As we embark on a new academic year, we are thrilled to announce an exciting development for the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (ELP). The ELP Mentor Matching Program has recruited an outstanding group of mentors, each bringing their unique expertise and passion for entrepreneurship to guide and inspire our student innovators.

This year, we are fortunate to welcome 19 remarkable mentors to the ELP Mentor Matching Program, and we plan to recruit a few more before the start of the 2024 cohort. They represent a diverse range of industries and backgrounds, ensuring that our students have access to a wealth of knowledge and experiences. As a unique resource for ELP students, each participant will be paired with a mentor who is a practicing entrepreneur, investor, or notable alumni, who can offer career advice and project advice. Between January and April, mentor/mentee pairs participate in four, virtual, one-hour meetings focused on accomplishing entrepreneurial career goals designed by the ELP student.

If you’re a student considering applying for ELP (which if you’re reading this, that is YOU) you should think about which mentor(s) you would like to learn from and let us know.

Without further ado, let’s meet some of the extraordinary individuals who will be guiding our students toward success:

Kristin Toth 

Kristin is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive of numerous successful startups, most recently leading teams at Vesta and Fernish. Her extensive experience in product development and scaling companies will provide invaluable insights for ELP participants.

Sree Kolli

As an expert in SaaS + E-commerce with a background in venture capital and strategic planning, Sree brings a wealth of knowledge in fundraising and business strategy to the program. She currently serves as the VP of Operations for the gifting platform Goody.

Michelle Brechtelsbauer

Michelle is the Vice President of Strategy for nuclear startup Last Energy, and brings a robust background in company growth, business development, fundraising, and policy (having worked with both startups and large corporations). 


Bob Stefanski

Bob is the co-founder and managing director of eLab Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm with a primary focus on artificial intelligence with offices in Ann Arbor and Silicon Valley. He was also a co-founder of TIBCO Software, a global leader in enterprise business intelligence and infrastructure software. Bob has a tremendous amount of wisdom and experience to offer students interested in startup investing or founding a technology startup themselves.

Jeff Bargmann

Jeff has a rich history of entrepreneurial success in the tech industry as a founder and angel investor with numerous ventures. He has a particular focus on the healthcare realm and is interested in mentoring students keen on making an impact in  policy, care delivery, social work, and related fields.

Nancy Xiao

Nancy boasts tremendous experience in product development and management. At the nexus of software and hardware innovation servicing the internet of things (IoT); she serves as the CEO of Seattle-based startup Mason.

John Macllwaine

John is a serial entrepreneur in the fintech and payments industry, serving as CTO for multiple successful startups. John recently founded Highnote, an all-in-one card issuer and management platform and serves as CEO.

Pete Giordano

Pete’s extensive work in developing go-to-market strategies for new products and services spans the cybersecurity, fintech, banking, commerce, and SaSS industries. Pete is a seasoned mentor eager to help ambitious and driven students.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish is an accomplished serial entrepreneur with a knack for identifying market opportunities. His mentorship will help students fine-tune their business ideas and strategies, especially as they relate to venture capital and software.

Natasja Nielsen

Natasja has been an entrepreneur since her student days at U-M where she co-founded the SHIFT creator space. After graduating she became the co-founder and CTO of cybersecurity startup Secureframe; she’s since left that role and is now exploring her next venture. She’s looking forward to mentoring students that have an interest in cyber security, healthcare, venture capital, and biotech.

Adam Siegel

Adam has been a visionary servicing entrepreneurial communities and founding disruptive startups. He’s advised the MIT’s Sandbox, helped leadAmazon’s strategy for local selling, and founded Skye Health


Mike Stubbs

Mike is the Chief Information Officer and VP of Global Operations for Washington D.C. unicorn FiscalNote. With a background in teaching, technology,and operations, Mike will provide students with critical insights into what it’s like to scale a startup. If you’re a student seeking mentorship associated with policy, data, operations, or scaling, Mike can help.

Roger Van Duinen

Roger is a multi time founder and investor, currently serving as the Chairman of Onsite Waste. Skilled in business planning, growth marketing, customer management, management, and start-ups, Roger is excited to help ELP students achieve their goals, especially if they’re related to healthcare technology.


Kate Monti

Kate is the COO of Ann Arbor HQ’d WorkIt Health, a lauded technology platform that helps users overcome and recover from addiction (with a success rate that is double that of traditional methods). If you want to learn about operations, the healthcare industry, and balancing life while working at a rapidly-growing startup, Kate is an invaluable resource.   


Rob Meyerson

As founder and CEO of Delalune Space and formerly serving as the President of Blue Origin, Rob has an unparalleled background in aerospace and aviation entrepreneurship. His insights (and network) will be invaluable for students with aspirations in these industries.


Matt Regan

Matt is the Co-Founder and Head of Operations at high-growth spacetech startup Quindar. If you’re interested in the space industry or founding experience, Matt can help you.


Melissa Eamer

Melissa has a strong background in consumer goods with experience at Amazon and as Chief Operating Office of unicorn startup Glossier. More recently she founded and serves as CEO of Modern Age. If you’re interested in big tech or the healthcare industry, Melissa could be a great mentor.


Seun Oyewole

Seun has a rich background of investing in startups, first as an analyst at Invest Detroit, and later as an advisor to multiple companies. He is now a Principal Product Manager for TripAdvisor, and looking to help students with product management and development interests


Sara Spangelo

Sara is a pioneer in space technology and satellite communications. She co-founded satellite startup Swarm, which was acquired by SpaceX (where she now serves as Sr. Director of Satellite Engineering). Her mentorship will be a valuable asset for students exploring hardtech innovations especially those in space-related industries.


These exceptional mentors are excited to guide our students on their entrepreneurial journeys. They will provide valuable insights, lessons from their experiences, and help students navigate the challenges and opportunities of living as an entrepreneurial leader.

We couldn’t be more excited to have them on board, and we look forward to the incredible collaborations and innovations that will undoubtedly emerge from this mentorship program in the coming months.

Stay tuned for more updates from the Center for Entrepreneurship, and remember, the journey of entrepreneurship is always better with a mentor by your side!

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