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Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Rajesh Nerlikar

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
We've gotten a lot of help to get TerraPerks off the ground. As students at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, we put together our original business plan with help from our professors and the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. We also won some grant money and got great feedback by participating in the Clean Energy Prize. The Momentum Michigan accelerator provided us with the funding and mentors to launch the Energy Flair beta site, which brings us to where we are today.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
We're still looking for our first customer but are actively talking to utility companies in Michigan and beyond to understand how Energy Flair can help them meet their residential energy efficiency savings and education goals.

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
We haven't yet, but we are working with a couple of students from the University of Michigan to identify new business opportunities and new features on EnergyFlair.com.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
So far we've been able to fund the business through money we've won through the Clean Energy Prize business plan competition as well as the Momentum Michigan accelerator. When we're ready for our next round of funding, we'll likely turn to the investors we've connected with through both those programs.

What is one thing Michigan does better or has going for it that other more successful regional economies don't?
It's a great time to start something in Michigan because there are new opportunities from investors who are interested in broadening the economic base of the state.

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