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Episodes

Stella Safari, gener8tor

10/11/2018
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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...

Duration:00:28:08

Richard Grundy, JOURNi

10/9/2018
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Richard is the CEO of JOURNi, an organization dedicated to bridging the diversity gap in tech. JOURNi is an organization dedicated to equipping urban communities with the skills and resources necessary to jumpstart their local economies. We strive to build an authentically inclusive tech ecosystem in the city of Detroit, by tapping into the heart and spirit of its residents. To achieve this goal, we will provide immersive courses, youth-centered programming, beneficial employment...

Duration:00:31:41

David Uze, Trillium Secure

9/27/2018
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David has over twenty-five years experience in the high-tech arena as a senior executive and has had extensive involvement in the field of cybersecurity throughout his career. Trillium Secure keeps your connected and autonomous vehicles safe and your private information confidential through a cybersecurity platform as a subscription service. Trillium’s software products are used by automotive OEMs, aerospace and defense organizations, insurance companies and ride-share services to form a...

Duration:00:30:12

Chris Thomas, Detroit Mobility Lab

9/25/2018
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Chris Thomas is a man on a mission. The former co-founder of Fontinalis Partners, he invests in and mentors companies in the fast-growing space of mobility. I think the most impressive part of his story is how he put himself in a position to cofound Fontinalis, especially as he planted the seed early on in his career at Ford Motor Company. Check out the episode as we chat about the future of transportation, how young people can be thoughtful about their own success and what it takes to set...

Duration:00:27:48

Nathan Labenz, CEO Waymark

9/20/2018
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Graduating from Harvard as part of the "Facebook class," you could say Nathan Labenz is one smart guy. Which would be an understatement. As CEO of Waymark, he's helping democratize video marketing for all businesses. They recently launched their new online store where you can purchase personalized video ads perfect for Facebook and Instagram. Waymark combines art and technology to build agency-quality videos for your business with just the click of a button. Designed by Hollywood producers...

Duration:00:36:34

Marcus Collins, Chief Consumer Connections at Doner

9/18/2018
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A culturally curious thinker, Marcus Collins is one of the worlds' premier minds in marketing. As Chief Consumer Connections Officer for Doner, he's pioneering a new role to help Doner's clients "get a deeper, more scientific understanding of consumers." Recently, Doner and their client, Farmland, were recognized as AdAge's #1 Most Creative Brand Idea You Need To Know About Now for their response campaign against Supreme. You can read about that here:...

Duration:00:49:23

Dug Song, CEO Duo Security

9/13/2018
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"When internet security specialist Dug Song found out the company he worked for got hacked by a 17-year-old high school student, he didn't alert the authorities. Instead, he hired him." That's how Dug met Jon, his eventual co-founder of Duo Security, which recently was acquired by Cisco for $2.35B in cash... "As an active person in SE Michigan's startup community, I can say Dug is hands down one of the most impactful people in our ecosystem." - Leann Check out our interview with him as we...

Duration:00:25:07

Joe Malcoun, CEO Nutshell

9/11/2018
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As the CEO of Nutshell, Part owner of The Blind Pig A2, and Cofounder of Cahoots, Joe is likely one of the busiest people in Ann Arbor. With 3 degrees from the University of Michigan, he started his career at GreenOrder. After getting his MBA at The Ross School of Business, he worked at DTE Energy as Senior Associate before eventually leaving to start his own investment firm, CKM Partners. Recently making news waves with his move to buy The Blind Pig (in order to save it) and opening Ann...

Duration:00:46:19

Workit Health

9/8/2018
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Drug Abuse. Addiction. Recovery. These are real problems and issues we face in our country, and we have to find scalable, equitable solutions to them. That’s why we interviewed Workit Health, an Ann-Arbor based private online service to help people break addictions. Powered by science and backed by experts, their Workit Care™ program delivers evidence-based recovery programs and courses designed specifically for you. Workit's Website: https://www.workithealth.com/ Support us on Patreon!:...

Duration:00:44:56

Justin Mast, CEO Bloomscape

9/5/2018
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Being both a creative and an entrepreneur can seem contradictory in some ways, but Justin Mast seems to have found the perfect way to combine the two. Taking over his family business over in 2006, he began to learn the operational expertise needed by an entrepreneur and founder. Now, in his role as Founder and CEO of Bloomscape, he combines the creative design skills he learned at the Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning with the firsthand entrepreneurial experience he's gained...

Duration:00:19:59

Jason Raznick, CEO Benzinga

9/5/2018
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Jason's approach to life is simple: Get rid of Monarchy; Implement a Doerarchy. As Founder and CEO of Benzinga.com, he lives and breathes this mentality all throughout his organization, and it shows up in their success. Benzinga is a dynamic and innovative financial media outlet that empowers investors with high-quality, unique content that is coveted by Wall Street's top traders. Seeing hundreds of investments a week is a difficult task to get right, but Jason seems to do it with ease....

Duration:00:23:30

Josh Luber, CEO StockX

9/5/2018
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Dubbed the "Stock Market of Things," StockX is one of, if not the fastest growing startup in Detroit, and CEO Josh Luber is at the forefront of all that growth. Beginning as a passion project outside his time at IBM, Luber started StockX (then known as Campless) off of his passion for sneakers. As a dedicated sneakerhead, he often found himself buying and reselling sneakers, and he found there was no price guidebook to reference. Think Kelley Blue Book for comparing car prices. That's when...

Duration:00:25:13

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Doron York, Cityside Ventures

7/11/2018
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An Israeli Navy Seal, Doron spent the first part of his life in his native homeland of Haifa, Israel. After finishing his duty, he moved to the United States and settled down in Southeast Michigan. Actually, settled down is definitely NOT the right term, as he immersed himself into the startup scene here right away and has been here for just about 30 years. As the founder of multiple successful startups, some of which he’s taken to acquisition, he’s taken his skills and learnings to run an...

Duration:00:48:50

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Doron York, Cityside Ventures

7/11/2018
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An Israeli Navy Seal, Doron spent the first part of his life in his native homeland of Haifa, Israel. After finishing his duty, he moved to the United States and settled down in Southeast Michigan. Actually, settled down is definitely NOT the right term, as he immersed himself into the startup scene here right away and has been here for just about 30 years. As the founder of multiple successful startups, some of which he’s taken to acquisition, he’s taken his skills and learnings to run an...

Duration:00:48:50

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Jake Cohen, Detroit Venture Partners

6/27/2018
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Jake is a 3-time University of Michigan graduate who got both his MBA and his JD at the same time! During his undergrad years, he started his first company called Ugrub, which provided college students with an easy‐to‐navigate listing of restaurant menus and weekly specials. After selling that company to a competitor in 2006, he became a consultant for Deloitte, where he focused on Strategy and Operations. Fast forward a few years to when he was one of the early cofounders of Detroit...

Duration:00:34:53

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Chris Rizik, CEO Renaissance VC

6/13/2018
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A Wolverine-Spartan hybrid, Chris is one of the pioneers in the venture capital ecosystem here in Michigan. After 13 years as an attorney, he went through a massive career change to transition into life as a venture capitalist. Alongside now-Governor Rick Snyder, he started his venture capital career at Avalon Investments. He’s served on Boards like the MVCA, NextEnergy, and University of Detroit-Jesuit High School. Currently, he operates as CEO for Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. This...

Duration:00:36:50

M2: Capital Appreciation Month; Doug Neal, Co-Founder, eLab Ventures

6/6/2018
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With 25+ years in the tech industry, it’s pretty safe to say Doug is a technology veteran. A graduate of Central Michigan University, he started his career at Hewlett-Packard as a Software Engineer and left after 4 years to become a Director at Symantec (Semantic). It was shortly after that when he started Mobile Automation, developing enterprise system management solutions for tech companies and service providers. After selling Mobile Automation to iPass for $20M in 2004, he wouldn’t get...

Duration:00:35:47

M2: Month of Mobility; Lisa Nuszkowski, Founder of MoGo Detroit

5/30/2018
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An advocate for and leader in transportation mobility, Lisa started her career at the City of Detroit office as a Business Analyst and shortly after became the Chief of Staff to House Majority Leader Steve Tobocman. A few years later, she went back to the City of Detroit working as a Senior Associate where she helped bring Code for America to the Motor City. It wasn’t too long after that when she started to dip her toes into the mobility industry. With Wayne State University, she helped...

Duration:00:39:13

M2: Month of Mobility; Mark de la Vergne, Mobility Innovation, City of Detroit

5/23/2018
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Mark is a transportation planning veteran, and he knew he wanted to work in mobility before mobility was even a term. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Systems Engineering (specifically focused on transportation) he started his career as a Project Consultant for traffic engineering and geometric design. After spending almost a decade in Chicago working as a transportation consultant, he packed his bags and moved to Detroit. Currently, he works to improve in-city...

Duration:00:33:07

M2: Month of Mobility; Jessica Robinson, Director of City Solutions at Ford Smart Mobility

5/16/2018
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An East Coast, to West Coast, to Midwest transplant, Jessica Robinson started out in the tea industry holding roles such as Head of Sales and Marketing, Product Manager, and Customer Relations. After dominating the tea market, she joined the team at Zipcar and managed Marketing in Seattle, Locations in the Bay Area, and eventually served as their Market Launch Manager for North America, a role where she helped launch 7 new markets in 18 months. Now she does work at Ford Smart Mobility...

Duration:00:32:36