Denovo Fertility, an online platform that considers an individual’s in-depth personal history and journey from a biochemistry perspective to increase fertility and fecundity, was the Best of Boot Camp winner and received a $25,000 prize at the 2022 Entrepreneur Boot Camp Celebration. The a2Tech360 event was hosted by Ann Arbor SPARK and sponsored by Varnum Attorneys at Law.
“It was amazing to see so many of our entrepreneurs gathered together — from the recent Boot Camp participants to our successful graduates,” said Margarita Hernandez, vice president of entrepreneurial services. “In fact, NETSCOUT was once an Ann Arbor SPARK Boot Camp participant and now graciously hosted our celebration — it’s rewarding to see the strength of our entrepreneurial ecosystem at work!”
Denovo Fertility founder Jessica Preston started the Entrepreneur Boot Camp program without a business background. “My business is based on more than 20 years of clinical medical knowledge and practice, and three years in medical affairs in a laboratory,” she explained. “The customer discovery process revealed some surprises and allowed for some necessary changes to strengthen our offer.”
C-PRO was the Boot Camp Celebration runner-up and winner of $10,000. The startup founded by Boyang Wang is a community-based platform that enables instant communication between experienced handymen and self-reliant homeowners to resolve house repair and improvement problems. “As I am building the mobile app, the Boot Camp pitch prize will allow me to enrich the desired features in my app and provide funding for marketing campaigns when it is launched in December,” stated Boyang.
Entrepreneur Boot Camp is an intensive program to help entrepreneurs of early-stage, technology-driven companies quickly determine if they have a viable business opportunity and focus on crucial next steps. Based on Lean Startup principles, Boot Camp guides participants through the process of customer discovery to validate their ideas and develop the path forward.
In addition to the winners, attendees of the event heard pitches from Voters Wallet and Wired Off-Road which won the People’s Choice award and $5,000 in services from Varnum. The pitches were judged by Patti Glaza, executive vice president and managing director of Invest Detroit Ventures; Stewart Thornhill, executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute at the University of Michigan Ross Business School; and Mike Flanagan, managing director of the Michigan Angel Fund and vice president of capital programs at Ann Arbor SPARK. Jeff Mason, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Groundspeed, and Hien Lam of Huck Finch Branding, also spoke at the event.
To learn more about Ann Arbor SPARK’s Boot Camp, visit annarborusa.org/spark-services/startup-services/entrepreneur-boot-camp.
Ann Arbor SPARK’s a2Tech360 program, featuring seven days of inspiring events showcasing Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation to the world, was sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA). For more information, visit www.a2Tech360.com.