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330 East Liberty St
Lower Level
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Don Hogan

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I have participated in Ann Arbor SPARK's entrepreneurial, marketing, finance, sales training programs, Ann Arbor SPARK Entrepreneur's Boot Camp and Ann Arbor SPARK's Shifting Gears program. I have also been a part of New Enterprise Forum Investor Pitch Coaching Process, presented at New Enterprise Forum in 2010, Ann Arbor SPARK's Grant 2010 for Business Accelerator Services, Ann Arbor SPARK's microloan program and I am a virtual tenant of Ann Arbor SPARK's downtown Ann Arbor business incubator.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first customer was a for-profit cardiology knowledge-base company serving the very largest U.S. cardiology practices in that health care specialty consisting of 5,500 medical professionals. We found first customer in 2006 via a friend/contractor marketing research analyst doing some working for KnowledgeWatch.

Where did you find your first employee?
We found him through one of the initial Ann Arbor SPARK Shifting Gears cohort programs when I made a presentation to that group on starting KnowledgeWatch.

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

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
I have received a grant and a pre-seed microloan from Ann Arbor SPARK in 2010. In 2010 and 2011, I worked with an Ann Arbor law firm to develop private placement materials to provide stock rounds through friends and family and major equity investors.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Ann Arbor has significantly developed entrepreneur training programs. Ann Arbor SPARK's Entrepreneur Boot Camp can address development/coaching needs for your business model and marketing focus. There is also access to Ann Arbor SPARK's pre-seed capital programs. The New Enterprise Forum investor pitch coaching helps prepare for you for presenting to friends and family and to accredited investors. There are internship programs with Shifting Gears or the University of Michigan or other local universities. And also there is the higher education system, particularly the large graduate base from the University of Michigan, that creates a technology ecosystem that has somewhat insulated Washtenaw County from the harder hit regions of Michigan. There's a large body of entrepreneurs and smart people who have strong roots in Michigan and don't plan to leave.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
It's national reputation. Michigan suffers from negative perceptions, often perpetuated by people who've spent very little time here. Although I must say, this is not an inhibitor to marketing our services based in southeast Michigan, nor finding excellent talent here.

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