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Alumni and Faculty Start-Ups

These accomplished University of Michigan Business School Alumni and faculty are the creators and leaders of successful start-ups. If you would like to have your new venture posted on this site, contact Anne Perigo at aperigo@umich.edu.

Randall L. Albert, Co-Founder and Manager, Clerestory, Inc.
MBA 1986
Founded in 2002, Ann Arbor-based Clerestory, Inc. uses Internet technology to provide guaranteed performance improvement to residential real estate brokers and agents. The products include: ClereTrack(tm) performance monitoring, ClerePerformance(tm) business planning, accountability, and closed-loop feedback, and ClereSite (tm) a managed website solution designed to enhance brand identity and drive traffic.

Randolph J. Agley, Chairman and CEO, Talon Group LLC
BBA 1964, MBA 1965, 1992 UM Entrepreneurship Award
Formed in 1973, the Talon Group ("Talon") is a consolidation of affiliated companies under common ownership. Talon's diversified manufacturing holdings include the Talon Automated Equipment Group, the Talon Automotive Group, Urethane Products, and Talon's real estate arm, Talon Development Group.

Richard Baudin, President and Founder, Valerie's Crepes
MBA 2003
Valerie's Crepes seeks to become the icon in the U.S. food crepes business by providing delicious made-to-order gourmet crepes, filled with fresh, flavorful ingredients. By offering convenient counter service restaurants, Valerie's Crepe Cafe seeks to satisfy customers by providing great tasting products, superior value, and a fun experience.

Eric Beguin, Founder, Libertad Financial, Inc.
MBA 1999
Founded in 2003, Texas-based Libertad Financial serves the low-income Hispanic Community by delivering financial and educational services specifically designed to meet the Community's unique financial services needs. Carlos Hernandez (MBA 1999) and Silvia Cheskes (MBA 1999) serve among Libertad's Board of Advisors.

David Bohnett, Founder, GeoCities; and Executive Director, David Bohnett Foundation
MBA 1980, 2000 UM Entrepreneurship Award
David Bohnett, founded GeoCities in 1994, which grew to become the largest community on the Internet. He pioneered and championed the concept of providing free home pages to everyone on the web, and he built a business model based on advertising, sponsorships, and electronic commerce. The David Bohnett Foundation is a grant-making organization formed in 1999 for the purpose of improving society through social activism.

Michael Callas, Co-founder, Outdoor Divas
MBA 2002
This unique retail operation, based in Boulder, Colorado, offers adventure gear designed specifically for women. Outdoor Divas carries product lines designed to meet the needs of women interested in running, mountain climbing, snowshoeing, mountain bike racing, and much more.

Mary Campbell, General Partner, EDF Ventures
MBA 1979
Thomas S. Porter, General Partner, EDF Ventures, and Adjunct Professor of Corporate Strategy, University of Michigan Business School
MBA 1967
Ann Arbor-based EDF Ventures is experienced in investing in all stages of growing companies and has a particular expertise in working with those that are early in their development. The Fund finds early stage market driven companies in health care and information technology particularly attractive. We primarily originate investments in the Midwest and co-invest in other geographic locations.

Luke Chung, President, JaniLink Corporation
MBA 2002
This Atlanta-based company distributes commercial cleaning products. JaniLink seeks to become the market leader for cleaning supplies in the United States via an acquisition roll-up strategy.

Kim Gans and David Lowy, The Candy Factory
MBAs 2003
The Candy Factory seeks to be the world's leading provider of educational fun by providing a one-of-a kind theme-based interactive educational destination for children and their families. All activities will be geared toward discovery and creativity.

John Gary, President and Founder, Roger, Inc.
MBA 2003
Roger, Inc., helps people realize maximum value from their workouts by relieving their record-keeping burden and allowing them to create individualized workout plans with an easy to use, cost effective software product, PushXL.

Donna Gent, CEO and Co-founder, Kinderstreet
MBA 1998
Founded in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in August 2000, the company delivers an Internet-based applications suite designed to streamline administration and increase parent communications for childcare providers.

James Green, Director, Venture Artisans
MBA 2004
Venture Artisans enhances the growth of new ventures through the creation and execution of accelerated, actionable counsel that encourages and supports entrepreneurs.

Michael J. Jandernoa, Chairman of the Board, Perrigo Company
BBA 1972, UM Entrepreneurship Award Recipient 2002
Perrigo is one the nation's largest manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and nutritional products for the store brand market.

Diana Starr Langley, Founder, Dioptics Medical Products
BBA 1975
Founded in 1979 Dioptics developed a UV400 ultraviolet absorber which was implemented in the first sunglasses with UV protection (Solarshields) and first intraocular implant for cataract surgery. The company was sold to a private iinvestment firm in 1996 and continues to do well.

Steve J. Mariotti, Founder and President, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship
BBA 1975, MBA 1977, UM Entrepreneurship Award Recipient 1999
NFTE's mission is to teach entrepreneurship to low-income young people, ages 11 through 18, so they can become economically productive members of society by improving their academic, business, technology, and life skills.

Robert Mazur, President, B.A. Maze Inc.
MBA 2003
Robert Mazur developed the PurrFect Opener, an all-purpose device for opening medicine bottles and containers. The nationally marketed opener stands apart from its competitors by looking like a cat and being about as big as a computer mouse.

Matthew Morin, President and Co-founder, Macro Connect, Inc.
BBA 1999
Established in 2003, Macro Connect is focused on providing network design and network management outsourcing services. Target customers include apartment and condominium complexes where these technologies are leveraged to provide high-speed internet access at prices that are substantially lower than those of major service providers.

Adam Orlov, Managing Partner, Hill Partners LLC
MBA 2001
Hill Partners LLC was formed to locate and acquire a mid-market specialized manufacturing or related value-add distribution business. Companies we target have $2 million - $5 million in EBITDA, a path to organic or acquired revenue growth, and identifiable areas for operational improvements. Hill's team has significant experience with industrial businesses, including process engineering, manufacturing supervision, general management, industrial sales, and commercial finance.

Jim Price, Founder and President, CompanyCrafters
Adjunct Professor of Corporate Strategy, University of Michigan Business School
CompanyCrafters is a venture consulting firm that partners with both established organizations and independent entrepreneurs to identify and refine high-potential new business opportunities, and to actually launch and grow startup businesses.

Wade Rushing and Jeff Wilkins, Mobius Microsystems
MBAs 2003
Jim Vincke 
MBA 1985
Michael McCorquodale, PhD Candidate EECS, and Richard Brown, Professor, EECS
Mobius Microsystems, Inc. is commercializing advances in microsystems technology to greatly improve the performance of electronic products while significantly lowering their cost and power consumption. Mobius' first solution is a fully-integrated clock generator for synchronous semiconductors that is completely on-chip, high-performance, low-cost, and low-power. The Mobius "Digital Monolithic Clock", or "DMC" can completely  replace the current state-of-the-art solution for clock generation, which involves a combination of  an off-chip crystal, a PLL, plus additional on or off-chip components. Mobius will lead the emerging field of Microsystems with its innovative solutions.

Richard D. Snyder, former COO, Gateway; and Founder and CEO, Ardesta LLC
MBA 1979, UM Entrepreneur Award Recipient 2003
Founded in October 2000, Ann Arbor-based Ardesta has established a leadership position in the emerging field of Small Tech. It encompasses a broad network of leading researchers, business people, and commercial relationships. Ardesta combines product company development, business services, and industry building as a strong foundation for exponential long-term growth and financial success.


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