New Enterprise Forum (NEF) is an Ann Arbor-based not-for-profit corporation
founded in 1986 to help entrepreneurs prosper and grow.

For more than 25 years we've linked entrepreneurs to management expertise, potential joint venture partners, mentors, business services, capital, and other critical resources. Since its founding, NEF has been a model for similar groups and a magnet for entrepreneurs and investors throughout Michigan and the Midwest. Our success has captured national media attention and is unique among organizations of its kind in longevity, dynamism, and the number of deals assisted.

If you share in our passion of helping entrepreneurs succeed, you will want to explore the services we offer. We offer many opportunities to participate whether you are:

  • An entrepreneur seeking capital
  • A service provider or consultant wanting to get involved
  • A student who wants to learn more from experts
  • An investor searching for business opportunities
  • An entrepreneurial organization looking for project collaboration

You have come to the right place to get connected.

Next Event

Navigating Entrepreneurial Resources

Date: Thursday, 17 April 2014 - 5:00 pm   

Location: Ann Arbor SPARK Central, 330 E. Liberty St, Lower Level, Ann Arbor

Our panel of experts will tackle the challenge of clarifying the vast array of resources available to Michigan entrepreneurs during the early stages of their venture development. The panel will help entrepreneurs set a course through resource connections and programs that can support them through startup and into future growth stages. Current programs will be identified and explained so entrepreneurs can locate the best programs for ventures in their industry, stage of business, and location. Programs that provide funding or introduce entrepreneurs to investors will be highlighted.


Wes Huffstutter, Program Manager, University of Michigan Office of Technology Transfer, has been mentoring student entrepreneurs for seven years and connecting U-M startup entrepreneurs to the resources they need to launch and grow their ventures. He leads the Catalyst Resource Network, a group of industry/market experts, mentors, advisors, and consultants that assist projects and startups that are based on technology developed at the university. He manages student entrepreneurship activities through the Tech Transfer office and is active on an Ann Arbor SPARK committee convened last year to document the resources available in Washtenaw County and identify gaps in entrepreneurial support services.

Antonio Luck, Director Business Acceleration, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, oversees the Portfolio Management Team/Business Acceleration at the MEDC. His team manages the MEDC and the Michigan Strategic Fund portfolios of investments in high-tech start-up companies and the entrepreneurial financial programs. Prior to his current position, Antonio was a Portfolio Manager at MEDC. He has a background in engineering and law and holds an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from Wayne State University.

Phil Tepley, Director of Technology Commercialization Services at MI-SBDC, is currently the Director of Technology Commercialization Services at Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC). SBDC offers commercialization services to technology companies across the state. This MEDC-funded initiative enables entrepreneurs to bridge the gap between technology development and commercialization. An SBDC Tech client is a business in which research and development brings forth an innovative product or process. The innovation typically involves intellectual property that contributes to a strong competitive advantage in the marketplace, and serves as a foundation for a high rate of growth. Prior to his current position at SBDC, Phil was that organization’s Emerging Technologies Fund Program Manager and Tech Team Coordinator.


Michael Cole, President, Technology Industry Group, Bank of Ann Arbor, is the founder of the tech and life sciences banking practice at Bank of Ann Arbor. His Technology Industry Group provides banking products and services to technology focused businesses, primarily in the following sectors: information technology, industrial technology, life sciences, nanotechnology, environmental technology, professional services, and private capital. He has also leveraged the bank’s unique local position and national network to create organizations such as the Ann Arbor Angels, manage CEO roundtables, help clients make strategic connections, and collaborate with state agencies, non-profit organizations and the University of Michigan to expand the region’s position as Mid-America’s center for technology business.

Showcase Presenter

A2B Bikeshare

Presenter: Ansgar Strother

A2B Bikeshare is a transportation startup that is passionate about developing communities to be connected, healthy, and green. In order to achieve this mission, our team has developed and launched effective technology to enable automated bicycle rental, also known as bikesharing. Our rental system provides convenient mid-range transportation to both local community members and visitors. This is accomplished through our integrated hardware and software systems that seamlessly connects people to transportation.

learn more: http://www.a2bbikeshare.com

Showcase Presenter


Presenter: Lihang Nong, CEO

picoSpray is bringing to market a technology that will allow the 70M units / year small engine industry to meet future emission standards at the lowest cost while also improving user experience. The technology is a novel electronic fuel injection system that improves engine efficiency, performance, reliability, and drastically reduce emissions. The patent-pending technology enables automotive-level performance and reliability at the lowest cost in the market.

The company is currently working with engine OEMs in the US and internationally and is seeking $1.5M to complete development which will lead to sales.

learn more: http://www.pico-spray.com