Director, Venture Services
Joining the team at NextEnergy this past September as director of venture services has allowed me to combine my passion for both technology and entrepreneurship. I could not be more thrilled to be in this space, in the center of Detroit’s innovation district, working to support early-stage and established advanced energy and mobility businesses. Before I share more about the services that I can provide to your company, I’d like to share a little about myself and what led me to where I am today.
I love technology and always have. One of my earliest memories is building a functional radio with my dad. Growing up around electronics and enthralled by math and science, I was inspired by my father, a retired electrician, to pursue a career in electrical engineering. As an engineer, I had the opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies, including armored tanks at General Dynamics and advanced batteries for electric vehicles at Bosch Battery Systems.
Through my work with technology, I uncovered an underlying passion for helping startups. Having been drawn to the risk, the strategy, the ingenuity and everything in between, I co-founded the popular downtown workspace, Bamboo Detroit. Running Bamboo gave me the opportunity to work with, and help grow many Detroit-based startups that are making a significant impact in Detroit. I am ecstatic to now be a part of the team here at NextEnergy which is a vital part of the region’s start-up ecosystem.
In my role at NextEnergy as the director of venture services, I help to administer an array of services at little to no cost to qualified startups. If you’re working with electric vehicles, energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart grid, ride-share, internet of things, alternative fuels, connected vehicles, or many other technologies related to advanced energy or mobility, I want to help you. Here are a few programs you should check out:
I-Corps Energy and Transportation
I-Corp Energy and Transportation offers a customized curriculum to help teams of participating researchers discover the commercial potential of their technology, build a business model, and garner insights from leaders in the energy and transportation industries. Applications for our next I-Corps cohort will be opening soon, so please check back on our website in a few weeks.
I-Corps Energy and Transportation participants have developed first commercial prototypes for customer testing, secured over $3.3M in funding from the DOE, ARPA-E, NSF and DoD, participated in Techstars Mobility, a prestigious business accelerator. You can find information on last year’s program here.
Wells Fargo NextChallenge: Smart Cities
Today’s cities are facing many common challenges, and urban population estimates are expected to rise significantly over the next 30 years. The added stress on city services and infrastructure will require new innovative technologies to proactively address these challenges and open the door for new innovative business models. NextChallenge: Smart Cities is a global competition focused on identifying and awarding cash to the next big smart cities solution. Callida Energy took home the first place, $80,000 demonstration award and Detroit’s own RideHop was runner-up receiving a $20,000 award, at the 2016 NextChallenge: Smart Cities Pitch Day held in December. The next winner could be you. Look for more information coming soon on how you can apply!
Access to Funding Opportunities
NextEnergy has a long history of working with early stage companies both to connect them with the right funding opportunities, and coach them through the application process. We also administer the MATch Energy Grant, which provides cost-share and/or commercialization funds to eligible Michigan small businesses and university researchers applying for advanced energy or transportation related, non-SBIR/STTR federal funding from the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, Department of Transportation, etc. You can learn more about MATch and other available funding opportunities here.
Whether you have worked with NextEnergy in the past, are starting a new venture, or just want to meet to discuss your ideas, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I look forward to leveraging both my technical and business experience, and passion for entrepreneurship to help move your business to the next level.