From Bootstrapping to VC: Navigating the Fundraising Trail

From Bootsrapping to VC: Navigating the Fundraising Trail (Panel Discussion)

Join us as our expert panel discusses various funding options, how to attract investor interest and how to avoid any pitfalls.

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John Kerchen, Michigan Accelerator Fund
John Kerschen has over 22 years of financial experience in early stage investments, commercial banking, mergers and acquisitions, and investment banking in the Chicago and West Michigan markets. He is a member of the Michigan Pre-Seed Investment Review Board and currently serves as a board member for The Charter Group, Alliant Healthcare Products and Intervention Insights and is a past board member for Corporate Computer of Grand Rapids, MI, a developer of proprietary software products for the secondary education market. Kerschen has a BA from Michigan State University and an MBA from DePaul University.

Mike Morin, Start Garden
Mike is a seasoned business strategist. With a past in physical product and digital business start-ups he joins the Start Garden team managing investments. Recently, Mike served as Mentor Director for Momentum, COO at Boxed Water and TheCommon, and Sr. Business Advisor at Windquest Group. Prior, Mike was Senior Vice President of Business Development for Mediaguide, and President of Knoware. Mike holds BA and MBA degrees from Michigan State University’s, Broad School of Business.

Paul D’ Amato, Trout Creek VenturesPaul is a member of the Grand Angels Private Equity group in Holland, and owns a private business consulting company specializing in business strategy and technology integration.

Previously, Paul owned and operated 45 Supercuts, Cost Cutters and City Looks hair salon franchises throughout Michigan, opening most organically and others through acquisitions. Paul successfully sold the chain to a strategic buyer in 2006. As an owner, Paul served as Vice President of the Supercuts National Advertising Committee developing marketing and branding for 2,000 Supercuts locations. He was also secretary of the Supercuts Executive Committee in
charge of brand expansion and franchisee / franchisor relations. Michigan business groups have heard Paul speak about loss prevention, private equity, pricing strategy, retail branch management, and retail store construction.Paul is a member of the Grand Angels Private Equity group in Holland, and owns a private business consulting company specializing in business strategy and technology int

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