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Michigan Makers



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Andy Gutman, President The Farbman Group

Andy Gutman is a commercial real estate exec and songwriter/author combo. He may be the President of the Farbman Group during his 9-to-5, but for his 5-to-9 he’s chosen and pretty unique side hustle as a songwriter and children’s book author. We chat about how he finds his left and right brain balance, how his kids fuel his creative fire, and what parents can learn from deploying creativity in their parenting strategy. Links: The Farbman Group: https://www.farbman.com/ Intermitten:...


Chris Lambert, CEO Life Remodeled

Chris Lambert, CEO of Life Remodeled. Life Remodeled is an organization whose mission is to bridge people across divides to help transform each other’s lives. They do this by investing approximately $5 million in cash, labor and materials into one Detroit neighborhood each year. If you’ve ever seen large groups of people wearing brightly colored shirts working to clean shrubbery, tear down blight, remodel a high school, etc, you’ve probably come across Life Remodeled...


BONUS EPISODE: Pamela Moore, President/CEO DPSF

Pamela Moore is the President and CEO of the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, where they work to support the Detroit Public Schools Community District. In this episode, we discuss her background, growing up in Detroit and attending Detroit Public Schools, and the crowdfunding campaign the Foundation is running. ––––– Links: DPSF: http://www.dpsfdn.org/educate-detroit-public-schools-live/ Crowdfunding Campaign: https://give.classy.org/dpseducates


On Radical Inclusion

In today’s episode, we chat with Chanell Scott Contreras and Joanna Dueweke-Perez. They are Intermitten 2019 speakers and they are giving their talk on Radical inclusion. Listen in as we discuss community-centered economic development, courage in entrepreneurship, and being co-creators instead of gatekeepers. Intermitten is a grassroots, volunteer-operated organization that was founded in 2016. Our mission is to unite the Midwest tech community, thoughtfully nurture its development, and...


Marc Hudson, Rocket Fiber

Marc Hudson is the CEO and Cofounder of Rocket Fiber, the fastest internet out there, certainly in the Detroit area. We get to chat about the founding story of the company, how a submission to “The Cheese Factory” kickstarted it all, and what happens when you deploy a #GiveFirst mentality. Intermitten is a grassroots, volunteer-operated organization that was founded in 2016. Our mission is to unite the Midwest tech community, thoughtfully nurture its development, and highlight it as a hub...


Jim Tenzillo, Invest Michigan

In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we host Jim Tenzillo of Invest Michigan. Invest Michigan is an investment fund that invests in early stage technology companies that are located in the state of Michigan. Jim started there a few years ago after first cutting his teeth as an accountant in Chicago, eventually breaking into the world of startups running Operations & Marketing at LinkCapital. We chat about how he got his start in venture capital, what’s he’s seen with regard to...


Beth Kirsch, NETSCOUT

Beth is an expert at navigating corporate cultures and has over a decade of experience maximizing organizational impact. She leads the community engagement initiative at NETSCOUT leading the charge on impactful community initiatives. In today’s episode, we get to chat about her take on culture from a wide range of professions, how to create meaningful community strategies, and what drives her to do good work. ————— NETSCOUT: https://netscout.com Beth's Twitter:...


Jeff Epstein, Founder of Ambassador

Jeff Epstein is the Founder of Ambassador, the #1 referral marketing software platform. They were recently acquired by West Corp., and Jeff has since moved on from the company. We catch up with him a few months after the acquisition and chat about his next phase of life, reflect on his time being a pioneer of the current Detroit startup scene, and we even talk about the ingenuity needed to get through a recession. ————— Links: Jeff's Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeff_epstein Jeff's...


Blake Robbins, Ludlow Ventures

Blake Robbins is a Michigan State grad who’s worked at Tesla, Nest, Google, and now Ludlow Ventures, Blake is one of the pioneers in the eSports industry when it comes to investing and even founding. He helped launch and cofound 100 Thieves, the fastest growing eSports and lifestyle brand in the space. We have the pleasure of chatting about that as well as discussing eSports and streaming in general, how video games have become the Third Place for kids, and where the industry is...


Lia & Christopher, Human Inclusive

Today’s episode features not one guest, but two! Lia James and Christopher Guest are the halves that make the whole of Human Inclusive, which is a podcast that curates stories of diverse communities amplifying voices and experiences of marginalized communities. Join us as we chat about what they’ve learned highlighting stories and voices of the underheard. ————— Links: Human Inclusive: https://www.humaninclusive.com/ Intermitten: https://intermitten.org


Laura Khalil, Force of Bada**ery

Laura Khalil is devoted to helping women embody the confidence and develop the clarity to speak up, get paid what they're worth and lead mission driven lives. She has spoken to audiences at Creative Mornings, Zingtrain, Consumers Energy, Ladies Get Paid and Intermitten on courage, entrepreneurship and personal branding. She has consulted on branding initiatives for GE, Twitter, Intel, Intuit and more. In this episode, we chat about how being an empowered being may hurt you in corporate...


Rajiv Nathan, Startup Hypeman

Rajiv 'RajNATION' Nathan is Founder of Startup Hypeman, helping increase the success rate of startups by building messages that stand out to their audience and stand apart from their competitors. He was named an "Agent of Change" by Huffington Post, has given a TED Talk, and been featured in Inc, Forbes, and more. He's also a hip hop artist, yoga instructor, and host of the popular show Startup Hypeman: The Podcast. Talk to him about Hamilton, WWE, or Seinfeld and you'll have a friend for...


Hunter Rosenblume, CEO Lunar Wireless

On this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Hunter Rosenblume of Lunar Wireless. Hunter Rosenblume is the Founder and CEO of Lunar Wireless, a telecommunications company focused on providing cellular coverage to everyone. He was born and raised in New York, but after multiple hackathons and an internship in Detroit, he fell in love. Since his move to the city, he hasn't looked back and has brought, recruited and showed multiple budding entrepreneurs, innovators and...


Melissa Butler, CEO The Lip Bar

On this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we talk to Melissa Butler of The Lip Bar. She is a Detroit native, Cass Tech and Florida A&M grad who left a career on Wall Street to solve a problem that she just had enough of. After being fed up with how the beauty industry's norms were reeking of excessive chemicals and a linear mode of thinking, she created The Lip Bar. With The Lip Bar, she's been on Shark Tank, given a TEDx Talk, and is selling in Target stores across the nation. She...


Henri Pierre-Jacques, Co-founder Harlem Capital

In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Henri Pierre-Jacques, Detroit expat and co-founder of Harlem Capital. I ran into him at last Fall's Detroit Homecoming and was fortunate enough to grab him for 30 minutes as he was hustling around meeting Detroit entrepreneurs and investors. We chat about Harlem Capital's mission to fund 1,000 diverse founders, building financial literacy programs in education, overcapitalized startups, and the growth and development of...


Steven Mazur, Cofounder Ash & Erie

In this episode of the Impact Michigan podcast, we chat with Steven Mazur, Cofounder/CEO at Ash & Erie. A metro-Detroit native, Steven has grown to love the city and its people. So much so that he moved back to start his career and eventually found a company. Going through the startup-world famous Venture for America program, he took his learnings and experiences back with him to Detroit to help grow Waymark (also a Detroit startup) and eventually cofound Ash & Erie. After pitching their...


James Chapman, Quicken Loans CIF

James Chapman is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund. He’s a serial entrepreneur, nationally recognized speaker, and author of #TheHustle. He prides himself in being both revenue-driven, and socially conscious. His first company launched was an oil change delivery company in 2013, despite having never changed oil before in his life. He later founded a coworking space called Workaholics, described as a collision workspace in the evening hours for people...


Richard Sheridan, Chief Joy Officer of Menlo Innovations

Rich Sheridan is the founder of Menlo Innovations, made famous by its tours and workshops centered around how they maximize Joy in the workplace. Which makes sense, considering Rich himself has authored two books with “Joy” in the title. Which also reminds me that Rich recently came out with a book last December, titled “Chief Joy Officer,” which offers readers insights on how to embody Joy in their own management/leadership practices. The Impact Michigan podcast is presented by...


Season 3 Announcement!

Well, well, well... We're back friends :) Tune into this episode as I interview a special guest as part of our announcement for Season 3 and the future of this show.


Stella Safari, gener8tor

Stella Safari is one of Detroit's busiest transplants. She moved to Detroit as a Venture for America fellow, working for Invest Detroit, an early stage funder of businesses. Her interest in startups led her to furniture maker Floyd, where she was director of operations, and to business center Ponyride, where she was executive director. Now she leads the gBETA accelerator, which provides six weeks of free training to fast-growing companies to prepare them for venture funding. It's completed...