#UES2015 – The Cast

Welcome and Overview


W. David Tarver, Founder and President, Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative

David earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from University of Michigan. A tech entrepreneur, investor, and author, David is currently lecturing in the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship. David is determined to prove that important urban problems can be solved with for-profit business innovation…and elbow grease.


Keynote Speaker

Miguel McKelvey Headshot

Miguel McKelvey, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, WeWork, Inc.

Miguel is a multi-disciplinary designer and entrepreneur with diverse experience in architectural design, construction management and web development. At WeWork, he directs all architecture, design and construction activities. Prior to WeWork, Miguel created the design framework and led the national retail roll-out for American Apparel (170 stores), and was involved in the early stage development of several companies, including Green Desk, Barre3, Versation and English, Baby!

Miguel earned his BA (Architecture) from the University of Oregon.


Session 1 – Urban Problem Mining


Moderator: Tifani Sadek, Sadek Bonahoom PLC

Tifani Sadek believes Detroit’s turnaround requires the support of its small businesses. That’s why she founded a law practice, Sadek Bonahoom, that focuses on small businesses, serves as Board President of FoodLab Detroit, and always shops, spends, and eats locally. Tifani lives in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit.



Maggie DeSantis – President/CEO, Eastside Community Network

Maggie DeSantis is a native Detroiter who has worked in the community development field for nearly forty years, both professionally and as a volunteer. She is a graduate of Wayne State University and Central Michigan University, as well as the National Internship in Community Economic Development.


James Feagin

James Feagin, Entrepreneur

James has 15 years of professional experience that includes stints in education, digital marketing, entertainment, and community development work. Currently focusing on his work as a consultant and real estate developer, James maintains and active role in Detroit’s resurgence working on project ranging from the design and execution of small business grant challenges to acquiring and repurposing abandoned commercial structures.



Lauren Hood, CEO, Deep Dive Detroit Inc.

Born and raised in Detroit, Lauren Hood is a civically engaged community development specialist. Lauren is the founder of Deep Dive Detroit, a consciousness raising consultancy with a focus on racial, social and economic justice. DDD clients are corporate, philanthropic, and non-profit entities seeking to align internal culture with expressed values.



Chad Rochkind, Founder, Human Scale Studio

Chad Rochkind is the founder of Human Scale Studio, a consultancy that provides people-centric solutions to cities, neighborhoods, and businesses. He is a Knight 880 Cities Fellow. Metropolis Magazine named Chad one of its “10 New Talents” in 2014, having been nominated by Vishaan Chakrabarti of SHoP Architects.


Session 2 – Community Engagement Strategies


Moderator: Rishi Moudgil, Managing Director, U-M Center for Social Impact

Rishi Moudgil is the founding and managing director of the Center for Social Impact at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He leads cross-sector, multidisciplinary initiatives for emerging leaders to deliver social impact. Rishi’s long history regionally includes community organizing, youth development, educational access, and new venture creation.


PHOTO CREDIT: Ralph Alswang Photographer 202-487-5025 ralph@ralphphoto.com www.ralphphoto.com

Garlin Gilchrist, Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement, City of Detroit

Garlin brings a passion for advocacy, technology and policy to his work as the city’s first-ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. He leverages the power of technology new media and grassroots organizing by opening the city’s public data and information for the benefit of all Detroiters.



Cornetta Lane, Founder, Detroit Dialogs

Cornetta Lane is a community organizer. Lane launched a discussion group called Detroit Dialogues whose purpose is to strengthen Detroit Communities through honest conversation and civic engagement. Recently, Lane organized Core City Stories, a bike tour that included 4 stops where 4 residents shared their stories from their front porch.



Dan Pitera, Executive Director, Detroit Collaborative Design Center

Dan Pitera is a political and social activist masquerading as an architect. He is the Executive Director of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. He views the design profession as an essential force in establishing human relationships and engagement. Mr. Pitera was a 2005 Harvard University Loeb Fellow.



Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director, The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Rutgers Business School

Lyneir Richardson is Executive Director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, at Rutgers Business School.  Lyneir is also a social entrepreneur leading a MacArthur Foundation funded initiative aiming to catalyze retail development to accelerate urban neighborhood transformation.  Lyneir headed economic development in Newark, NJ under Mayor Cory Booker.


Session 3 – Scalable Urban Business Models


Moderator: Forrest S. Carter, Associate Professor of Marketing and Faculty Director of Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Broad College of Business, Michigan State University

Dr. Carter teaches courses in marketing strategy, and entrepreneurship. He has authored numerous articles and publications in the areas of  macro-marketing, and entrepreneurship. He has also been a consultant with numerous corporate organizations, and owned and worked with several small owned businesses.



David Anderson, Co-Founder, Bamboo Detroit

Dave Anderson is co-founder of Bamboo Detroit, a co-working incubator located in downtown Detroit. Bamboo provides office space, educational workshops and business resources that help new and existing small businesses grow and thrive in the city. Since its launch in August 2013, Bamboo Detroit has grown from 15 to 100+ members representing a range of industries, from photography and real estate to nonprofits and technology startups.



Anya Babbitt, CEO & Founder, SPLT

Anya Babbitt is a serial entrepreneur and CEO & Founder of SPLT. Anya started SPLT to reinvent the commute and to change the way people meet and move in urban environments worldwide. SPLT is a multi-modal enterprise ridesharing platform providing accessibility, mobility, and sustainable transit for all. Anya relocated from New York City to Detroit as part of the 2015 Techstars Mobility accelerator.



Ralph Clark, CEO, ShotSpotter, Inc.

A veteran of successful technology start-ups, Clark brings 30 years of corporate, financial and organizational leadership to his position as SST, Inc.’s President/CEO. Most recently, as CEO of GuardianEdge Technologies Inc., he led the company transformation into a leader in endpoint data protection and was instrumental in its acquisition by Symantec.



Leslie Horn, CEO, Three Squared, Inc.

Three Squared, Inc. up-cycles cargo containers into faster, stronger and more energy efficient products through joint ventures and technological innovations to create useful tools for humanity. After revolutionizing the housing industry, Three Squared has done it again by changing the way America grows.


Luncheon Program – The University’s Role in Urban Innovation


Program Host: Ned Staebler, CEO and President, TechTown/VP of Economic Development, Wayne State University

Ned Staebler serves as President and CEO of TechTown, Detroit’s most established business incubator and accelerator, and as Vice President for Economic Development at Wayne State University. He leads both organizations’ efforts to catalyze business activity and promote a vibrant Detroit.

Special Guests


Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, President, Michigan State University



Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, President, University of Detroit Mercy



Cynthia Wilbanks, Vice President for Government Relations, University of Michigan


Session 4 – Business Models for Entry-Level Employment

Malinda Jensen BIO 2

Moderator: Malinda Jensen, Vice President of Economic Development, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)

Malinda Jensen is the Vice President at Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). The DEGC is the lead primary economic development arm for the city of Detroit. In her role, she manages a team of professionals devoted to attracting and retaining businesses in the City of Detroit. Jensen also serves on the Detroit Workforce Development Board and chairs the Employment and Business Services Committee.



Heath Carr, Chief Operating Officer, Bedrock Manufacturing (Shinola)

With 20-plus years in the global fashion watch and accessory business—from manufacturing and supply chain, to leading execution for the global rollout of specialty retail stores, to all aspects of customer experience—Carr brings his industry expertise and passion for manufacturing high quality goods to Shinola.



Paul Hickman, Founder/CEO, Urban Ashes

Creating for 35 years; from billboards to environmental graphics to art installations to store displays to furniture and picture frames. In 2009, Paul applied his 20 years as a leader in the sustainable materials and local movements to form Urban Ashes, an innovative award winning picture frame/furniture company, empowering ex-felons with meaningful employment.



Calvin Evans, HR/Operations Manager, Urban Ashes

January 29th, 2013, Calvin was released from prison after serving 24 consecutive years. Calvin is now the HR/Operations Manager at Urban Ashes; a member of the Washtenaw County Workforce Development Board; a Violence Intervention Specialist for Wayne State Sinai Grace Hospital; and a highly sought after speaker. Calvin’s mission is to be the face of what prisoners can become upon their release.



Don Reimer, Director, Entrepreneurial Programs, College of Engineering, Lawrence Technological University

Don Reimer serves as the Director of Entrepreneurial Programs in the College of Engineering and a Senior Lecturer in entrepreneurship at Lawrence Technological University. He teaches Entrepreneurial Mindset for Engineers and Business Plan Development for Engineers. Don is a KEEN Fellow, Member of the Kern Campus Committee, Chair of the Innovation Encounter Planning Committee, Coordinator of the Entrepreneurial Certificate of Engineering Skills and a faculty advisor for the student chapter of the Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Society.



James Robinson, CEO, MetroEZRide

James Robinson is president of Urban Business Consultants, Inc., an innovative consulting firm providing expertise in urban/minority/social/business enterprise development, strategic growth and capacity building. He has led catalyst teams in significant aspects of diversity, economic opportunity, community, jobs creation, training, housing, organizational and/or (social) entrepreneurial change for almost four decades.


Seminar 1.1 – Financing the Urban Startup


Seminar co-leader: Patti Glaza, Vice President, Invest Detroit

Patti Glaza is a VP of Invest Detroit, managing two early-stage venture funds. Patti serves as a Board Member for the Michigan Venture Capital Association, the Great Lakes Protection Fund, and Next Energy.  Patti has been the CEO/executive management of start-ups in nanotech, energy, and healthcare IT, and held senior positions at Arsenal Venture Partners and Accenture. She is a graduate of Michigan State, and the University of Michigan.



Seminar co-leader: Julie Lein, co-founder, TUMML

Julie is the Co-Founder and President of Tumml, an urban ventures accelerator based in San Francisco.  A nonprofit, Tumml’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs to solve urban problems.  Tumml has supported 100 entrepreneurs from 33 startups, working to solve community issues from homelessness to workforce development. Collectively, Tumml startups have created hundreds of new community jobs, raised over $35 million in follow-on funding, and launched products/ services for over 2.2 million people.  Tumml has been recognized as “The Next Urban Innovation” by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, named “Best Startup” by the San Francisco Business Times, and featured by TedX.  Julie has an MBA from MIT Sloan and a BA from Stanford.



Seminar contributor: Doug Neal, Managing Director, Michigan eLab Capital Partners

Doug Neal has over 25 years of technology industry experience including the founding of five companies and is an experienced entrepreneur, educator and venture capitalist. In 2009, Doug became Executive Director of the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship, during which time he transformed the organization to include a world-class university startup accelerator (TechArb). In 2013 Doug left the University of Michigan to launch Michigan eLab, an early stage venture fund focused on disruptive technology startups in the Michigan ecosystem.



Seminar contributor: Ray Waters, President, Detroit Development Fund

Ray Waters has been involved with DDF and for the past 13 years. He is currently the President of Detroit Development Fund. DDF has grown from a $2 million in loan capability to managing $23 million loan capital. Since inception DDF has loaned and invested $35 million dollars to Detroit companies and projects.


Seminar 1.2:  Conceiving and Developing an Urban-Focused Business


Seminar leader: W. David Tarver, lecturer, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship

David Tarver is UEI founder and President.  David is a highly successful technology executive with an incredible entrepreneurial journey and amazing success in corporate R&D, technology business startup, and social entrepreneurship. In 1983, David launched Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc., a high-tech telecommunications instrumentation business. He sold it twelve years later for $30 million and then, working as Group President for the buyer, built a telecommunications business with a market value in excess of $2 billion.



Seminar contributor: Aubrey Agee, Executive Director, Blackstone Launchpad

Aubrey has reached over 4,000 participants in their exploration of entrepreneurship, and has guided 365 students to generate their own business models and helped over 115 businesses launch. He enjoys guiding individual’s ideas, coaching hidden talent and fostering inner confidence while teaching business acumen and discovering a person’s true value propositions. Listening and empathy are Aubrey’s strongest tools outside of his 13 years of experience in entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and innovation.



Seminar contributor: Kate Bordine, Local Partner, Our/Detroit

Kate Bordine is a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design with a Masters in Design Management and a BFA from Miami University. She is a co-founder and Creative Director of Ponyride, where she develops platforms for creative and social entrepreneurs to scale by providing affordable studio space. She focuses on building organizational frameworks that foster creative thinking and facilitates collaboration. She is also a partner in Our/Detroit and is working on business and design.



Seminar contributor: April Boyle, Executive Director, Build Institute

April was a founding team member of D:hive, where she was Director of Small Business Initiatives and helped launch the Build program. She is also the co-creator of a number of small-scale ventures including the award-winning family Hootenanny kids concert series and CD, the critically acclaimed Indonesian pop-up restaurant Komodo Kitchen and the all mom rock band The Mydols- featured on the Cable television series Gene Simmons Family Jewels. She sits on the board of Kiva Detroit and the advisory board for Ponyride.



Marcus Harris

Seminar contributor: Marcus Harris

Marcus D. Harris’ professional mission is to help urban-based non-profit organizations, small businesses, and social venture enterprises succeed and reach their full potential in order to maximize community sustainability. A life-long resident of Detroit, Harris holds both BBA and MBA degrees from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Currently, Harris is a doctoral student in the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program in the College of Management at Lawrence Technological University.


Seminar 2.1: Community Engagement and Human-Centered Design


Seminar co-leader: Hajj Flemings, CEO/Founder Brand Camp University

Hajj is a leading brand strategist and tech entrepreneur who was featured in CNN’s Black In America 4:  The New Promised Land Silicon Valley.  He founded the Brand Camp Summit in Detroit and expanded to Boston and New York.  In November 2015 he’s launching the Brand Camp University Detroit campus.



Seminar co-leader: Deborah Parizek, Executive Director, Henry Ford Learning Institute

Deborah leads HFLI’s efforts to redesign how people learn. Her expertise includes developing and sustaining small urban schools and authentic learning programs that engage a wide range of community partners to prepare learners to succeed in college, pursue a career of their choice and address challenges with innovative thinking.


Seminar 2.2:  Innovative Tech for Urban-Focused Businesses

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Seminar leader: Kelley Burris, Managing Partner, Detroit Office, Brinks Gilson & Lione

Ms. Burris focuses her practice on preparing and obtaining U.S. and foreign patents in the materials science, mechanical, electrical and industrial design arts.  Prior to her law practice, Ms. Burris spent more than 11 years in the aerospace industry with McDonnell Douglas and Boeing as an aeronautical engineer.