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Founders

Company

ardentCause L3C

570 Kirts Blvd
Suite 214
Troy, MI 48084

Kathleen Norton-Schock

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
We have participated in TechTown's FASTTRAC to the Future program and Ann Arbor SPARK’s Accelerating Your Growth workshop.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Our first large customer for our software (CauseEffectz) was United Way for Southeastern Michigan. We found them through a personal referral. Our very first customer for technology consulting was INFORUM. This came from another personal referral.

Where did you find your first employee?
We received a grant in the October, 2009, through Wayne State University’s Adams Entrepreneur Fellowship Program; and found our first intern, there, at Wayne State. He later became our very first employee.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
The intern mentioned above was promoted to employee status as his one-year internship ended.  He is still with us, and became our first business analyst. We don't currently employ any interns.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
InvestDetroit's First Step Fund recently made a loan to us. Our initial working capital came from the founding partners. We have been lucky enough to create a revenue stream which now sustains the business.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Great universities provide a stream of likely candidates to work with us, and for us. We serve the non-profit field, and Michigan is home to a number of large (global) foundations, a large number of generous family and corporate foundations, and many nonprofits, who all make a major contribution to our state and communities. Additionally associations (the Council of Michigan Foundations, the Michigan Nonprofit Association and others) are strong advocates for nonprofits in our region, and we have found them to be excellent partners and sources of research, information, guidance and inspiration.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
Detroit, its surrounding communities, and the entire state of Michigan is underestimated on a national level. Michigan is a leader in philanthropy and non-profits. Did you know, for instance, that the non-profit industry in Michigan is the fourth largest sector in terms of employment with over 47,000 organizations? And, more than 83 percent of Michigan residents made a contribution to charity in 2010?

Honestly, we love working and living in Michigan, so this is a hard question to answer. However, in certain years, we wouldn’t mind changing the weather in February.

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