Growth Consulting, a consulting firm that works with venture capital backed startups to help them accelerate their growth by providing digital marketing strategy and execution, data analysis and data architecture strategy and on-site optimization.  Prior to starting his consulting business, Eric worked as a User Acquisition Manager with LearnVest where he managed the organization's marketing budget across multiple paid marketing channels, identifying and vetting new potential marketing partners, implementing new campaigns, running A/B tests throughout the user experience, and backend data analysis. As a Consultant in the Strategy and Operations practice of Deloitte Consulting, his projects included identifying and quantifying the impact of numerous trends across a multitude of sectors, designing a future state vision for a media company's product data, developing a quality improvement strategy for a large national health plan, redesigning the pursuit and proposal process for a large national health plan, and developing governance and metrics to support the closing of regulatory findings for a leading financial services institution.

Paula Sorrell is the Director of the Economic Growth Institute at the University of Michigan, an institute that has provided business and technical support to over 800 companies.  The organization's Innovation Services won an award an Entrepreneurship Award from the International Economic Development Council last year.  She recently served as V.P. of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Venture Capital for the MEDC, overseeing $1B under management to support Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including university research and tech transfer, technology service providers, tech incubators, seed funding programs, portfolio investments and fund of funds. With a focus on leveraging private funding into early tech development, expanded private and federal investment leverage from 6:1 to 35:1 and expanded the pipeline of new tech companies three-fold. Primary focus was building companies built on strong science from university research, including creating state initiatives for First Customer program, Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization program, and Technology Commercialization Assistance program for early stage companies.

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.A panel of four esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams.

Registration link available on the home page. Registration recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: 

15 February 2018

NEF Celebrates 32 Years

ForumLocation: 

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

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.

Agenda:

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: 

18 January 2018

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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

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.

Mandy & Pandy

Christopher Lin, Founder and CEO.  The strength of Mandy and Pandy lies in its magic power to arouse curiosity among young kids, who will then be engaged to learn the language with interest and fun. Everything in the book (texts pictures, activities, etc.) was meticulously developed for this purpose. Mandy and Pandy Co. was formed in 2007 with success in the book market - teaching American kids Chinese.  With Chinese becoming more important in the global economic and cultural landscape, the company was re-invigorated in 2016 with a more ambitious B2B model selling to schools.  The proven content is being digitized to scale and penetrate the school market.

NEF Pitch Pit

Four entrepreneurs will each give a four-minute pitch of their business idea to a panel of investor judges in a “Shark Tank” format. Prototypes and visual aids are encouraged but no Power Point presentations. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and score the business. At the end of the evening, the person with the highest score will receive a $100 cash prize plus all additional prize money provided by the audience.

The four entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Erin Barbossa, Intuissa. On-premises preventative, proactive therapy service program to help companies improve employee engagement and productivity.
  • Colt Correa, Digibit. The world's first wearable game system for your smart device - you be come the mobile game controller.
  • Curtis McFall, Camp Gig. Hosted software platform to help summer camps find staff.
  • Brad Wilson, Write About. A classroom writing community and publishing platform built by teachers to motivate students to write.

Pitch Pit Judges:

A panel of four esteemed judges will provide feedback and score the teams.

Melanie de Vries
Melanie is a Technology Business Consultant with the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where she continues a long career in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.  She advises start-ups on strategic planning, market analysis and positioning, brand development, and customer discovery.  Melanie also served as the senior marketing officer for Deloitte Consulting, The Learning Care Group and ForeSee Results.  Most recently she served as CEO with edtech start-up PaymentScholar.

Moses Lee
Moses has contributed to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem as a mentor and instructor at the Desai Accelerator, the UofM Center for Entrepreneurship, TechArb and Ann Arbor SPARK.  In his journey as a serial entrepreneur, he co-founded Seelio which was awarded the Startup of the Year in 2015 and was acquired by Keypath Education. He is now the CEO of the Michigan Language Center, the longest running private English language school in Ann Arbor.

Sireesha Mandava
In 2012, Sireesha launched TraQtion, a quality and compliance SaaS business within NSF International.  Under her leadership as the Global Managing Director, TraQtion has become  a profitable, multimillion dollar international business. Outside of work, she and her husband financially support 69 underprivileged children in India to provide basic needs. Locally, Sireesha is involved several humanitarian activities and enjoys mentoring high school students and young adults in college prep and career planning.

Shamir Ozery
For the past 12 years, Shamir has worked with a wide variety of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to early stage startups. He helps entrepreneurs build and execute lean marketing plans that maximize existing resources and create scalable growth. He also teaches Entrepreneurial Marketing at UofM’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Shamir lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and 2 children and spends his spare time researching blockchain technology and ways it will change the world.

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.

Registration link available on the home page. Registration recommended for planning purposes.

Showcase Presenter: 

21 December 2017

Holiday Break 2017

ForumLocation: 

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

To allow everyone to unwind and relax, we will be taking a break from our normal Forum schedule for December. However, that does not mean we are taking a break from NEF coaching or participating in other entrepreneurial events around the area.

The next NEF Forum event will be on January 18, 2018.  Mark your calendar. 

 

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