Founder/Leadership Transition: When and How Do You Step Away
New companies quickly move through a number of phases--from Idea to Business Formation to Product Development to Product Launch to Early Sales to Market Penetration--and oftentimes to an exit. At the same time, companies are faced with raising pre-seed, seed, and the “alphabet” series of financing rounds to fuel its growth and development.
The Founder, who has the driving force and passion behind the product and the business, is often thrust into the CEO role at the outset, however, he or she may not be the best at leading a company through its subsequent growth stages. Founders, Directors, and Investors have
different perspectives on when it's time for the Founder to step aside and turn over the reins to an experienced CEO. Please join three respected leaders who have sat in the Founder's, Director's, and Investor's seats share their experiences with Founder transition. Plenty of time to follow for Q&A and lively discussion.
Jake is a Partner at Detroit Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm in Downtown Detroit, along with founding partners Dan Gilbert and Brian Hermelin. Jake joined DVP as employee #1 at the fund’s inception in November 2010. He currently sits on the boards of several DVP portfolio companies. Jake began his career as an entrepreneur, most notably as co-founder and CEO of Ugrub.com (formerly eatblue.com at University of Michigan). Prior to joining DVP, Jake led technology investments for the Wolverine Venture Fund in Ann Arbor. He is a proud Wolverine, holding an MBA, Law degree, and Bachelors degree, all from the University of Michigan.
Tom Kinnear is the D. Maynard Phelps Professor of Business Administration, Advisory Board Member of the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, and Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan Business School. He is active in the entrepreneurial community as a co-founder, advisor, angel investor, and Board member of startup companies, including: Network Express, BlueGill Technologies, Accuri Instruments, Avail Networks, Avidimer Therapeutics, Mobius Microsystems, Janeeva, nanoCerox, Accio Energy, Pixel-Velocity, and Epsilon Imaging. Dr. Kinnear is also a limited partner in Apjohn Ventures, Arbor Partner Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, EDF Ventures, and RPM Ventures. He is a member of the advisory committee for EDF Ventures.
Vic Strecher founded the University of Michigan Center for Health Communications Research, a collaborative research-focused organization of health and behavioral scientists, educators, software engineers, and artists. In 1998, Dr. Strecher founded HealthMedia Inc., an Ann Arbor-based company that has grown to more than 185 employees, developing and disseminating award-winning tailored health interventions for health promotion, disease prevention, behavioral health, and disease management to millions of users through health plans, employers, pharmaceutical companies and governments in North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2008 HealthMedia, Inc. was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Currently, as Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, Dr. Strecher is working in the UM School of Public Health and the University of Michigan to create an environment that promotes more direct dissemination of research efforts to improve the public’s health nationally and globally. Recently, Dr. Strecher founded Jool Health, Inc., a new digital health solution company integrating the science of purpose, advanced technology, and big data analytics to help employers, health plans, and health systems improve their populations’ health engagement and overall well-being through measurable, sustainable behavior change.