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Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Erick Bzovi

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
In my opinion, there is no substitute for experience and hard work. You can't win on the sidelines, so I jumped into the startup arena immediately after college. The expression 'one fails forward toward success' couldn't be more true. I was fortunate to be a part of a startup that crashed and burned and lucky to co-found a startup that succeeded wildly. With every experience you learn and evolve. At HealPay, we remain students of the game and continue to learn and innovate as we go. Additionally, I continue to stay active in the local tech community and meet-ups.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
It was a local law firm, smiling and dialing still works.

Where did you find your first employee?
Through my co-founders network of Ruby on Rails developers.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Not yet, but that day will come. Taking care of those who take you and your business to new levels is something I take very seriously.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Local and regional venture capital firms, and angel networks.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Resources are abundant. On one side of town, you have Ann Arbor, which is the ultimate hub for idea generation and truly a visionaries paradise. On the other side of town you have smart business minded folks who want to make it happen at all costs. It's a great blend that can lead to success for those who harness the resources. Perhaps most importantly, southeast Michigan carries a blue-collar aura that cannot be replicated easily. For this alone, it truly is a great place to start a company.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Chicago has Groupon and Detroit has…? Metro Detroit is starving for a similar success story. There would be no better way to attract or retain more entrepreneurs than to prove it can work in Metro Detroit.

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