• Anna Bier, Technology Business Consultant

    Anna Bier brings extensive experience with federal grants and contracts to the MI-SBDC as well as engineering research and development and other various aspects of creating and running many divisions of a high-tech business enterprise.

    Before joining the MI-SBDC, Anna spent seven years as the Vice President/Chief Financial Officer/Scientist of her co-owned, small, high-tech business in Virginia with approximately 30 employees and seven consultants. As such, she has researched, written, negotiated and managed over 30 Phase I and Phase II SBIR and STTR contracts/grants for several U.S. Government agencies including the DoE, DoT, NSF, NIH, NRC, EPA, USDA, DoD, and NIST. Before the company was sold, three products were moved successfully into Phase III commercialization. Additionally, she has written, presented and published several papers at various conferences relating to her engineering and scientific research and served as a technology and commercialization advisor for the NSF, DoE, and NIH proposal programs.

    Anna received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Virginia Tech in 2002. She also received a Master of Science in Physics from Texas A&M University in 1995 and a Bachelor of Science in Physics (with minors in Mathematics, Chemistry and Russian History) from Virginia Tech in 1993.

  • Toni Brownfield, Business Development and Project Manager
  • Melanie de Vries, Technology Business Consultant

    The Michigan SBDC Tech Team is proud to have Melanie de Vries as one of our Technology Business Consultants. Melanie has over 20 years’ experience in driving growth strategy for early stage software, education technology, professional services, non-profit, alternative energy, manufacturing, and health services organizations. She has a history of success in developing marketing and sales programs that build and improve on the profitability of companies.

    Her recent experience includes serving as CEO and Co-Founder of PaymentScholar (an edtech start-up). She has worked in the entrepreneurial ecosystem as an independent consultant advising start-up organizations on strategic planning, market positioning, market analysis, brand development, and customer discovery. She has also served as the senior marketing officer for Deloitte & Touche/Deloitte Consulting, The Learning Care Group and ForeSee Results. In these roles, she oversaw the execution of business and marketing strategies to drive growth and increase market share.

    Melanie is a graduate of The University of Michigan.

  • Dave Grossman, Technology Business Consultant

    Dave Grossman is a Technology Business Consultant at the Michigan Small Business Development Center. Dave uses his expertise to expand the capability of entrepreneurial and startup companies to use technology roadmapping and other highly visual techniques to better target their work to meet the latent and explicit needs of the market and identify required resources, complementary technologies, and partners to ensure successful commercialization. He provides consulting, training and tool development to the MI-SBDC.

    Dave has a degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Robert Honeyman, Technology Business Consultant

    Robert Honeyman has spent the past several years working as CFO for several start up entities, including Wave Aircraft Corporation, and Advanced Predictive Analytics, Inc. He has provided consulting advice, including financial modeling and business plan writing, for various individuals considering launching new businesses.

    From 1999 to 2010, Mr. Honeyman was Corporate Controller and then CFO for DataCore Software Corporation, a $30 million software developer located in Fort Lauderdale, FL.. As Corporate Controller, he created the legal structure for DataCore¹s international presence, opening subsidiaries in Europe, Asia, and North America. As Vice President Finance, Mr. Honeyman negotiated receivables-based loan agreements that helped the company bridge and survive the tech crash of 2000-2003. As CFO, Mr. Honeyman was a member of the executive management with Board level responsibilities.

    Mr. Honeyman earned both a bachelor degree, with a concentration in Economics, and an MBA in Finance from the University of MIchigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

  • Lindsay Klee, Technology Business Consultant

    Lindsay has served in commercialization roles with health systems and previously served as Commercialization Director for the University of Michigan Medical Innovation Center where she was directly responsible for pioneering and managing a Concept to Commercialization product development gap fund for healthcare, medical device, therapeutic, IT, and diagnostic technologies. She secured competitive capital for and managed a FDA-sponsored device consortium and has assisted teams and companies working toward product milestones, funding and FDA submissions/compliance. Lindsay’s previous work experience also includes consulting for small, medium, and large enterprises (both independently and within the Philadelphia Healthcare and Life Science Divisions of PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC). Her consulting efforts have focused on due diligence, legal inquiries/investigations, VC/angel investment activities, M&A/expansion decisions, deal structuring, feasibility studies, financial and business/commercial planning, and regulatory submissions/compliance. She also has worked in technology transfer and in drug discovery with Pfizer Global Research and Development.

    Lindsay is passionate about expanding the Michigan life sciences & healthcare technology ecosystem and enjoys working 1:1 with clients and companies seeking to start or grow their businesses. She is originally from Flint, Michigan and has been inspired by economic development & community vitality efforts both locally and regionally.

    Lindsay holds a MHSA, Health Care Management, from the University of Michigan.

  • Clay Phillips, Mobility Technology Lead

    Clay has deep practical experience in open innovation, intelligence, business development, strategy, and alliance management. From 2014 - 2018 he was an independent innovation and growth strategy advisor for startups, large companies and non-profits. He has served as adjunct instructor for the NSF Innovation Corps program and mentor for Detroit Techstars and GAMIC programs with a focus on transportation, advanced mobility and energy.
    Prior to 2014 he was an executive at General Motors R&D where he held leadership positions in corporate and advanced technology strategy, alliance management, and innovation commercialization. He was a founding member and VP of GM’s corporate venture capital arm, GM Ventures, and led commercialization due diligence for the R&D Center’s open innovation and internal startup program. Earlier in his career he managed international product and portfolio planning and new business development initiatives.

    Clay holds a BA from Trinity College and an MBA from Columbia University. In between degrees he served as an intelligence officer with the U.S. Navy for six years. For fun, he is an amateur musician and composer, and enjoys sailing on big water whenever possible.

  • Alain Piette, Technology Team Manager

    Alain brings extensive experience in organizational development, manufacturing, R&D, market development, technology transfer and international expansion to the team.

    He most recently served as president of an advanced manufacturing company, which was a technology spinout from a large automotive supplier. His activities included marketing and commercialization and leading the advanced R&D activities. The company focused its efforts in the aerospace, military and transportation industries.

    Alain has also worked in Europe, Southern Africa, and Central and South America for international corporations such as DuPont, Sherwin Williams and Kongsberg Automotive. He has been involved with turn-around, startup and M&A activities.

    Alain holds a B.S.B.A. and M.B.A. from Wayne State University.

  • Jason Pliml, Technology Business Consultant

    Jason brings extensive entrepreneurial and business coaching experience to the SBDC. He’s a self-identified “data nerd” who has owned several profitable businesses, covering an array of niches from virtual business services to insurance & fantasy sports software. The common thread through each of his businesses is the practical application of cutting edge technology to gain competitive advantages and operational efficiencies. He has extensive expertise in Applied A.I., SaaS business models, investor pitch coaching, and pricing strategy.

    Jason holds a BS degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Lake Superior State University and has completed the CTI coaching program. He has served as a board member for tech companies, industry trade associations, and non-profit organizations.

    He has extensive expertise in SaaS business strategy, investor pitch coaching, revenue & pricing model development.

  • Arcadio D. Ramirez, Technology Business Consultant

    Throughout his more than 20-year professional career, Arcadio Ramirez has been extensively involved with early stage companies. As an attorney with Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosti, he advised startup companies with financing, commercial, corporate governance and intellectual property issues. In financings alone, he directed projects exceeding $15M.

    From the practice of law, Arcadio transitioned into entrepreneurial ventures, organizing, securing financing, operating and selling two companies, including one of the first venture-funded transaction-based Internet sites, Do It Sports. Arcadio has also served on the management team and acted as a business consultant to numerous early-stage companies.

    In addition, Arcadio has been engaged as a management consultant by a number of Fortune 50 companies, including AT&T, Intel and Ford Motor Company. Engagements included new product development strategy, customer segmentation and restructuring, financial process re-engineering and private marketplace strategy projects. These projects saved/earned clients millions of dollars.

    Arcadio received his business education at the University of Michigan Business School. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School and his B.A. with highest honors from the University of Michigan. Arcadio resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has two children and is an internationally competitive triathlete.

  • Scott Taylor, Technology Business Consultant

    Scott offers an in-the-trenches business, technical, and entrepreneurial background to our SBDC Technology Team. Most recently, as one of two founders of Soloshot Inc, he served as president while the company scaled from an idea conceived on the beach, to a global brand with two product line generations, worldwide distribution, in-house production, in-house sales/marketing/R&D teams, and multiple issued patents. Scott holds a Master’s degree in chemical engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in naval architecture and marine engineering, both from the University of Michigan. Scott and his wife reside in the greater Ann Arbor area.

  • Phil Tepley, Director of Technology Commercialization Services

    Under Phil’s leadership, the Tech Team has grown to a statewide group of 8 business consultants that assist Michigan’s emerging technology based companies with their commercialization, financing and growth strategies.

    Since Phil began working with us, the Tech Team has helped clients raise more than $200 million in capital formation and created more than 800 jobs. In 2008, he also launched the Michigan Emerging Technologies Fund with annual funding of $1.4 million to provide commercialization funding to match federal SBIR/STTR research and development grants and contracts. In 2012 he launched the $3 million Business Accelerator Fund that is accessed by Michigan’s business accelerator network to provide specialized services to their high-tech clients.

    Phil serves on the board of directors of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Local Development Finance Authority, BBC Entrepreneurial Training Corporation and Recycle Ann Arbor. He is a former president and VP of programming at Ann Arbor’s investor forum, the New Enterprise Forum.