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Venture Capital
** Click Here to Register for our next Early-Stage VC & Angel Investor events:
  • Washington DC VC & Angel Event Jan 16
  • Philly VC & Angel Investor Event Jan 17
  • NYC VC & Angel 2019 Kickoff Event Jan 24

  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Southeast Michigan Venture Roundtable, sponsored by Oakland County, FP Angels, OU INC, On the Dunes, Siren PR, Basile & Young, Zara Creative, The Vendita Company. This event was in Metro Detroit: Oakland County, MI on May 14, 2015.

    Photo of Mike Semanco, Hitachi Business Finance Mike Semanco
    President & Chief Operating Officer
    Hitachi Business Finance
    Read the full profile for Mike here!
    Hitachi Business Finance
    Over 20+ years of experience in structuring and providing financing solutions for businesses across the United States, ranging from pre-revenue to mature, and private equity owned companies. Industries include: manufacturing, staffing, distribution, technology, transportation, and retail.

    Developed a network of community leaders and trusted advisors to help clients and business associates gain access to high quality and experienced talent.

    Driven executive who has the ability to connect and manage all areas of a company by leveraging strong leadership and communication skills. Has a passion for creating a culture of teamwork which is focused on helping its clients and connections, in turn driving financial results for all stakeholders.

    Photo of Jeff Sloan, Aria Ventures Jeff Sloan
    Aria Ventures
    Read the full profile for Jeff here!
    Aria Ventures
    Jeff is a visionary entrepreneurial force with particular expertise and passion for developing early stage ventures. His entrepreneurial successes range from successfully licensing and commercializing his patented invention known as the Battery Buddy to strategically guiding several high tech companies from startup to exit, including Clarity, LLC, GeneGo, Inc. Aereous, LLC and others, in transactions exceeding $100 million in aggregate.

    Jeff currently spearheads Aria Ventures, LLC ( whose mission it is to package meritorious business opportunities into viable businesses. Specifically, Jeff and the Aria team prepare the business plans, secure the key team members, provide seed funding, and artfully guide the launch and early growth phases of new ventures in partnership with the founder(s).

    Jeff passion for entrepreneurship runs deep. He is never personally held a job from any entity he did not personally have a hand in creating, and he is passionate about helping others live the entrepreneurial dream. As co-Founder of StartupNation, ( a multi-media company that provides how-to content to aspiring and existing small business owners, Jeff is a leading advocate of the transformational power of entrepreneurship. Today, StartupNation is one of the most visited small business informational sites with over 2,000,000 people having used the StartupNation Ten Steps to Open for Business startup process. In his role at StartupNation, Jeff has co-hosted the award-winning nationally syndicated call-in StartupNation radio show which aired in over 85 markets; keynoted numerous conferences including the Microsoft Small Business Conference; appeared on numerous cable news television networks as entrepreneurial experts including CNN, CNBC, Fox and others; authored a highly acclaimed book on starting a business known as StartupNation: Open for Business published by Doubleday; and has received numerous awards - including U.S. Small Business Administration Journalist of the Year.

    Photo of Chris Moultrup, BlueWater Angels Chris Moultrup
    Program Director
    BlueWater Angels
    Read the full profile for Chris here!
    BlueWater Angels
    Chris leads member engagement at MMIC and works with all of its state programs and partners, including the Business Accelerator Fund and Pressed Matching Fund program, providing microloans for startups. He assists new businesses in gaining access to capital, facilitates workshops and competitions, manages business development and customer discovery programs, and serves as the key contact in facilities management and operations with Dow. Chris is also a liaison with the BlueWater Angels investment group, supporting membership and deal flow development.

    Chris has started and partnered with companies that provide event and web content management systems. He is president of Elpis Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of special effects pigments and performance additives for the paints and coatings industries. Chris serves on the boards of the Michigan Business Incubator Association and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Angel Advisory Committee. He also serves as president of Mid-Michigan Inventors Group and as vice-chair of the Jumpstart Committee, part of Prima Civitas Foundations Moving Ideas to Market initiative. Chris is a volunteer member of Oakland University Investment Review Board. Chris received his B.B.A. in entrepreneurship/management from Northwood University in 2007 and has credentials as a Certified Incubator Manager from the National Business Incubation Association.

    Chris is proud of establishing incubation programs at MMIC for many companies in their development phases and of his work in shifting MMICs philosophy and implementation from a facilities-based incubator to a virtual incubator.

    Photo of David Tessler, David Tessler
    President & CTO
    Michigan Funders
    Read the full profile for David here!
    Michigan Funders
    David Tessler epitomizes the term of a business oriented technologist who has a unique ability to understand and appreciate how most people use and understand technology in their everyday lives.

    David brings 20 years of rich innovative application development, where his unique User-Informed Designed approach ensures product acceptance and adoption. David is also well known for the advanced systems that he has invented for the Insurance industry as well as bringing simple and scalable software and workflow products to market.

    Photo of Niles Heron, Niles Heron
    Michigan Funders
    Read the full profile for Niles here!
    Michigan Funders
    Our success will be measured against metrics, and in the following areas: 1) Investor education and protection, 2) by contributing tangibly to local business development and being a value-adding service in our industry, and 3) by promoting local ownership of emerging businesses and real estate developments.

    The MichiganFunders portal represents the first time all Michiganders have been invited to the equity investment table, regardless of their income (historically, table seats have been restricted to the top 3.6% of earners). The loosening of these restrictions (mainly surrounding that of general solicitation) opened the doors to a viable model for community based investments, as well as a democratic, demand-based model for raising capital, not solely restricted to an entrepreneurs prior relationships. Access to non-accredited investments, and local opportunities also (maybe more importantly) allows a community to buy-in and support local business ventures that might not typically excite angel and venture capitalists, that might be too risky for banks, but that provide essential, desired, and/or valuable services to the communities in which they operate (and create jobs there, in the process).

    Mike Brennan, AmerAdvise, Macomb-OU INC, & Oakland County Development Office Mike Brennan, AmerAdvise, Macomb-OU INC, & Oakland County Development Office

    Mr Brennan is an accomplished executive and entrepreneur with 28 years’ experience involving both growth and start-up organizations. He spent the first fifteen years of his career with Precision Color, Inc. both as Plant Manager and in direct sales. In 1991, Mike was the recipient of the industry’s most prestigious international imaging award and represented the company throughout the United States. Once joining the company’s sales force, Mr. Brennan became the company’s top sales executive setting company sales records eight consecutive years. In 1999 Mike founded an alternative real estate and financial services company headquartered in Michigan. As President and CEO, Mr, Brennan grew the company nationally over a seven year period, while employing more than 250 people in Michigan. In 2007 Mr. Brennan founded Business Growth Sciences (BGS) to provide executive coaching, strategic visioning and capital growth consultation primarily for early stage technology companies in Michigan. In November 2007 Mr. Brennan became a partner in a Michigan-based Broker Dealer and Investment Advisory firm; providing alternative financing, venture capital and public offering consultation to companies throughout the US. In January 2010 BGS operations merged with Peak Blue Ventures, Inc., a Michigan-based senior consultancy firm specializing in senior management consultation and mergers and acquisitions. In November 2011 Mr. Brennan joined The Macomb-OU and Oakland University Incubators to lead capital strategies efforts on behalf of the incubator/s clients. As of August 2014, the incubators lead the state in SBDC smart zone grant funding and have also helped to secure more than $14M privately while creating >200 jobs during that period. Over-all Mr. Brennan has helped private emerging companies to secure more than $150 million dollars while supporting the creation of greater than 1,000 new jobs in his career. Mike’s community involvement includes; pro bono advisory for emerging technology companies and entrepreneurs, private charitable foundations and youth coaching. Mike is a husband of 23 years and proud father of two aspiring teenage Entrepreneurs. Mike’s education includes; Graduate, University of Detroit Jesuit; 1982, Western Michigan University, Psychology, Business Minor; 1982-1985, the University of Detroit-Mercy, Engineering Cad Design; 1985-1986 and the University of Michigan, Entrepreneurial Development; 1989-1990.

    Thomas Coke, CrowdFundConnect Thomas Coke, CrowdFundConnect

    Thomas Coke currently works at CrowdFundConnect as the Director of Compliance Services and Business Development. Prior to CFC he was at FinTech startup VerifyValid, a payments company. In addition to his work at CFC he also advises startups in the Midwest. In his past life he was a securities regulator, serving on a NASAA national project group on small company offerings. He speaks around the Midwest on crowdfunding, mobile payments and the issues around payments, and helped with the crowdfunding bills in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin, as well as serving on the CfPA advisory board. He is a graduate of Kalamazoo College (BA Econ ’02) and Michigan State (JD ’08) and splits his time between Michigan and Chicago.

    Chris Kondogiani, Third Shore Group Chris Kondogiani, Third Shore Group

    Chris Kondogiani is a Principal at Third Shore Group, an investment and business advisory firm based in Royal Oak, Michigan. At TSG, he is active on various technology commercialization initiatives with the firm’s partners and clients, and co-manages Third Shore Capital’s venture portfolio. Mr. Kondogiani also serves as the CEO for GSD Systems, which is deploying an innovative pressure vessel technology in various high-pressure gas storage, delivery, and fuel markets. Prior to co-founding Third Shore Group, Mr. Kondogiani was the Vehicle Program Director at Bright Automotive, a hybrid-electric vehicle manufacturer. While there, he helped to build the organization, business processes, and the product development and validation infrastructure. Previously, Mr. Kondogiani was the Commercial Business Unit Director at Ultra Electronics – AMI, where he was instrumental in the translation of portable solid oxide fuel cell technology into higher volume consumer and industrial markets. Additionally, he was part of the leadership team throughout the successful investment banking process, which culminated in securing an acquisition partner, Ultra Electronics. Chris began his career in the automotive industry, where he spent over a decade in various product creation and manufacturing roles at Ford Motor Company and Chrysler. Chris holds a BSME from Purdue University, an MSME from the University of Michigan, and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from The Ross School at UofM. Chris and his wife make their home in Novi, where he enjoys biking, tennis, golf, and spending time actively exploring the interests of their two daughters.

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