The Fourth Running Start Workshop

The fourth Running Start workshop focused on insurance, legal considerations for your business and pitching. JPaul Dixon from Hylant walked the young entrepreneurs through various scenarios related to insurance focusing on risk and liability. Two legal experts, Terrence J.L. Reeves, JD, MBA and Joseph R. Morrison, Jr. led students through conversations about important legal issues including contracts, patents, trademarks, and copyright.

Then students heard from Barbara A. Boldt, an expert in business pitching, who coached students through the process of crafting a pitch. Once students drafted their pitch and tested it with other students, it was time for the parents and other supporters to join the workshop. Each student, or group, presented their business idea to the supportive crowd. A total of 25 business ideas were created during the four workshop sessions.

A very special thanks to all of the supporters and sponsors of Running Start: Comerica Bank, GO Where Meetings Matter, Bidlack Creative Group, Ann Arbor SPARK, Plante Moran, Hylant, TCF Bank, Comcast, DFCU Financial, Old National Bank, and Emagine Entertainment.

More exciting news about Running Start coming soon!

Debra Power
The Third Running Start Workshop

The third Running Start workshop focused on financing and marketing. The workshop began with a presentation by young entrepreneur Abi Middaugh. Abi is a professional organizer and owner of Fancy Free Organizing. She’s 14 and really wowed the students.

Jeff Rinvelt of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund led a conversation with about the differences between venture capital, angel funding and crowdfunding. Some of our bank sponsors including TCF Bank, DFCU Financial and Michael Cheatham from Comerica Bank explained credit scores as well as collateral to the students.

Linda Bidlack from the Bidlack Creative Group team helped the young entrepreneurs create a logo for their business and then a business card. Finally, Janelle Reichman of Ellanyze walked through website design.

For the 4th and final workshop students will focus on insurance and legal issues and then craft pitches for their company ideas.

Debra Power
Highlights From Our Second Workshop

The second workshop for the Running Start program was another huge success! With the help of Jason Tracey we reviewed sales techniques, and the amazing Plante Moran team of Kelly Hambright, CPA, Anthony Sasinowski, CPA, and Kacie Herter, CPA, used an interactive exercise to help students learn how to create a budget for their start-up using prop money from the movies.

We were also so honored to have several speakers and volunteers including Malik Jordan from SpellBound; Tabitha Mason, of Zingerman's; David Zinn, artist extraordinaire; Kate Henson from General Systems & The LEAD Institute; Beki Fraser, CPC, ACC from Focus For Growth, LLC; and Dan Kelly from Washtenaw County. Thank you to everyone for contributing their time to youth.

During the next workshop students will learn about venture capital, banking, creating a logo, business card and website

Debra Power
Highlights From Our First Session

Our first set of Running Start workshops ran in April, 2018. Our middle and high school participants, working with their Running Start Mentors, came up with some incredibe business ideas.

The first workshop of the first group of Running Start participants included two groups—one group of high schoolers and one group of middle schoolers. In their two hour sessions a total of 25 companies were created! These included nonprofits, service firms, sports companies, arts-related businesses and much more. How inspiring!

Special thanks to the mentors and volunteers who served: Jonathan Goldstein, Komal Doshi, Beth Simon, Brian Christian, Michael Kovalcik, Neelam Hill, Debbie Baker, and our youth mentor Naja Prince. Next up: sales, market research, and start-up budgets.