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M2: Marketing and Advertising as a Superpower

A New Orleans native and graduate of Tulane University, Molly McFarland launched her career in Marketing and Business Development at an architectural design firm in Ann Arbor. During her time as Marketing Director at another Ann Arbor startup, she and a coworker started working on a side project that eventually became what is now the company she co-founded with said coworker, AdAdapted. So far, they’ve secured clients such as the Detroit Lions, Nestle, and Proctor and Gamble. They’ve raised...


M2: How A Writer Turned Entrepreneur Is Building Detroit's Startup Community

Amanda Lewan is an award-winning writer and entrepreneur. After getting her Bachelor's in professional writing from Michigan State University and her Masters in English from Wayne State, she launched into the marketing world as a content marketer at Sunny Media Group. Shortly after, she launched Michipreneur, Michigan's only statewide publication on entrepreneurship and innovation. Taking her passion for building entrepreneurial communities, she cofounded Bamboo Detroit, a coworking space...


M2: Jason Mendelson on Michigan's Startup Community

Jason Mendelson has some serious street cred. A 2-time graduate of the University of Michigan, he started out as a software engineer at Accenture, and after realizing he wanted to be a lawyer, got his law degree, became a lawyer in the Bay Area and now he's a venture capitalist (although he really hates that name). Currently, he serves as the Managing Director at Foundry Group, a Venture Capital firm in Boulder, Colorado, and let me tell you, they put out some hilarious music videos. Blog...


M2: How Medtech is Impacting Michigan's Economy and Focus

Paul Riser is a lifelong Detroit native. He started his career at Sun Microsystems at its peak and currently his main gig, among a litany of other commitments, is serving as TechTown Detroit's Managing Director of Tech-Based Entrepreneurship, a role fitting to his expertise of over 20 years in the tech industry. He's the chair of the board of BLAC Detroit, the premiere lifestyle magazine for African Americans in and around Detroit. He is also the Chief Information and Technology Officer of...


M2: Detroit Tours, Experiences, and Stories

Jeanette Pierce is a lifelong native of Detroit proper, and she is what I would call the human encyclopedia of all things Detroit. After studying abroad in Spain, she was inspired to help create the same small-town, know your neighbors across the street feel to Detroit, as she saw fit. Since then, she's worked at building the new narrative of Detroit for over 15 years. In her cofounder and director roles at Inside Detroit, D:hive, and now the Detroit Experience Factory, she has been a huge...


M2: Venture School Part 2 - Redefining Student Success

This episode is a continuation of "How Venture School Is Reshaping Entrepreneurial Education in Detroit." (From Venture School website) The mission of VentureSchool is to empower students to become capable, curious, and courageous leaders, innovators, and agents of change in their community through groundbreaking educational opportunities. Equipped with an entrepreneurial mindset, our students will be prepared to develop solutions to the complex challenges that affect our lives today and...


M2: How Venture School Is Reshaping Entrepreneurial Education in Detroit

Venture School's mission is to empower students to become capable, curious, and courageous leaders, innovators, and agents of change in their community through groundbreaking educational opportunities. Equipped with an entrepreneurial mindset, their students will be prepared to develop solutions to the complex challenges that affect their lives today and the world tomorrow. Marvin English is the Founding Head of School at VentureSchool Detroit. Prior to his role at VentureSchool, Marvin...


M2: How To Attract Talent To A Growing Startup Ecosystem

Deirdre Groves is a self-identified social entrepreneur, having founded multiple nonprofits. A graduate of both Michigan State AND the University of Michigan, she has degrees in both Construction Management and Urban Planning. She’s a Crain’s 40 Under 40 awardee, recipient of the Detroit Young Professionals Vanguard Award, Honoree of the Women and Leadership in the Workplace Award, and she’s been recognized by Governing Magazine as one of the top 10 people that could save Detroit, a list...


M2: From Life on the Run to Immigrant Entrepreneur

Edi Demaj's story is one that will impact everyone who listens to it. A childhood riddled with hardship, he never had a real education from 1st to 7th grade since his family lived life on the run. Having to dodge bullets most of their life in Kosovo, his family made it to the border of Macedonia and were let in by an Albanian police commander. Considering their options, his parents decided to move to the US, which was a life-changing decision that gave him a chance to exceed all...


M2: How To Keep Your Entrepreneurial Dream Alive

Shelly Sahi is a first-time founder, yet she’s already been making waves across not only the Michigan startup scene but the global fashion and beauty industry as well. Starting out as a researcher at the Univ. of Michigan hospital, she made a career change and started working at Ford Motor Company as a materials science researcher. Not satisfied, she moved up to the business office and started going to night classes at Michigan to get her MBA. After completing her MBA in two and a half...


M2: How To Build An Early Startup Team

Ryan Landau is a serial entrepreneur, having started his first company at the ripe age of 14 years old, ran it during his high school and college years with his brother before eventually selling it to a competitor. A Michigan State alum who got his professional start post-graduation at IBM in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., he felt the call to move back to Michigan and start a tech company of his own. With his brother, he started Chalkfly, an e-commerce platform for janitorial and...


M2: How To Balance Founder Vision With Investor Vision

Bill Mayer is one of Ann Arbor’s leaders in entrepreneurial community building on the show today. He is the Vice President of Entrepreneurial Services at Ann Arbor SPARK, which is the engine for Ann Arbor’s economic development and growth. A serial entrepreneur, Bill is dedicating his time, expertise, and connections to support Michigan entrepreneurship, specializing in Ann Arbor. Once quoted to say, “Ignorance and blind optimism are an entrepreneur's best friends,” you can tell that this...


M2: How to Raise Capital for your Startup

Rob Burnett is a true Renaissance man. Having lived life as a Venture Capitalist, Lawyer, Business Developer, Community and Economic Development attorney, Nepali Tea Trader, and elite cyclist having completed two of the world’s toughest mountain bike races, he is one of my top contenders for the most interesting man in the world. We met last year on a trip to San Francisco, and I can honestly say he was impressive from the start, being one of only two volunteers to pitch live to real...


M2: The Advantage to Starting a Company in Michigan

Danny Ellis is a self-proclaimed accidental entrepreneur, who set out on a path to automate aerial robots as a research project and stumbled into creating a business, eventually going on to raise over $11M in venture capital without moving his business out of Michigan. He’s part of the Forbes 30 Under 30 2016 class, he’s an Endeavour entrepreneur, and a Crain’s Detroit 20 in their 20’s awardee. He’s a mentor for Techstars Mobility in Detroit, an avid book reader, and one of the cofounders...


M2: Why Hustle is the Most Important Trait for Entrepreneurs

Fares Ksebati is the Cofounder and CEO of MySwimPro. A native of Detroit and Wayne State University alum, he's an entrepreneur, swim coach, and mentor. He's also a 3-time US Masters Swimming National Champion. MySwimPro was named the Apple Watch App of the Year, coaching over half a million swimmers in over 150 countries so far.


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