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Founders have been facing a challenging funding environment over the last 12 months, with venture capital and angel investment at 10-year lows given the broader market conditions. As a startup that may need outside capital to grow, how can you navigate in this environment and what strategies and tactics can you employ to survive and thrive?

Mike Flanagan, Vice President of Capital Programs at Ann Arbor SPARK, and Managing Member at the Michigan Angel Fund will moderate a discussion with 3 serial entrepreneurs who have successfully managed through tough times and will share some of their stories and insights.

Join us at SPARK Central Innovation Center at 11:45 to get checked in and grab some lunch on us before the program begins at noon, or join us virtually at noon, whatever works best for you!

Meet the Entrepreneurs:

Jen Baird currently serves as Chairman of the Board and Executive Director at Culturewell and has over two decades of experience founding and leading high-potential startups. As a venture and angel-backed CEO, she raised over $75M (seed-Series C), led strategy, product development and commercialization, compensation strategy, and scaleup. Her outcomes include startups that achieved global sales and 10x revenue exits (5-6x investor returns). Jen was twice named Crain’s Detroit Business’ 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan, among other awards. She graduated from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management with a Master of Management following a BA from the University of Michigan.

Brenda Jones currently serves as the CEO of Ulendo Technologies, an early-stage technology company specializing in software that supercharges the performance of advanced manufacturing machines. Prior to this, she led the successful exit of Kinetica Labs, a University of Michigan spinout. Brenda’ s contributions to the entrepreneurial ecosystem include her work as a mentor/speaker at the Ross School of Business and the New Enterprise Forum as well as her roles at Ann Arbor SPARK as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and coach/mentor/speaker for Entrepreneur Boot Camp. Brenda earned a BA at Yale University and an MBA at the University of Michigan.

Mykolas Rambus is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hush, the AI cybersecurity and privacy platform for companies and their employees. Before Hush, Mykolas was an executive at the credit bureau and data broker Equifax, co-founded Wealth-X, the world’s largest database of information on wealthy people, and led information technology at Forbes Magazine and the real estate firm W.P. Carey. He’s an award-winning technologist, having begun his career launching a tech startup from his dorm room at MIT.

Founders Fireside is an educational series brought to you by Ann Arbor SPARK.


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