Photo of Rick Bolander Rick Bolander Managing Director

Rick Bolander

San Mateo, California

Rick Bolander has been a private investor since 1988 launching Blue Sky Ventures, a real estate investment firm, and entering the venture capital industry in 1994 at Apex Venture Partners where he was general partner. In 1999, he co-founded Gabriel Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in and assists information technology startups.

Rick identifies the smartest entrepreneurs and works side-by-side with them to build highly successful companies from the ground up. Rick has been involved in more than 50 venture deals, and has led over $100 million in early-stage financings and has had over $200 million in realizations. Rick has served on the boards of AccessLine Communications (acquired by Telanetix), Arula Systems (acquired by Raritan), Concord Communications (IPO – NASDAQ: CCRD), Exodus Communications (IPO – NASDAQ: EXDS, then acquired by Savvis), IPWireless (acquired by Nextwave), Jacked (acquired by Roundbox), Neopath (acquired by Cisco), NetScaler (acquired by Citrix Systems), Persistent Systems (IPO – BSE India: PER EQ), Placeware (acquired by Microsoft) Tut Systems (IPO – NASDAQ: TUTS), and Chegg (IPO – NYSE:CHGG).

Rick currently serves as a board member of Kajeet, the leader in mobile service for Tweens as well as the leader in providing safe mobile education services to students. Prior to Rick’s investment career, he held various operational roles ranging from product development, operations management, regional marketing and sales management at AT&T and Lucent. After working as a design engineer at Chevron, Rick taught computer architecture at the University of Michigan. Rick fosters entrepreneurship by supporting the University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship as a board member and as a charter member of TiE. He worked with other University of Michigan alumni to launch an accredited academic program on campus that provides classroom and field experience for University of Michigan students to mentor and assist at-risk youth and was recognized as the 2010 College of Engineering Merit Award Winner. Rick received a BS in Electrical Engineering and MS in Electrical Engineering (summa cum laude) from the University of Michigan, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Photo of Paul Brown Paul Brown Managing Director

Paul Brown

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Paul has diverse experience as an entrepreneur and venture capital investor. He was most recently Vice President of Capital Markets at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), where he managed the bulk of the State’s $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund, including the $150 million 21st Century Commercialization Competition, which invests directly in early-stage companies, and the $109 million 21st Century Investment Fund, which invests in venture capital and private equity firms. Paul was also co-founder of Front Door Insights, a mobile technology company that was acquired in May 2013 by Mobivity. Paul began his career practicing law as a clerk in Federal District Court then in the Manhattan office of the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He is a member of the Univerisity of Michigan Board of Regents, has a BA History and an MBA from the University of Michigan and received his law degree from Wayne State University.

Photo of Doug Neal Doug Neal Managing Director

Doug Neal

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Doug Neal has over 20 years of technology industry experience including founding, operating, board, investing, venture accelerator management and entrepreneurial education. After 15 years in California in a variety of leadership positions at Hewlett Packard and Symantec, he co-founded Mobile Automation, a mobile software security company which was venture backed by Greylock and acquired by iPass Inc. in 2005. As CEO of Mobile Automation, Doug was responsible for both operational leadership and the strategic direction of the company including key technology decisions, sales and fundraising. Under Doug’s leadership Mobile Automation grew at 75% CAGR for 5 consecutive years before being acquired.

After completing the successful integration of Mobile Automation into iPass Doug relocated to his home state of Michigan in 2005 to raise his family and help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ann Arbor. During the next several years Doug was a member of the review board for the Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund, which evaluated numerous Michigan investment opportunities for matching funds from the State of Michigan. In 2009, Doug became Managing 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) which has since launched almost 100 student ventures, grew enrollment in entrepreneurial programs to more than 5,000 students per year and was instrumental in developing a process for teaching entrepreneurial programs to engineering and non-engineering students. Doug is a regular lecturer at the University in entrepreneurial studies as well as a frequent guest speaker and panelist in the Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Central Michigan University.

Photo of Bob Stefanski Bob Stefanski Managing Director

Bob Stefanski

Palo Alto, California

Bob is an entrepreneur with deep operational and board experience in the software, mobile and Internet markets. He was on the founding management team of TIBCO Software, where he served as the Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, General Counsel and Secretary. As a member of TIBCO’s executive management team, Bob had broad responsibility for day to day business operations from its founding in 1997 to its emergence in the 2000s as one of the leading enterprise infrastructure software companies in the world. TIBCO remains a world leader today in enterprise infrastructure software, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion. Bob left TIBCO in 2008 to more actively pursue his passion as an advisor and board member for Silicon Valley early stage startups.

He began his career as an attorney with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York City, where he represented technology, media and entertainment companies in a broad range of matters. He joined Reuters in 1996 as Director of Intellectual Property. He has also been involved with the UM Center for Entrepreneurship since its inception in 2007 and currently serves on its Board of Directors and has been a mentor at the student startup incubator, TechArb. Bob was also a partner with the international law firm Reed Smith in its Silicon Valley office from 2012 to 2016, where he served as the global chair of its Venture Capital and Emerging Company practice. Bob is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and University of Michigan Graduate School of Engineering. He has an undergraduate degree in computer science/mathematics from Northern Michigan.

Photo of Scott Chou Scott Chou Advisor

Scott Chou

San Mateo, California

Scott Chou has been in the venture capital industry since 1997 and has been recognized in the AlwaysOn Top 100 VC List. He is known for his focus on disruptive technologies and for authoring Maxims, Morals, and Metaphors – A Primer on Venture Capital. Scott’s passion for early stage technology ventures extends back to high school when he joined his first startup as a software engineer. He has since worked for five more technology ventures including Poqet Computer and ICE in addition to world-renowned research and development organizations such as Bellcore and IBM. His broad expertise in technology spans the industry from manufacturing to software development to chip design. Scott completed the prestigious Kauffman Fellows Program in 1999 with Onset Ventures. He later joined Gabriel Venture Partners in early 2000 where he focused on research labs for fundamental innovations. His first investment at Gabriel was in the seed round of NextG Networks which eventually sold to Crown Castle for $1 billion. Scott’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with honors from Caltech as well as master’s degrees from Harvard University and Stanford University.

Photo of Ira Jaffe Ira Jaffe Advisor

Ira Jaffe

Southfield, Michigan

Ira Jaffe is the Founding Partner of Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss P.C. Ira is a highly regarded pillar of the Michigan business community, having founded one of Michigan’s most prominent corporate law firms and serving as a board member, executive officer and trusted adviser to businesses and organizations across Michigan and the US.

Mr. Jaffe represents clients in general corporate, partnership, limited liability and related matters such as financings, restructurings, securities and other commercial transactions. He provides mergers and acquisitions counsel for large publicly and privately held corporations as well as start-up ventures.

Mr. Jaffe is also recognized as one of the leading creative business and real estate planners, being retained frequently to solve complex family/partnership disputes, distressed financial situations and entity expansion and sale transactions, providing a combination of legal and management skills to assist estates and roll up acquisition companies. He also serves or has served as the Trustee, Chairman, President and CEO of client related entities, including President of The Crawford Group, President and presently Chairman of Real Estate Development & Investment Co., Inc. and President and Chief Executive Officer of The Fisher Group.

Photo of Tom Kinnear Tom Kinnear Special Partner

Tom Kinnear

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Thomas C. Kinnear is D. Maynard Phelps Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Marketing, and founding Executive Director of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He was former Eugene Applebaum Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, Senior Associate Dean of the Business School and former Vice President for Development and Executive Officer for the University. He headed the $1.4 billion Campaign for Michigan in the 1990s. At Michigan, he has received awards for teaching excellence and service to the University. He holds an undergraduate degree and LLD (honoris causa) from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, an MBA from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He received the Herbert Dow Award for lifetime contributions in entrepreneurship to the University of Michigan and to the State of Michigan, and the Michigan Venture Capital Association “Lifetime Achievement Award”.

He has previously held a faculty appointment at the University of Western Ontario Ivey School, and visiting appointments at Harvard University, Stanford University, and the European Management Institute (INSEAD) at Fontainebleau, France. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of entrepreneurial studies, strategic marketing planning, marketing and public policy, and market-based management. His Ph.D. dissertation examined the economic concept of “market failure”Âť as it relates to ecological issues, especially pollution externalities. His research activity has resulted in publications in numerous scholarly journals including: the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and the Journal of Business Research. He is former editor of the Journal of Marketing and former founding editor of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. This latter journal publishes scholarly articles related to public policy and the marketplace, including issues of FTC and FDA regulations, and environmental dynamics of consumption.

Photo of Don Manvel Don Manvel Industry Advisor

Don Manvel

Greater Detroit Area

Don Manvel is a leader in developing and commercializing innovations and technologies for the transportation industry. For over 25 years, he has focused on successfully bringing leading-edge technologies to market and, for the last decade, has been doing so for AVL — the recognized leader in developing clean and efficient technologies to power the world. As Chairman and CEO of AVL Americas, Don has led the company to significant growth, becoming well known for the next-generation technology and engineering solutions it provides. Prior to joining AVL, Don held a variety of senior executive positions in various parts of the world. He worked closely on the first self-balancing, electric transportation device — the Segway Human Transporter. While at Chrysler, he was a member of the Iacocca “Dream Team,”Âť the group that engineered the successful bailout and turnaround of this automotive icon. Don is an enthusiastic backer of programs and initiatives that inspire young people, including the First Robotics competition for high school students and the SAE award-winning “A World in Motion”Âť program for K-12 students.

Photo of Dean Massab Dean Massab Industry Advisor

Dean Massab

Livonia, Michigan

Dean Massab serves as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Roush Enterprises, Inc. Mr. Massab serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Roush Life Sciences. He served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Roush Enterprises, Inc. Mr. Massab, who has more than 20 years of diverse industry leadership experience, is focused on the sales and marketing of Roush’s engineering, testing, prototyping, and manufacturing services and plays a key role in defining Roush’s strategic growth and diversification activities. Mr. Massab began his career with General Motors and soon moved to a GM joint venture, GMFanuc Robotics, where he spent 8 years supplying factory automation solutions for stamping, body, powertrain, and paint applications. Mr. Massab later took a position with Perceptron, Inc. and eventually became Perceptron’s Executive Vice President of Global Automotive. Perceptron was revolutionary in reducing the build variation of car bodies through in-line optical gauging and process management software. Mr. Massab also spent four years as an executive in the information technologies industry. Mr. Massab holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Albion College and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Oakland University.

Photo of Dave Munson Dave Munson Advisor

Dave Munson

Rochester, New York

Dr. David C. Munson Jr. became president of Rochester Institute of Technology in 2017. Dr. Munson, the former dean of the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, is the 10th president of the university.

As RIT’s president, Dr. Munson is responsible for one of the nation’s leading research and career-oriented universities featuring 19,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries, 124,000 alumni, $73 million in sponsored research and an endowment of more than $750 million.

RIT’s full-time undergraduate enrollment ranks RIT among the top 10 largest private universities in the United States. RIT is the third largest producer of undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and math among all private universities in the U.S. RIT also is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) and has one of the oldest and largest cooperative education programs in the country.

Dr. Munson has 38 years of experience in higher education, which includes serving as the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at Michigan from 2006 to 2016.

Dr. Munson earned his BS degree in electrical engineering (with distinction) from the University of Delaware in 1975. He earned an MS and MA in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1977, followed by a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1979, also from Princeton.

From 1979 to 2003, Dr. Munson was with the University of Illinois, where he was the Robert C. MacClinchie Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Research Professor in the Coordinated Science Laboratory and a faculty member in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

In 2003, he became chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan prior to becoming dean.

Dr. Munson’s teaching and research interests are in the area of signal and image processing. His current research is focused on radar imaging and computer tomography. He is co-founder of InstaRecon Inc., a start-up firm to commercialize fast algorithms for image formation in computer tomography. He is affiliated with the Infinity Project, where he is coauthor of a textbook on the digital world, which has been used in hundreds of high schools nationwide to introduce students to engineering.

Dr. Munson is married to Nancy Munson, a former nurse, avid runner and volunteer. The couple has four sons and four grandchildren.

Photo of Huei Peng Huei Peng Industry Advisor

Huei Peng

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Huei Peng received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992. He is now a Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He currently serves as the Director of the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center, a center that oversees the test facility Mcity, and studies connected and autonomous vehicle technologies and promotes their deployment. His research interests include adaptive control and optimal control, with emphasis on their applications to vehicular and transportation systems. His current research focuses include design and control of electrified vehicles, and connected/automated vehicles.

In the last 10 years, he was involved in the design of several military and civilian concept vehicles, including FTTS, FMTV, Eaton/Fedex, and Super-HUMMWV — for both electric and hydraulic hybrid concepts. He is currently the US Director of the DOE sponsored Clean Energy Research Center — Clean Vehicle Consortium, which supports more than 30 research projects related to the development of clean vehicles in US and China. He also leads an educational project funded by DOE to develop 10 undergraduate and graduate courses including three laboratories courses focusing on transportation electrification. He has served as the PI or co-PI of more than 50 research projects, with a total funding of more than 40 million dollars. He has more than 250 technical publications, including 110 in referred journals and transactions and four books. His h-index is 56 according to the Google scholar analysis, the total number of citations to his work is more than 13,000. Mr. Peng has been an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is both an SAE fellow and an ASME Fellow. He received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career award in 1998. He is a ChangJiang Scholar at the Tsinghua University of China.

Photo of Dan Rhodes Dan Rhodes Advisor

Dan Rhodes

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dr. Rhodes was co-founder and CEO of a successful cancer genomics and informatics company, Compendia Bioscience, which was acquired by Life Technologies, now a part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. He currently is Head of Oncology Strategy and continues to lead the Compendia business unit for Thermo Fisher. He also serves as Adjunct Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Rhodes launched Compendia in 2006, licensing technology from the University of Michigan. By 2012, Compendia had grown to 35 employees and was providing cutting-edge cancer research data and software products to 15 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies. Compendia grew revenues every year, turning profitable in 2010. While most of the Company’s growth was fueled by customer revenue, Dr. Rhodes and team also raised more than $3M from Angel investors, Ann Arbor SPARK, and the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund. In addition, Dr. Rhodes led multiple successful SBIR bids, serving as principal investigator on small business grants totaling more than $4M.

Photo of Rick Williams Rick Williams Advisor

Rick Williams

Birmingham, Michigan

R. Jamison Williams, Jr. is regarded as among the premier corporate law attorneys in Michigan. He is the founder and Managing Partner of Williams, Williams, Rattner & Plunkett, P.C.
For 45 years, Rick has counseled owners, CEOs, CFOs, managers, entrepreneurs, financiers, and bankers in a wide range of transactions, including start-ups, leveraged buyouts, mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, roll-ups, refinancings, restructurings, liquidations and sales. He additionally possesses significant experience in financial counseling and estate planning.
Rick’s comprehensive understanding of business transactions includes hands-on experience based on his ownership of several companies, including start-ups. Prior to commencing his legal career, Rick worked in New York City as an investment banker for Smith Barney and as a management consultant for Booz, Allen & Hamilton. He also served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and is a graduate of the Defense Languages Institute (Russian).

Rick is actively involved in local community affairs. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Michigan Opera Theater, and has served or serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Cranbrook Educational Community, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Beaumont Hospital, University of Michigan’s Center for Hearing Disorders. He is a board director of a number of companies, including Penske Corporation, Clarke Power Services, Nexlink Communications, Conifer Holding Company, Green Optics and others.

Rick is frequently honored by peers and ranking organizations for outstanding accomplishment in the field of corporate law. Most recently, he was inducted into the inaugural class of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “Hall of Fame.” In 2016, Rick was named among “The Best Lawyers in America” by the most highly respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. Other of his accolades include being named a finalist for “Deal Maker of the Year” by Crain’s Detroit Business, “Deal Maker of the Year in Cross-Border (European/American) Transactions” by The M&A Advisor, a “Leader in the Field of M&A” by Chambers & Partners International, “Detroiter of the Year” by Hour Magazine, and consistent annual recognition as a Michigan “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters.