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10 Techniques for Better Negotiation

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Here are ten tactics that can make you a better, more confident negotiator on behalf of your small business.Here are ten tactics that can make you a better, more confident negotiator on behalf of your small business.

Ten negotiation techniques:

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Enter a negotiation without proper preparation and you’ve already lost. Start with yourself. Make sure you are clear on what you really want out of the arrangement. Research the other side to better understand their needs, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Enlist help from experts, such as an accountant, attorney or tech guru.
  2. Pay attention to timing. Timing is important in any negotiation. Sure, you must know what to ask for, but also be sensitive to when you ask for it. There are times to press ahead, and times to wait. When you are looking your best is the time to press for what you want. But beware of pushing too hard and poisoning any long-term relationship.
  3. Leave behind your ego. The best negotiators either don’t care or don’t show they care about who gets credit for a successful deal. Their talent is in making the other side feel like the final agreement was all their idea.
  4. Ramp up your listening skills. The best negotiators are often quiet listeners who patiently let others have the floor while they make their case. They never interrupt. Encourage the other side to talk first. That helps set up one of negotiation’s oldest maxims: whoever mentions numbers first, loses. While that’s not always true, it’s generally better to sit tight and let the other side go first. Even if they don’t mention numbers, it gives you a chance to ask what they are thinking.
  5. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Another tenet of negotiating is, “Go high, or go home.” As part of your preparation, define your highest justifiable price. As long as you can argue convincingly, don’t be afraid to aim high. But no ultimatums, please. Take-it-or-leave-it offers are usually out of place.
  6. Anticipate compromise. You should expect to make concessions and plan what they might be. Of course, the other side is thinking the same, so never take their first offer. Even if it’s better than you’d hoped for, practice your best look of disappointment and politely decline. You never know what else you can get.
  7. Offer and expect commitment. The glue that keeps deals from unraveling is an unshakable commitment to deliver. You should offer this comfort level to others. Likewise, avoid deals where the other side does not demonstrate commitment.
  8. Don’t absorb their problems. In most negotiations, you will hear all of the other side’s problems and reasons they can’t give you what you want. They want their problems to become yours, but don’t let them. Instead, deal with each as they come up and try to solve them. If their “budget” is too low, for example, maybe there are other places that money could come from.
  9. Stick to your principles. As an individual and a business owner, you likely have a set of guiding principles and values that you just won’t compromise. If you find negotiations crossing those boundaries, it might be a deal you can live without.
  10. Close with confirmation. At the close of any meeting (even if no final deal is struck) recap the points covered and any areas of agreement. Make sure everyone confirms. Follow-up with appropriate letters or emails. Do not leave behind loose ends.

Venture Capital: 5 Tips to Get Funding Outside Silicon Valley

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1. Network locally

Use your local network to connect with venture capital firms in your city. Have you stayed in touch with past coworkers? Do you have connections with any angel investors (many of whom are well connected to the venture capital scene)? Can your business banker point you in the right direction? Those coffee gatherings and meetups you haven’t been going to are how you get noticed, so get active and start getting your name out there.

In Silicon Valley it can seem that everybody knows everybody, so you may not have to work as hard for a meeting. Outside the Valley, though, this is often not the case. Anybody who can introduce you to a venture capitalist therefore is somebody you need to get in touch with. So network like crazy.

2. Start with investment-friendly cities

Even if you decide you aren’t going to search Silicon Valley for venture capital, you still need to have a high level of focus.

Over the past few years, many cities, both small and large, have seen an increase in the number of venture capital firms as well as the amount of money being invested. Some of the most popular up-and-coming cities include: Albuquerque, Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Who would have thought that some of these cities would turn into a hotbed of venture capital funding? If possible, start with cities where investing in entrepreneurial companies is already common.

3. Focus on cities that cater to your specific type of business

In New York, fashion, art, and banking are the industries in the forefront. In Washington DC, government and defense-related companies have the best chance of success.

Don’t jump from city to city without any idea of what you are looking for. Instead, focus on those that are known for being receptive to your particular industry.

4. Be informed

Learn as much as possible about the venture capital firms in the cities you are targeting. Remember, you are no longer in Silicon Valley. You don’t have access to nearly as many firms. To give yourself the best chance of success, you should learn as much as you can about every firm (see point number one above) and then pinpoint how their goals align with what your company has to offer.

There are many details to focus on during this process including:

  • The types of companies the firm has invested in previously
  • The location of these companies (local, national, or both)
  • The amount of money that has been invested

Also, it’s important that you select an investor that’s a cultural fit. If your startup has a casual and laid back atmosphere, there’s no point seeking an investment from a VC who’s used to dealing with more traditionally structured businesses. What a VC believes in is just as important as the size of their investment.

5. Research your situation

Know what type of funding you need, as well as which investors fit the bill. In Silicon Valley, for example, Seed and Series A investors are generally located in the Pier 38 area; Series B and C can be found in Palo Alto/Menlo Park; and for investment banking you head into the city.

Unfortunately, things are not as cut and dry in other parts of the country. This does not make it impossible to find the right type of funding, but you need to know what you are looking for. If you are working on a startup, you don’t want to get in touch with firms that only offer Series C funding – this is a waste of time.

So be sure to do your homework, know which type of funding you are seeking, and then go out and find the right Venture Capital source to fuel your growth. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end.

3 Criteria for Starting a Business from Norm Brodsky

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It’s not always easy figuring out what kind of business to start up, especially if you hear all the doom and gloom stats about how many businesses fail shortly after hanging the “open for business” sign. For some perspective on how to choose a business that has legs, we spent an hour with Norm Brodsky on StartupNation Radio. He’s a columnist for Inc. Magazine, and founder of several multi-million-dollar ventures that are worth bragging about.

Norm offers his wisdom on 3 criteria you should consider before starting a business.

1. The business concept needs to be well established

According to Norm, the first criterion for starting a business is that the business concept needs to be well established. “At least 100 years old,” says Norm. “You don’t want to spend a lot of money educating people about how to use your business. It’s to your advantage that people know that the business concept exists, how to use it, and where to find it.”

Example – Norm and his wife were in Paris one day and walked by an area that sold nothing but cashmere sweaters. She said that the area would be a terrible place to open up a new shop (selling cashmere), but he thought that it would be perfect. As Norm sees it, if someone is looking to buy a cashmere sweater, that’s the block they’d go to. He wants to be located where everyone will already be looking for that kind of product or service.

2. Industry standard needs to be antiquated

The second criterion is that the industry standard needs to be antiquated. By that Norm means that the business concept exists and is in practice, but improvements can be made using technology and improving service.

Example – In the record storage business, prior to Norm’s venture into the industry, the standard was for things just to be packed up and moved. But Norm made some improvements. He used basic technology to provide customers a receipt for their items on the spot. This customer service feature, which only required some basic modern technology gave him an advantage over his competitors who weren’t yet providing this simple convenience. That put Norm’s CitiStorage at the forefront—creating a new industry standard.

3. Finding a niche to fill within the industry itself

The third criterion is finding a niche to fill within the industry itself. Just by really digging in and understanding an industry, you can often uncover certain angles that are not being covered. Find a new twist on service, a new twist on marketing, a new mix of products or customer-friendly policies. Somewhere, there’s an angle—and often times old-guard companies that have been in the business for a long time get lazy and used to “business as usual.” That’s your opportunity if you’re looking at starting a business.

Example – Everybody loves Starbucks for their coffee. They’re a progressive company that serves coffee in more ways than you can count. They provide an excellent product, and great service. They have almost every angle covered, except for 24 hour service at most locations. College kids (and the writing staff from StartupNation), for example, love to “pull all nighters” at their local coffee shop. Some of Starbucks’ competitors have taken advantage of this “niche within the business.”

Whatever your skills, whatever your ambition, just remember that the best businesses to choose are sometimes simple variations of businesses that have been around a long time. Norm’s tips, we think, are spot on—reinventing the wheel is for high-risk ventures and big budgets. If you want a less risky path when starting a business, consider simply providing a much better wheel and get your business startup rolling!

CSR plc Acquisition of Clarity Technologies Inc.

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Cambridge, UK

CSR plc (LSE: CSR.L), (“CSR”) a wireless solutions provider and leading supplier of Bluetooth technology, today announces the acquisition of Clarity Technologies, Inc. (“Clarity”) for a consideration of $17.1 million payable in cash.

Clarity is a leading provider of software and services for improving the audio quality and performance of voice-based communications systems and products. Its voice extraction and echo cancellation software is based on its proprietary Clear Voice Capture technology (“CVC®”), which enhances the audio performance of any voice-based product or system, including wireless headsets, wireless handsets and automotive hands free systems.

CSR is the leading Bluetooth provider having a unit market share of 51% of Bluetooth devices shipped in Q4 2004 and having won 69% of all Bluetooth end products and modules qualified by customers in 2004, nine times that of CSR’s nearest competitor. In 2004, CSR was also the leading Bluetooth silicon supplier in the top three sectors of the Bluetooth industry with 55% of the design wins in Mobile Phones, 85% of the design wins in Wireless Headsets and 83% of the Bluetooth design wins in PCs. CSR is the only company with customers who have qualified products to the new Bluetooth V2.0 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) specification and with its fourth generation BC4 device is the only company shipping production quantities to this specification.

As the market migrates to higher audio quality for both mono (telephony) Bluetooth headsets and in-car handsfree systems today and stereo (music playing) Bluetooth headsets and HiFi connections tomorrow, Bluetooth audio connections will become, by far, the most important application for all of these segments.

Two years ago, CSR completed the development of the world’s first Bluetooth ICs with integrated DSP co-processors and Audio Codecs to enable higher quality audio and these are now in volume production. The combination of CSR, the world’s leading Bluetooth technology provider, with Clarity, the world’s leading provider of echo and noise cancellation software, will allow CSR to increase further the superiority of its audio solutions at a time of continuing consolidation in the industry with fewer Bluetooth hardware providers.

Commenting on the acquisition, John Hodgson, CEO of CSR said: “This is an exciting acquisition for us. Not only does Clarity give us access to leading customers in the US automotive sector but its patented software will give us a key competitive advantage in audio, which we believe will continue to be the largest Bluetooth application into the future. Bluetooth products, such as next generation wireless telephony stereo headphones for PCs and MP3 players, will demand better quality noise reduction and echo cancellation and in our view CVC is the best software in the market to provide this.”

About CSR

CSR plc (Cambridge Silicon Radio) is a leading provider of single-chip radio devices for short-range wireless communication. CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions for Bluetooth based around BlueCore, a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio, baseband and micro-controller. BlueCore features in over 60 per cent of all qualified Bluetooth enabled products and modules listed on the Bluetooth website with industry leaders including Nokia, Dell, Panasonic, Sharp, Motorola, IBM, Apple, NEC, Toshiba, RIM and Sony using BlueCore devices in their range of Bluetooth products. CSR is now producing its fourth generation BlueCore devices to support the recently released Enhanced Data Rate standard. In November 2004 CSR announced the first single chip IEEE802.11a, b, g embedded solution specifically targeting the mobile phone and consumer electronics markets. CSR has its headquarters in Cambridge, UK, and offices in Richardson, Texas, USA; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Aalborg, Denmark; and Lund, Sweden.

More information can be found at www.csr.com and the partner web site www.btdesigner.com.
More information about Bluetooth technology can be found on the SIG web site at www.bluetooth.com
Alan Woolhouse CSR VP of Communications

Sloan Ventures Receives Two “New Economic” Citations

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Birmingham, MI. (September 21. 2000)

Sloan Ventures has drawn plaudits for its success in helping Michigan develop into a national leader in the technology-driven economy. A leading developer and funding source for high technology businesses, Sloan has been singled out by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for its venture capital efforts. The Michigan Legislature also cited the firm for its success in helping Michigan grow and diversify its economy.

Founded in 1995 by brothers Jeffrey and Richard Sloan of Birmingham, the firm has launched ten companies and funded them with $30 million in private equity financing.

The MEDC made the award September 19, 2000 at its annual Michigan Investment and Commercialization Success Celebration in Lansing. Richard Snyder, chair of the MEDC executive committee, and Doug Rothwell, MEDC president and CEO, distributed awards in four areas of commercialization success: venture capital, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and information technology, manufacturing, life sciences and information technology. “The winners exemplify the successful transfer of technology to commercialization,” Snyder said. “Commercialization success in these important industries is key to helping the state develop into a national leader in the technology-driven economy.”
Jeffrey Sloan. Sloan Ventures CEO, said the firm is in the business of creating businesses – connecting the ideas, money and people needed to create high growth companies. “We’ve positioned Sloan Ventures as a hub of new business development, bringing together innovators and entrepreneurs; angel and venture capital investors; strategic business partners; executive personnel; and essential businesses services,” Sloan said.

A hybrid between a business incubator and a venture capital firm, Sloan Ventures is an anomaly in the Midwest. More common in Silicon Valley and along Route 128 near Boston, such firms focus on the essential ingredients of the very early stages of business creation – identifying high growth potential ideas, sourcing first-round funding, recruiting key executives to lead them, and making the businesses and their products marketable.
“Our company helps to fill the gap between the stage of ideation or innovation of a business concept and the stage when traditional venture capitalists would consider the project to be far enough along for venture funding,” Sloan said. “Unlike traditional venture capitalists. we engage in projects that are typically at the pre-business plan stage and join the innovator or entrepreneur as founders of the company,” he added.

“The art of building a new business is a challenging one. and one that requires a solid team to get it off the ground,” said Richard Sloan. co­-managing director of Sloan Ventures. “It is essential to complement the innovator’s passion with a partner who has the resources and infrastructure to give the business credibility. strategy and staying power and that is precisely the role that Sloan Ventures plays on behalf of entrepreneurs and innovators. “By way of example. Sloan Ventures has helped give birth to the following portfolio companies:

 

  • Clarity. LLC, a builder or enabling technology for voice interface products that require clear transmission. even in the noisiest environments.
  • YetGen, LLC, a pioneer molecular genetics company specializing in genetic disease research and disease detection services.
  • GeneWorks, LLC, an advanced transgenics company that utilizes egg-laying hens to manufactures desirable proteins and enzymes for pharmaceutical, industrial, laboratory research and other major market applications.
  • Gradient Technologies, LLC, a high tech company which is commercializing a new generation of proprietary antennas.
  • StartupNation. LLC, a global media network that provides resources needed by early stage businesses with its regional affiliate division in Detroit, MJ known as Digital Detroit, LLC.
  • Rubicon Genomics, Inc, a genomics tools company that enables significantly accelerated and more informative DNA sequencing for genomic research and diagnostics applications in the biotech, pharmaceutical. and agricultural industries.
  • ServiceReps, lnc, an Internet-based 24/7 customer service company that provides live customer service and sales support online at client e-commerce websites.

Sloan Ventures, LLC. -The Business of Creating Business (sm)

Press release contact info:
David Bassett
Glenn Oswald
(248)855-6777

Aria Ventures is Open for Business

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Sloan Brothers shoot television show focused on entrepreneurship for national public television. The show will air across the country starting in May of 2010. The following blog was posted by someone who attended the taping as part of the live studio audience..

Very exciting news! StartupNation will be on the COVER of DPTV’s Signal magazine in March and highlighted inside with editorial content and additional ads promoting the program debut March 16th – to over 65,000 households!

Pair helps people make dream ventures real

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The first big stumbling block to starting your own business: What, exactly, will you do?

“It’s not always clear to people what kind of business they would start themselves,” said Rich Sloan, a Flint native who with his brother Jeff launched a radio show, wrote a book and created a Web site called StartupNation. On their book cover, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm dubs them “the rock stars of entrepreneurship.”

Their deal is designing your dream business. This year, they also created a special for the Public Broadcasting Service called “StartupNation: Open for Business with the Sloan Brothers” that was taped in February with a live audience at the Detroit Public Television studios in Wixom and aired twice this month on WTVS (Channel 56).

 

Q&A: Jeff Sloan on Detroit’s Big Future

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If he were a betting man, Jeff Sloan would put some money down on Metro Detroit’s recovery.

And that means recovery in the areas that matter: stronger automotive manufacturers, up-and-coming industries like film, batteries and energy as well as a real entrepreneurial spirit. That sense of entitlement (you know, that fat, life-long, high-paying job on the assembly line) that has held this region back is lessening, Sloan notes, and not a second too soon.

Now, I don’t let just anyone talk about Detroit like that. This area is like my little brother, and you only get to make fun of family if you’re family. But Sloan has got the entrepreneurial chops and business background to make these assertions. And then some.

Check out what Sloan, a Flint native and co-founder of StartupNation, has to say about the business climate, and how we are poised to take advantage of it. (P.S. Did I mention that Entrepreneur magazine just named Detroit one of its best in terms of being ‘off the grid’ or a good place to forge your own way? Take a note, people.)

Some background: Jeff and his brother, Rich, created StartupNation together in 2002. The duo are longtime entrepreneurs, having started and grown many businesses. These include the world’s leading Arabian horse breeding operation, a consumer products import company and an early-stage venture development and financing firm (Sloan Ventures) that has infused more than $60 million into financing fast-growing technology companies.

StartupNation is a resource for starting a company with broadcast, online, print and event channels providing access to experts in their respective fields. Their website has 250,000 monthly users and more than 175,000 pages of business advice, networking opportunities, professional group forums and podcasts. They also wrote a book and companion DVD StartupNation: Open for Business (by the way, the DVD drops today…how’s that for timing?).

Sloan describes himself as a “Alex P. Keaton” type (remember the punk kid carrying a brief case on the 1980s television show “Family Ties”? My sister is still swooning.) He always worked for himself since he was a teenager. Even at 17, he had the sense of self to borrow a few bucks from his parents, pool it with a buddy and buy a house to renovate. They sold it for far more than the $7,000 it took to buy it (remember, this is Flint in the 1980s…not too far off from the Detroit of today, but I digress.) That sale truly fueled his fire for more, Sloan said.

Most recently, Sloan has launched a Southeast Michigan business accelerator or incubator called NextWave. Based in the Detroit suburb of Troy, it will house some 35 businesses in their start-up phase. The for-profit enterprise will soon expand internationally, Sloan said. They also are looking at other U.S. markets, including Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

On with the show…

Q: Do you see potential here?
A: It’s really unbelievable, the potential. I’m a cheerleader and an ambassador for Southeast Michigan. Through NextWave, I’m being pitched at least a business idea a day, sometimes four or five. I think what’s been missing here is a culture and an infrastructure to focus on our entrepreneur community. We’ve been so centered on our corporate companies because of the automotive industry. And that’s obviously great; we need them here. But they also recognize that we need small businesses and new ideas. … I’m so blown away by what I’m hearing and the ideas that people are approaching me with. They’re pretty sophisticated. I’m very impressed with the sophistication of the entrepreneurs here. They’re approaching us with everything from consumer ideas to automotive related to biotech to healthcare. The ideas certainly are sophisticated, but one thing I wouldn’t have expected is that the entrepreneurs have a pretty good grasp of how to create a business plan and how companies are created and grown in a traditional venture capital model. So there’s a lot of raw material. What’s missing is the connective tissue. You need the culture that brings everything together. It’s that catalytic converter that links things together and makes them viable. We need to bring it all together.

Q: What is motivating Metro Detroit entrepreneurs?
A: We’ve had a corporate perspective. Because of the unions and the big corporations, there is a certain sense of entitlement. In the past, you just go out and get a job and you’ve got a sense of security for the rest of your life. Well, hello. Corporations are no longer offering a sense of a security like before. You’re better off being your own boss. … What you need is an incredible driver. People don’t just want to start businesses today to make more money or all those glorious reasons we have when the economy is good. Now it’s not about moving up from a Volkswagen to a Mercedes. Now it’s about existence. Jobs have dried up, unemployment benefits are running out. If you can’t get a job, you’re not left with a lot of choice if you have mouths to feed. Starting a business has fallen into the realm of necessity not a want. That’s a much stronger driver than I want to buy a much fancier car or I want to buy a boat. Those things fall into the category of desire. Feeding your kids is a need. People’s desire to start a business has amped up so much. We’ve seen traffic (at our Web site) up significantly. And the demand at NextWave – we’ve only been open 30 days – has far exceeded what we expected at this level. We could be looking at 10 new companies a day.

Q: Where do you see potential where others may not?
A: I do believe that the auto companies now that they’re right sized have the potential to be successful businesses. Now we could have companies based in Southeast Michigan that are really extraordinary companies. We don’t have to turn our heads (in shame) because of another quarter of losses. I don’t believe those will be the stories of the future. I think they’re going to more innovative, nimble and entrepreneurial, and, therefore, much more exciting from the product to the way they’re going to be run. Plus, Michigan is becoming a capital of movie making. Who would ever think we could be the next Hollywood? And it’s happening. Those two things in additional to the entrepreneurial environment that I mentioned earlier are exciting. There have been new approaches to energy and battery manufacturing. There’s a real chance that Michigan could emerge as a major player in entrepreneurial and new economy objectives.

Q: So what happens next?
A: One thing we’re working on is bringing back Digital Detroit. It was an annual conference I helped to start and operate from 2000 to 2004. We’re bringing it back in May 2011. We need something to bring the pieces back together and help seed business activity here. People are asking me to bring it back, and I’m back here now (after living in Phoenix). … I ended up coming back here quite frankly because this is home. There really is something to be said for Midwestern values. I knew I wanted to raise a family in an environment like this with these people around them. The level of quality of people here is high. This is where I came from, this is what I know and this is what I appreciate. In the end, it’s all about the people. Even when we evaluate a new business opportunity, it’s all about the jockey, not the horse. When you start with a good quality base of people here, anything’s possible. That counts. Somehow it tends to get lost in business, but let me tell you that counts a lot. If you lack character or quality as a person, it comes out in business, especially in a small business environment. If you lack those qualities, you will somehow compromise your business one way or another.

Read more: http://detroit.blogs.time.com/2010/08/10/qa-jeff-sloan-on-detroits-entrepreneurial-environment/

Jeff Sloan join board of Great Lakes Angels

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Great Lakes Angels, Inc.

Board of Director and management changes

Effective March 23, 2011

New BOD, Jeff Sloan will be assuming an open Director position.

Jeff currently spearheads Aria Ventures, LLC whose mission it is to “package” meritorious business opportunities and concepts into viable businesses. Specifically, Jeff and the Aria International team prepares the business plans, identifies the key team members, raises the seed financing, and provides ongoing strategic guidance throughout the development phase, the launch phase and the growth phase.  In 1990, Jeff co-founded Sloan Ventures, LLC which developed, funded and launched a variety of startup companies with more than $80 million in private and institutional financing, including Clarity Technologies, LLC, GeneGo, LLC, VetGen, LLC, and Rubicon Genomics, LLC.  Jeff was a founding member of the Michigan Venture Capital Association and was one of the first to serve on the Board of Directors. Jeff has also served as a Director on the Board of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Current BOD and President Rick Galdi, is stepping down and will be missed for his support and contributions to GLA.

Rick Galdi is a founder and has recently been appointed CEO/President of Essex Angel Capital, Inc., a publicy held Canadian capital pool company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange ticker EXC.P.  Rick will devote his full time efforts to Essex sourcing and managing Essex investment portfolio and hopes to continue his work bridging the investment gap in early stage companies between the U.S. and Canada.Watch All Girls Weekend (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

New BOD, John Dourjalian will be assuming the open Director position.

John Dourjalian possesses 20+ years of broad base experience in manufacturing, environmental and public health arena.  John holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Management as well post graduate studies at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Upon completing his academic endeavors he was employed in numerous technical positions as an environmental & manufacturing professional in both the public (EPA) and private (fortune 500 companies) sectors.  Recently, John transitioned to investing in angel/venture capital and private placement investments.  He was appointed as a technical advisor for several start-up companies and currently uses his expertise and knowledge when screening potential investments opportunities.  He sits on the Oakland University Incubator investment review board and is a member of the Ohio Tech Angels (OTAF II).

Current Chairman BOD and Founder, David Weaver will be re-assuming the President position.

Other BOD members are Don Baker (Safford & Baker, PLLC) and Tom Anderson(Automation Alley).

GLA monthly investor meetings will begin again in April or early May.  Date to be announced.

The Great Lakes Angels is a nonprofit corporation. We seek serious, active investors only. The Mission of the Great Lakes Angels organization is to organize and mentor angels and provide a forum for them to grow in knowledge and wealth and foster more of the same – to help invest in entrepreneurial companies in the Region. It will have numerous “deals” presented, high-level content and quality speakers and panelists on key issues of angel investing. Current “Angels” and high net worth “potential Angels” can meet in a confidential and educational environment to discover opportunities for mutual areas of investment. Experts can be identified and shared to assist in due diligence on technologies outside the individual’s own comfort zone and help transition investors into new exciting technologies for growth of companies in the Region and greater personal reward.

CONTACT:  Great Lakes Angels, dweaver@glangels.org

An Open Letter on Entrepreneurship

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My Fellow Americans…

We are at a cross-roads. This is a watershed moment in American history. We’ve just gone through the worst recession since the great Depression, and while there are signs of a recovery, it’s fragile at best. And many argue that we will dip back into recession before we experience a solid recovery and if we do, even then, things will never be the same again.

And it goes beyond economic conditions. Our infrastucture is aging and in need of repair. Our military is over-stretched and fighting wars where expectations and purpose aren’t entirely clear. Our national annual budget deficit is the largest in history and our national debt is growing exponentially to the point where now a majority of our tax bill does not go to work building a great nation, but rather pays the interest on the debt we owe to foreign countries. And perhaps most significantly, we’ve lost what’s made us great as a nation. We were a determined and innovative people, not only in search of financial success and wealth but more importantly, in search of achievement and contribution to our citizens and to the world. We were known as a creative people heralded by all citzens of the world for advancing civilization and leading the way in innovation.

The only thing that will bring us out of this mess is to return to our roots. We must return to the spirit and ideals that forged this great country from the beginning. We need a renewed spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, we need a revived and invigorated work ethic with a real sense of purpose, and by doing so, we will spawn new businesses and create new opportunities to put people back to work and in doing so, cure our unemployment problem.

It all starts with a bold desire to innovate and to create new early stage enterprises. Let’s embrace our golden past while looking forward to our bright future.  The time is now. And we may never get a second chance. The time is now. The time is now.