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Shepherd Intelligent Systems

1327 Jones Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Adrian Fortino

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
Ann Arbor SPARK Boot Camp and Business Accelerator, University of Michigan, Michigan Business Competition and Dare to Dream,

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
It was the University of Michigan through Office of Technology Transfer.

Where did you find your first employee?
At the University of Michigan College of Engineering.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Yes, once.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
The University of Michigan and Ann Arbor SPARK. Both institutions have provided capital though SPARK has provided the vast majority.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
There is a very strong network of young startup-minded people focused on creating a foundation of a truly sustainable entrepreneurial environment. Ann Arbor SPARK provides a myriad of services, education and capital which is the only complete startup support system in Michigan.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Many governmental organizations (both city and state agencies) have in the past spoken publicly about being committed to supporting startups, however, most have not shown enough action. I hope the new Gov. Snyder administration will begin to change that mindset and hold local and state governmental agencies accountable in this aspect of startup support. If this happens, more young entrepreneurs will realize the opportunities and resources here.

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