TechArb staff, entrepreneurs, investors and alumni from the community all serve as mentors to help participants learn and succeed. Mentors review venture developments, provide feedback and hold regular office hours. In addition, at the end of each month, pseudo-board meetings are held with teams, providing further advice and coaching.
Experience: I’ve started or been early in four startups in completely different sectors over the past several years. After spending 8 years at Ricardo Inc. in many engineering and leadership roles, I joined Boomdash as the first employee while I was in the Ross MBA program in 2008. Boomdash was an SEM play for small businesses. We learned a great deal from that experience about business model structures (and flaws) along with how critical timing is (tried raising VC funds in Fall 2008) and eventually sold the company in 2009. I then launched Novitas Advisors, a boutique cleantech management consultancy, with two fellow Ross MBAs. Novitas continues to serve companies across the country by providing diversification, operations and financial consulting. In late 2009, I founded and spun out of UM Tech Transfer Shepherd IS which recently closed a Series A round of funding of $1.25M. In early 2011, I co-founded FlockTag with a colleague and have raised over $200k in angel funding thus far as the company prepares for launch in February 2012. Shepherd IS, Novitas and FlockTag are all active, growing companies.
Experience: This is the third consulting company I have created in the past 25 years. I work with small to mid sized businesses, themselves former startups and entrepreneurs,in the manufacturing and custom solutions arena. My adventures in consulting, and as a corporate citizen, led me to write a book, available end of February, 2012.
Experience: I have founded and exited four startups in the technology, optics and finance sectors. My areas of expertise are in finance, securities and quantitative analysis. I have worked with numerous businesses covering a broad range of industry sectors ranging from startup ventures through Fortune 500 companies.
Experience: Presently I am CEO of Vortex Hydro Energy, which is a UM technology transfer startup that is developing a renewable energy device that harnesses electricity from river and ocean currents. I have raised $4MM to fund the startup from a combination of federal grants, state grants, and private investors. Previously, I worked in management consulting with The Boston Consulting Group where he advised large corporate clients in areas such as strategic planning, new product launch, growth strategy, global logistics, and cost reduction. Prior to BCG I worked in the automobile industry in product development, business to business sales and marketing, and account management. I have an MBA with emphasis in General Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Michigan and a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Toledo.
Experience: I’ve been an entrepreneur and software development executive for the past 25 years. I was co-founder of Arbortext, a publishing software company, then VP of Product Development for PTC, a global enterprise software company. I’m currently beginning a project with a new NGO in Kenya to help establish sustainable businesses there.
Experience: Venture Capitalist, entrepreneur & angel investor with over 13 years experience architecting and building websites for many Fortune 500 companies including Sony, Lifetime TV, A&E Television Network, and MTV. Additionally 6 years in the startup space, having co-founded and sold ParentsClick Network to Lifetime Television in 2008. Previously was a core Drupal developer.
Experience: For more than 11 years through my involvement as a partner / director with two venture capital firms (Arbor Partners & MK Capital), I have been actively engaged in the evaluation, investment management and ongoing support of early-stage technology businesses. My experience includes assessment of the commercialization potential and investment merits of businesses based upon an examination of key factors including technological feasibility, addressable market size and growth dynamics, business model viability and management competency among others. A substantial majority of these investment opportunities have been comprised of early-stage businesses in a pre-commercial or early commercial launch phase of development and have also operated predominately, but not exclusively in the information technology, digital media and healthcare services sectors. I currently serve as a director on the boards of venture backed companies Junction Solutions, Chrimar Systems (dba CMS Technologies) and Bulbs.com.
Experience: Have provided independent consultation to entrepreneurs in the healthcare & medical technology spaces (device, diagnostic, therapeutic) and have consulted with entrepreneurs as Commercialization Director & Interim Managing Director at the U-M Medical Innovation Center.
Experience: I started my first company, Iorio’s, in high school, after noticing a gap in the market and a need for a tasty Italian experience. During college, I worked with high tech early stage companies, from clean tech to medical devices, and co-founded TerraPerks, a company that offered Energy Flair as an online service that encouraged people to use energy more efficiently. As the Online Marketing Associate for Maggie’s Organics, I increased consumer sales and developed partnerships with blogs at the cusp of the “mommy blog” movement. I also served as an Intern with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where I participated in the raising of the Michigan Supplier Diversification Fund and provided operations support for the 21st Century and Venture Michigan Funds. As an Analyst at RPM Ventures, an early stage VC fund, I do everything from look for potential investments, help our existing portfolio companies with various projects, investor reporting, & other tasks as needed.
Experience: I have been (for a long time) a serial business starter and entrepreneur with experience in Chemistry, Engineering, Building and Construction, Solar and Renewable Energy, Energy Storage, Telecommunications, Transportation, Financial Services, Telemarketing, Food, Advanced Materials and Plastics, Health Care, General Manufacturing, and Applied Science. I have started and grown companies from a few to 50+ employees, with several successful exits. I have raised money (from thousands to millions) from investors to fund many startups.
Experience: Most recent: in 2001, started Menlo Innovations, a software design and development firm in Ann Arbor 10 years ago with three other founders. Much of our revenue comes from working with other start-ups where we trade up to 50% of our cash revenue for an equity stake or a royalty position. Previous entrepreneurial experiences include failed lemonade stand (business inexperience, especially market research), completed first acquisition at 12 years old when I took over the paper route adjacent to mine after his “retirement”, doubling revenues.
Experience: Founder of health IT startup that built novel health kiosks and distributed them to health clubs and wellness programs. Prepped business plans, pitched decks, raised 2 rounds seed financing, managed alpha pd, marketing/sales, customer management. Currently serving as Investment Fellow on Frankel Commercialization Fund, a $750k student-run venture fund at the Ross School of Business.
Experience: Co-founded Olark: scaled out the back end, extensive customer development, closed contracts with large customers; Lead the core team at Zattoo, quickly scaling up our product to keep up with user demand; Help organize several Ann Arbor hacker events (CoffeeHouseCoders, Arb Camp, Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire)