MIT Enterprise Forum of the Great Lakes continues its Savvy Entrepreneur Series on Tuesday, February 21st from 5:30-8:00 p.m. with "Inside the Mind of an Angel Investor". Our very own Don Baker will be joining the panel and is sure to provide some interesting insights -- since he has both represented companies taking angel investments and been an angel investor himself. About the event: For most entrepreneurs, raising seed and early stage capital is arguably one of the most challenging steps of starting a company.  This financing stage is usually too early for most professional Venture Capital firms.  And after you've put in most of your own money and that of some close friends and family, it is probably time to seek out some Angel investors. Who is the best type of Angel investor for my company? Where do I find these Angels? What role should they play in addition to providing investment dollars? What does a typical Angel look for in a "startup" company? Is an early stage investor right for your business? If my business takes off, how might a Venture Capitalist look at the Angel Investor? The panel includes Angel Investor, Venture Capitalist, Successful Entrepreneur, and Early Stage Business Attorney.  The moderator will help coordinate across the live sites a chance to ask your top questions to help your idea or business move forward more quickly.  The panelists want to help you succeed and learn quickly. Register Online In Advance for Free Admission.


The Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship, better known as ACE, is Ann Arbor's premier event for entrepreneur networking. ACE '12 is taking place this Tuesday, January 31, 2012, from 2-9 p.m., at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor. From the website: Each year at ACE, you'll join 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 hundreds of attendees as they take advantage of learning and networking opportunities with fellow entrepreneurs, funding sources and entrepreneurial resources at this year’s ACE. Looking for an opportunity to showcase your company with hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and dignitaries? Join as an exhibitor at ACE ‘12 and add your voice to the conversation driving entrepreneurs in Southeast Michigan.   Click here for more information.


This month, Ann Arbor New Tech Meetup, brought to you by a2geeks, is hosting Roger Ehrenberg, celebrated New York angel investor, UM alum, and founder and Managing Partner of IA Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on big data investments. Here's an abstract of Roger's presentation: Data has touched every industry for decades, so why is Big Data such a hot topic now? In this talk, Roger frames what Big Data means, how it's generated, and how scale companies and startups alike use data as an active asset. He compares sources of data and end-products for example companies, and discusses how to use data as a source of natural competitive advantage. You can RSVP here.  


The next Detroit Startup Drinks event is Wednesday, December 21, 2011 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit.  Come on down and meet like-minded individuals looking to support startup culture, help each other out, and share ideas…over a pint. Join the Facebook Group.  Don’t forget to RSVP.


The Ann Arbor New Tech Meetup is breaking from its regular schedule and format to support the Michigan Business Model Competition Final Event, brought to you by SI Create. From the press release: Come watch the competition's final four teams pitch their entrepreneurial business models at Blau Auditorium on Monday December 12, 2011. The final four teams will win $5000 in prizes! Judges include Menlo Innovations President Rich Sheridan, SPARK VP Skip Simms, and serial entrepreneur Kurt Skifstad. Come network with innovators from across campus and Ann Arbor! The competition is sponsored by the School of Information, Center for Entrepreneurship, Zell Lurie Institute, Intel Corporation, YouNoodle, and A2NewTech! Note the new date and time. RSVP Here. Hope you can make it.


The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition

In the crowded world of business plan beauty contests, the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition sets itself apart by offering the largest crown -- a cool $1 million. Here's the deal: The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is an international business plan competition designed to highlight Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity. The competition will fuel innovation-based business growth by uncovering the best and brightest new business concepts from local and global entrepreneurs, exposing those opportunities to potential investment capital and fostering their growth within Michigan. The competition targets mid-to-late seed-stage businesses with potential to generate an immediate impact on Michigan’s economy, as well as student concepts with longer-term business viability. With more than $1 million in cash winnings, plus in-kind awards of services and staffing, the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is the world’s largest business plan competition. The competition is led by the Business Accelerator Network for Southeast Michigan (composed of four of the region’s key business accelerators: Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Macomb, and TechTown), the New Economy Initiative, Business Leaders for Michigan, and the University Research Corridor (Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University). Premier sponsors of the event are the Business Leaders for Michigan and the University Research Corridor. These groups have aligned their efforts to bolster and advance Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through a variety of collaborative initiatives, including the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. The mission is focused on job creation, increased capital and statewide economic and resource development. The Com­pe­ti­tion is from Novem­ber ...


Safford & Baker is a proud sponsor of the" 2010-11 Savvy Entrepreneur Series" brought to you by the Great Lakes Chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF), UM Dearborn, and Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest (GLEQ). The Series is co-produced with, and hosted by, a number of the region’s leading innovation accelerators and research institutions, the series provides early to mid-stage technology entrepreneurs with guidance on key topics that all startups and early growth companies must navigate to realize success. The next event in the Series is "2 + 2 = Infinity" on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM, covering compensation for the early-stage company: Building a team with passion, critical skills and connections is critical to your success. If your company is starting out, or one with limited resources, and can’t really afford a Fortune 500 pay package, what can you do to attract and retain the talent that you need to compete in this highly competitive world? Learn how to build awesome teams that match your current stage of business development and your current funding status. Learn steps for supporting highly creative and innovative team environment. Collaboration site locations in: Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Flint, Midland, and Houghton. I'll be attending the Ann Arbor location. RSVP here.


Tech Brewery in the News

Our beloved Tech Brewery, "a community of technologists, entrepreneurs and startups", is featured in a story on "What it Takes to be a Successful Business Incubator" as part of Michigan Radio's "Changing Gears" series, which "explores the economic transformation of the industrial Midwest, through the stories of people driving and experiencing this change." From the article: Each Friday, inside the old Northern Brewery building in Ann Arbor, 4:30 p.m. is known as “beer thirty”. That’s when the self-described tech geeks who are part of this informal business community gather for drinks. The Tech Brewery houses three dozen start-ups – but don’t call it [a] business incubator. “We don’t call ourselves an incubator,” founder Dug Song said. “If anything we call ourselves a start-up coop. Song has his own start-up – Duo Security. He began the TechBrewery after being frustrated by traditional business incubators. In his opinion, they provide little more than cheap rent for lots of start-ups – instead of what it takes to get a company up and running. Read the whole article here -- and it's worth a read. Check out the audio story here.


Two not-to-miss events this week for the entrepreneur: First up, Detroit Startup Drinks is back and visiting The Bronx Bar tomorrow, Tuesday, October 25th, from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. Come on down, have a drink, and talk about what you're working on. S&B is buying the first round. Details at the Facebook page. Then, come on out to Ann Arbor for a very special Halloween edition of Fourth Friday at the Tech Brewery sponsored by newcomers LanguageMate. There will be catering, an amazing dessert display, kegs of Michigan micro brews, and more birds of prey (no really). Details and RSVP here. Hope you can make it.


Foundry Group visits Ann Arbor

U-M Tech Transfer is bringing in Michigan native Jason Mendelson and his partner Brad Feld of Foundry Group and TechStars fame on November 17th to talk about their new book "Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist". The event goes from 12:00-2:00 at the U-M Law School (100 Hutchins Hall, 625 South State, Ann Arbor, MI) and includes a book signing. More info can be found over at CrowdJuice. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the video.