Chris Rizik: CEO of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund

chris rizik headshot.jpeg

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 episode is part of Capital Appreciation Month. We’re interviewing Michigan’s venture capitalists and angel investors in an effort to highlight those who made the early investment (quite literally) in our community. Capital Appreciation Month is sponsored by the Michigan Venture Capital Association. The MVCA exists to increase the amount of capital and talent available to investors so they can fund Michigan’s most innovative entrepreneurs and ideas.

Detroit Startup Week: http://bit.ly/DetroitStartupWeek18

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

Michigan Makers FB Group: http://bit.ly/M2FBGroup

Chris' LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-rizik-674300/

Sponsor - MVCA Website: https://goo.gl/dZC3o7

Doug Neal: Co-Founder & Managing Director, eLab Ventures

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 back to life as an entrepreneur until 2007 with Boomdash. Fast forward to 2012, he started eLab ventures in Ann Arbor and at the same time served as Executive Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan. Currently, he serves full-time as Co-Founder and Managing Director at eLab and as a board member for several tech startups in the area.

This episode is part of Capital Appreciation Month. We’re interviewing Michigan’s venture capitalists and angel investors in an effort to highlight those who made the early investment (quite literally) in our community. Capital Appreciation Month is sponsored by the Michigan Venture Capital Association. The MVCA exists to increase the amount of capital and talent available to investors so they can fund Michigan’s most innovative entrepreneurs and ideas.

Detroit Startup Week: http://bit.ly/DetroitStartupWeek18

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

Michigan Makers FB Group: http://bit.ly/M2FBGroup

Doug's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dougneal/

Sponsor - MVCA Website: https://goo.gl/dZC3o7

Lisa Nuszkowski: Founder of MoGo Detroit

Lisa Nuskowski headshot.jpeg

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 conduct the research and execute the vision of Detroit’s first public bike share program, which she now runs as MoGo Detroit.

This episode ends the month of Mobility. We interviewed the top entrepreneurs, directors, and government officials in mobility to give you all a sense of what’s happening in Southeastern Michigan around car sharing, transportation, public transit, etc.

Detroit Startup Week: http://bit.ly/DetroitStartupWeek18

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

ASHE FB Page: http://bit.ly/ashefacebook

Lisa’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-nuszkowski/

Sponsor - Meeting of the Minds Mobility Summit: http://bit.ly/MOTMxM2

WeWork: https://we.co/2Jd4vGd

Mark de la Vergne: Chief of Mobility Innovation, City of Detroit

markdlv headshot.jpeg

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 mobility for residents of Detroit, and I believe his work, is going to help turn the Motor City, into the Mobility City.

This episode is part of the month of Mobility. We’re interviewing the top entrepreneurs, directors, and government officials in mobility to give you all a sense of what’s happening in Southeastern Michigan around car sharing, transportation, public transit, etc.

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

M2 FB Page: http://bit.ly/MichiganMakersFB

Mark's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markdlv/

Sponsor - Meeting of the Minds Mobility Summit: http://bit.ly/MOTMxM2

Jessica Robinson: Director, City Solutions at Ford Smart Mobility

jessica robinson.jpeg

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 helping to bridge the gap between innovation and policy.

This episode is part of the month of Mobility. We’re interviewing the top entrepreneurs, directors, and government officials in mobility to give you all a sense of what’s happening in Southeastern Michigan around car sharing, transportation, public transit, etc.

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

M2 FB Page: http://bit.ly/MichiganMakersFB

Jessica's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicarobinson/

Sponsor - Meeting of the Minds Mobility Summit: http://bit.ly/MOTMxM2

Lisa Seymour: Program Director at Techstars Mobility

Lisa is a Wayne State Warrior, she started her career in the sports industry, wearing a variety of hats at her alma mater’s athletic department. Soon after, she joined the team at DUO Security heading up People and Culture. When she realized she couldn’t keep making the commute from Detroit to Ann Arbor every day, she had to look for something else. That’s when she met the folks over at TechStars and helped kickstart the Mobility program in Detroit. They’re going strong in their upcoming 4th year running the program, which I’m really excited to see.

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

ASHE FB Page: http://bit.ly/ashefacebook

Meeting of the Minds Mobility Summit: http://bit.ly/MOTMxM2

Amanda Roraff: Operations Manager at PlanetM

Amanda Roraff headshot.jpeg

Amanda Roraff has produced and planned events and trade shows for multiple companies for over 20 years. After getting her Bachelor’s Degree from the James Madison College of Public Policy at Michigan State, she started out as a Programs Manager in the dental industry, of all places. Shortly after that, however, she became the Operations Manager for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, effectively kickstarting her career in tech. A few jobs after that she monetized her event production skills and became an independent consultant for a variety of companies, including (but not limited to) Blue Cross Blue Shield, Covenant Community Care, and BI Worldwide. After heading up Marketing at NextEnergy in Detroit, she became the Operations Manager for the PlanetM initiative, the role she currently serves in.

Detroit Startup Week: http://bit.ly/DetroitStartupWeek18

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

ASHE FB Page: http://bit.ly/ashefacebook

PlanetM Website: https://puremi.ch/2I7JCeP

Molly McFarland: Founder/Chief Revenue Officer at AdAdapted

molly mcfarland.jpg

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 over $1M almost solely from Michigan-based investors, and they have some really cool stuff in the pipeline.

AdAdapted Website: http://bit.ly/2Fdg4Hj

AdAdapted Blog Post: http://bit.ly/2Jp1dMp

Detroit Startup Week: http://bit.ly/DetroitStartupWeek18

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

M2 FB Page: http://bit.ly/MichiganMakersFB

Amanda Lewan: Cofounder of Bamboo Detroit

amandalewan.jpeg

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 for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. She's a Crain's 20 in their 20's awardee, one of Corp! Magazine's Most Valuable Millennials, and recipient of the City of Detroit Spirit of Detroit & Community Service Award.

Bamboo Website: http://bit.ly/2EWePwd

Detroit Startup Week: http://bit.ly/DetroitStartupWeek18

ASHE Media Website: http://bit.ly/ashemediawebsite

ASHE FB Page: http://bit.ly/ashefacebook

Jason Mendelson: Cofounder and Managing Partner at Foundry Group

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 Post: http://bit.ly/2GRcYhY

Video Version: http://bit.ly/2v45YsC

Jason's song: http://bit.ly/2IJvLYO