Past Events

18 May 2017

NEF Showcase Presentation and Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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

Showcase Presentations

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.

CARROT

Michael Antaran, Founder and CEO.  Carrot is a mobile health and wellness program that motivates participants to meet personal goals using a proprietary algorithm that provides instant gratification that increases success.

SpellBound

Christina York, Founder and CEO.  SpellBound is a therapeutic tool that uses augmented reality technology to calm children before medical procedures and increase their cooperation with treatment. SpellBound’s 3D experiences are being used in top-tier pediatric hospitals to distract during painful procedures and encourage motor skill rehabilitation, reducing trauma for children and cost of care for hospitals.

NEF Pitch Pit

Three 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 three entrepreneurs, selected from a large pool of applicants are:

  • Bryan Richardson, Bryan’s Backyard, Community sports amusement parks
  • Nicolas Theoret, Jacket 360, Wearable blind spot detection devices
  • Mike Westcott, Wellwith, Wellwith is the wellness rewards network built to save local businesses money and reward customers in the fight against single-use waste.

Pitch Pit Judges:

Francis Criqui, President, Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Managing Partner, Technology Highway, L3C. 

Francis “Tex” Criqui, former Director of the LTU Collaboratory at Lawrence Tech, is now President of the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Managing Partner in Technology Highway, L3C.  Technology Highway designs unique, comprehensive, process driven solutions to entrepreneurial challenges. Mr Criqui has served as a mentor, judge, and advisor for numerous competition in SE Michigan over the past 5 years.  He is also an instructor for a customer discovery program based upon the NSF I-Corps.

Jane DeLancey, DeLancey Design, Ann Arbor, MI

After working for the in-house marketing departments of ADP Network Services and Gelman Sciences Jane launched DeLancey Design in 1984. Since then she has worked for over 150 clients on a wide variety of designs projects for clients representing a wide variety of industries. She currently is focusing on marketing projects for the manufacturing industry. An NEF Board member and past Chair of the NEF Marketing Committee, Jane has coached entrepreneurs for NEF for the last six years, and has been a coach for Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest.

Angela Kujava, Managing Director, Desai Accelerator, Ann Arbor, MI

Angela Kujava is the Managing Director of Desai Accelerator, responsible for the execution and development of the program, including mentoring startups and selecting and managing investments. She works closely with the region’s business and campus communities to further existing relationships for the benefit of not only the participating startups but also the broader entrepreneurial landscape.
Prior to Desai, Angela was the Director of Innovation at a global application development firm, where she led the marketing, creative, and eCommerce teams.

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: 

20 April 2017

Financials: Tying Your Financials to Your Story

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. 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.

CLINGFISH

Tasneen Bowe, CEO & Co-Founder

A patented vacuum accessory mount that allows use on aluminum-bodied vehicles without damaging the roof or any interior or external elements.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Tying Your Financials to Your Story

In addition, we have a panel of experts who will guide you through understanding importance of financials in presenting your venture to investors. There are certain things investors are looking for in the financials presented by entrepreneurs in their executive summary or initial investor pitch when they are seeking funding. Although no forecast can be counted on with certainty, investors look for a reasonable business model, expectations of sales growth and cash flow, P&L forecasts, and valid assumptions behind any plan. They also look for red flags: sure signs that the numbers are not to be trusted and that the founding team might need too much help. In this month's forum, we want to focus on what founders can do to use Financials to emphasize their story (Plans behind the Financials) - what they want investors to know to reinforce the Investor Thesis.  We are including some founders on our panel to tell us what worked and didn't work from the founder perspective.  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. 

PANEL:

Jen Baird, CEO of Accio Energy

As a CEO of Accio Energy, Jen brings her track record of successfully commercializing transformational technologies to develop Accio’s revolutionary EHD wind energy systems. From 2005 to 2010, Jen was President and CEO of Accuri Cytometers, a rapidly growing company developing and marketing breakthrough life science products for research and clinical use. Jen co-founded Accuri and led the company from inception through development and commercialization. She raised over $30 million in venture equity and debt funding and achieved more than $10 million in sales, a global reach and near-profitability in just five years time. In 2011, Accuri was successfully sold to Becton Dickinson for $205 million, generating 5-6x returns for investors. Previously, Ms. Baird was a key member of the senior management team at Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc., a technology development firm focused on using micro-electromechanical systems for medical and scientific sensing applications. Earlier in her career, as a Vice President at Keane Consulting Group, she managed over $10 million in projects and helped the firm quintuple in size to over 150 staff.
Jen began her career in commercial banking. She received her MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where she shared Top-of-Class honors, and a BA degree from the University of Michigan.

Christine Gibbons, Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer of HistoSonics, Inc.

Chris has over thirty years of financial management, fundraising and operating experience and for the past twenty years has been deeply involved with early-stage emerging technology companies, both as an investor and part of entrepreneurial management teams.  Together with other founders, she has raised over $80 million in start-up capital to launch and support fourteen new ventures.

Chris is currently Co-Founder/Chief Operating Officer of HistoSonics, Inc., a medical device company developing a non-invasive, image-guided, highly precise tissue ablation technology for cost effective treatments of significant cancers and diseases. She has served the company in various roles including president, chief operating officer and interim chief executive officer.  Prior to HistoSonics, she held various leadership roles in entrepreneurial ventures including Executive in Residence (EIR) for Venture Investors, LLC, chief financial officer for Sensicore, a company with lab-on-a-chip sensor products (acquired by a division of GE), VP of Finance for Ardesta, an investor in “small-tech” opportunities and Partner and CFO of Seaflower Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage biomedical opportunities.  Her Board and other advisory roles:include: ONL Therapeutics board member, Apjohn Ventures Fund LP advisor, University of Michigan (UM) Venture Center Council member, Michigan State University Center for Venture Capital, Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance advisor and UM Coulter Program Technical Oversight Committee (past member, 2008 – 2016).

Chris serves as a guest lecturer at Michigan State University’s Business School.  She holds an MBA from Wayne State University and a BA from Michigan State University.

Dan Rhodes, PhD, CEO, Strata Oncology and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan

Dan Rhodes is a scientist and entrepreneur focused on precision medicine in oncology.
He is currently co-founder and CEO of Strata Oncology, a venture-backed company leveraging its state-of-the-art cancer genome sequencing laboratory to accelerate precision medicine clinical trials.  From 2012-2015, Dan was Vice President of Oncology for Thermo Fisher Scientific (Life Technologies) where he oversaw the development of cancer sequencing products and pharma companion diagnostic partnerships. From 2006-2012, Dan was co-founder and CEO of Compendia Bioscience, a University of Michigan spin-off formed to further develop and commercialize his thesis project, Oncomine™, a cancer genome data-mining platform. Over six years, Compendia grew to 20+ pharma customers, 10,000+ users and nearly $10M in annual revenue, culminating in the acquisition by Life Technologies in 2012. Dan has co-authored 40+ publications and is a co-inventor on 10 patents, including the discovery of gene fusions as a genetic cause of prostate cancer. He received the Weintraub Award, the AACR Team Science Award and was recognized by Crain’s Detroit as a Mergers and Acquisitions Deal of the Year Finalist. Dan serves on the oversight committee for the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) Program and on the Advisory Boards for eLab Ventures and the Monroe-Brown Biomedical Seed Fund. Dan received both a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and a Doctorate in Bioinformatics from The University of Michigan.

MODERATOR:

Stewart V. (Stew) Nelson, CEO of Mayasil, LLC.

If you are active in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in SE Michigan, it is likely that you have met Stew Nelson. Stew is the past President of the New Enterprise Forum. Stew 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.

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: 

16 March 2017

NEF Pitch Pit

ForumLocation: 

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

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:

  • Mark Couling, Head, Business Development, Deeptalk. Deeptalk develops voice & text bots that provide a reliable, pleasant, and sustained automatic conversational experience surpassing human assistance, centered around consumer facing businesses. Deeptalk is an AI company that is revolutionizing how people interact with machines using deep conversational understanding.
  • Norman Kutemperor, Scientel IT Corporation. Gensonix NoSQL Database - New Data Base Systems to solve Todays Big Data Problems.
  • Felicia Maxwell, Fit4Life Health and Fitness LLC. Health, nutrition, and physical fitness classes, services, and solutions for all age groups and backgrounds.
  • Charles Richison, Creative Technology. LeafEasy - an innovative tool for collecting leaves easily.

Pitch Pit Judges:

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

Francis Criqui, President, Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Managing Partner, Technology Highway, L3C. 

Francis “Tex” Criqui, former Director of the LTU Collaboratory at Lawrence Tech, is now President of the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and Managing Partner in Technology Highway, L3C.  Technology Highway designs unique, comprehensive, process driven solutions to entrepreneurial challenges. Mr Criqui has served as a mentor, judge, and advisor for numerous competition in SE Michigan over the past 5 years.  He is also an instructor for a customer discovery program based upon the NSF I-Corps.

Sheu-Jane Gallagher, S'Jane Group

As the principal of the S’Jane Group, Sheu-Jane Gallagher consults for startups and entrepreneurial service organizations, advising on commercialization strategies, portfolio management, and investment due diligence. She has held various positions in the automotive industry with Ford Motor Co. and Decoma International, and taught mechanical engineering at Wayne State University. Sheu-Jane holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University with a special expertise in biomedical engineering.

 

Gary Hessenaur, President and owner of Hessenaur & Associate, C.P.A., P.C..
The firm provides a full range of accounting, tax, consulting and part time CFO services. The firm focuses on small to mid-size businesses with a specialty in start ups and technology businesses. Start up business clients have been funded through owner funds, grants, angel and VC investors. He is very well networked in the startup and financing community. Gary is a coaches several startup programs including SPARK and NEF. He has been on the NEF board since 1993, past president and program committee chair.

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: 

16 February 2017

NEF Celebrates 31 Years

ForumLocation: 

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

The February 2017 meeting is our 31st birthday party, where we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. Join in on the fun as we celebrate entrepreneurialism by awarding the 2016 NEF Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Guess which 2016 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 PRESENTER

AkkeNeel Talsma - Melius CEO & FounderMelius Outcomes™ is a cloud-based software/services solution for hospital clinicians to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes.  Using a hospital’s existing electronic health records (EHR) system, Melius identifies point-of-care quality issues and then provides evidence-based recommendations and training videos to correct them. www.meliusoutcomes.com

2016 NEF Entrepreneur of the Year – Sean Ainsworth, CEO and Founder, RetroSense

Sean Ainsworth has twenty years of experience in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. He has had deep involvement in the launch of two earlier startup companies, Compendia Bioscience, Inc. and GeneVivo, LLC where he assisted in developing business models, licensing technologies, building management teams, securing capital and first customers. Compendia BioScience was acquired by Life Technologies in October, 2012. His experience also includes research at Medical Biology Institute (now Avanir Pharmaceuticals developers of Abreva, the leading cold sore medication) in San Diego, intellectual property at Koyama and Associates in Tokyo, international corporate development consulting at The Mattson Jack Group in St. Louis, MO. In 2004 Mr. Ainsworth launched Ainsworth BioConsulting to provide licensing, strategic planning, and business planning services to the life science and entrepreneurial community. Mr. Ainsworth’s clients included large pharma, small biotechs, universities, CROs, and venture investment funds. He has worked with clients at all stages of development. Mr. Ainsworth holds a BS in Microbiology from University of California, San Diego and an MBA in strategy and finance from Washington University in St. Louis.

2016 NEF Showcase Presenter Awards

Here are the contenders for the 2016 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.

  • AOE Medical, Arianna Carley, CEO
  • Axon Spark/Odeum Learning, Ian Natzmer, CEO
  • Alchemie, Julia Winter, CEO
  • LegalEase, Tariq Hafeez, CEO
  • TrueJob, Scott Goci, CEO
  • Brightable, David Vanker, CEO
  • PlanetXLaw, Bert Tiger Whitehead IV, CEO
  • Parabricks, Mehrzad Samadi, CEO
  • Ripple Science, Nestor Lopez-Duran, 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: 

26 January 2017

17th Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship (ACE'17)

ForumLocation: 

Westin Hotel, Southfield, Michigan

ACE '17 is the place where Great Lakes region entrepreneurs gather to network, learn and connect. Each year at ACE, you engage with an exciting, forward-thinking community of innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders – people – like you who have the vision and drive to build new ventures for a new future. Each year’s ACE event, along with the year-long activities of its supporting organizations, is helping to make the Great Lakes region a better place to start and grow a business. Join the crowd of attendees as they take advantage of learning and networking opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs, funding sources and entrepreneurial resources at  ACE’17.

See www.ace-event.org for more information.

NEF participation at ACE'17

As one of the founding partners of ACE, NEF has a strong interest in the success of this event. At ACE'17,  NEF will be sponsoring a pitch-pit workshop.

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 PowerPoint. After each pitch, the judges will give detailed feedback and each judge will score the business. At the end, the person with the highest score will receive a special ACE'17 cash prize of over $200.

 

15 December 2016

Holiday Break 2016

ForumLocation: 

ACE'17 - Jan 26th, 2017

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 gathering will be at ACE 2017 when NEF will participate with our famous Pitch Pit. Save the date for ACE 2016 on January 26 at the Southfield Westin Hotel from 12:30 – 6:30 pm. For more details, see www.ace-event.org.

Our next Forum event will be our annual awards meeting. Mark your calendars for February 16, 2016. We be will be celebrating past NEF Showcase presenters, awarding entrepreneurs, reminiscing, and having fun. Whether you are a past NEF supporter, a current supporter or are interested in entrepreneurialism, come on by and join in the festivities.

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