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Founders : Diversity

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David Bloom

David Bloom is the vice president of products with Hygieia, a medical device start-up based in Ann Arbor.

Questions with David Bloom


Jerry and Becky Eizen

Eizen, 45, raised in New Orleans but long-since settled in Metro Detroit with husband Jerry and their three boys, endured a frantic three-day search, post-storm, to locate her mother, Yetta. When Eizen and her mom finally connected, Eizen also learned the family home had been destroyed; she cajoled Yetta to move north and live with her and her family.

Questions with Jerry and Becky Eizen

Eran Bashan

Where do great ideas come from? For Eran Bashan, a casual conversation over Shabbat dinner four years ago evolved into both a new invention and a company to market it.

Because the Ann Arbor resident is known for his love of riddles and problems, that evening his friend, endocrinologist Israel Hodish, gave him a doozey to solve: Seek out a better way for diabetic patients to self-test their blood sugar and adjust their insulin levels.

Questions with Eran Bashan


Eddie Saleh

A friendly atmosphere and a professional staff service are some of the reasons Buenavida Pharmacy is recognized by the Detroit community, and founder Eddie Saleh is still happy with his choice to open his business in the heart of Mexicantown.

Questions with Eddie Saleh

Dr. Bobby Peddi

Dr. Bobby Peddi is the CEO of Saagara, an Internet meditation firm based in Ann Arbor.

Questions with Dr. Bobby Peddi


Glenn Oliver

Glenn Oliver is the founder of H2bid.com, an Internet company based in Detroit.

Questions with Glenn Oliver


Susi Cruz

Susi Cruz, founder of Cruz Creative Studio, is an award winning graphic designer.  Cruz comes from a recognized family of entrepreneurs and business owners, and is a distinguished member of the Detroit Hispanic community.

With over 25 years of experience in marketing and design, Cruz Creative Studio is a full service freelance design studio that has been helping companies develop brand identities, increase traffic to websites, and sell products.  With a focus on creating communication materials for products and services, Cruz creates marketing plans in both Spanish and English.

Questions with Susi Cruz

Sonali Vijayavargiya

Sonali Vijayavargiya is the managing partner of Augment Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm based in Ann Arbor.

Questions with Sonali Vijayavargiya

Suk-Kyu Koh

Chrysan Industries, Inc. is an Automotive Lubricants & Specialty Chemicals Provider, headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan. Established in 1977, Chrysan has been increased its sales volume to $10 million a year. It has about 20 employees. Chrysan achieved Ford Q1 in February 2005 and was chosen to be Corp! Magazine Best of Michigan 2008.

Questions with Suk-Kyu Koh

Lovenia Lewis

A Change for Life is a Nephrology Nurse owned and operated training facility that provides theory and practicum for an entry level position into the field of hemodialysis. Lovenia Lewis in this interview with Bankole Thompson talks about why she set up A Change for Life, a health care group that is training individuals to provide care in the community. 

Questions with Lovenia Lewis

Priya Gogoi

Priya Gogoi is the president & co-founder of DeNovo Sciences, a life-sciences start-up based in Ypsilanti.

Questions with Priya Gogoi

Itai Bengal

Itai Bengal is the CEO of iRule, a mobile app company based in Farmington Hills.

Questions with Itai Bengal


Latisha Johnson

Latisha Johnson is the founder of Prestige Meetings & Events, which is based in Detroit's East English Village neighborhood.

Questions with Latisha Johnson

Chris Onwuzurike

Chris Onwuzurike, founder and CEO of Keo Associates, a Detroit small business construction company says despite the tough economy the city should open construction opportunities to small businesses to stimulate the economy. In this interview he said stakeholders should be fully engaged in building an entrepreneurial community in Southeast Michigan.

Questions with Chris Onwuzurike

Richard and Gary Astrein

Two brothers with complementary strengths and common goals are celebrating their 35th year in business together — all at the same location.

Gary and Richard Astrein are partners in Astrein Creative Jewelry on Maple in downtown Birmingham. "We've been here for so long that we're now serving a second generation," says Richard. "We're selling engagement and wedding rings to our customers' kids."

Questions with Richard and Gary Astrein

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