Industry Veteran Emily Heintz Brings Decade of Experience Building Michigan’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem to New Company
Ann Arbor, MICH. – May 7, 2018 – EntryPoint, the company that accelerates the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, today announced its launch. EntryPoint partners with entrepreneurial support organizations and startups at all stages of growth to foster an inclusive culture, build connections and advance research and messaging for education, outreach and advocacy purposes.
EntryPoint was founded in March 2018 by Managing Director Emily Heintz. A former finance professional, Heintz has been at the forefront of growth for several economic development organizations in Michigan, including Ann Arbor SPARK, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and most recently the Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA). During her tenure at MVCA, she leveraged her extensive network to grow educational and networking events, managed talent programs, advocated for Michigan’s entrepreneurial community, and most notably, led the development of the MVCA Annual Research ReportThe report was recognized by Washington D.C.-based National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and Crain’s Detroit Business for creating a national research model that enables organizations across the country to better educate, build and advocate for the communities they serve., including the 2016 Detroit Entrepreneurial Study, 2017 Detroit Entrepreneurial Study and 2017 West Michigan Entrepreneurial Study, which earned national attention.
Prior to joining MVCA, she facilitated the design, implementation and management of statewide entrepreneurship programs, including the 21st Century Investment Fund, Accelerator Funds, Venture Development Fund, EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, Urban Investment Program, and direct investments made in venture capital firms around the state. Adding to this experience, she has a proven track record of successfully bridging connections between venture capitalists, angel investors, government officials, startup executives, community foundations and nonprofit organizations to advance educational and community programs.
“I look forward to partnering with companies to develop initiatives that accelerate innovation and entrepreneurial growth,” said EntryPoint Founder and Managing Director, Emily Heintz. “Many organizations simply do not have the bandwidth or the right connections to effectively address the talent, community or research gaps that exist within our entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the launch of EntryPoint, my goal is to strengthen the collaboration between entrepreneurs, investors, and research institutions to unify the community.”
Leaders in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Join EntryPoint Advisory Board
Based on the company’s mission to support innovation and the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, leaders from the investment, economic development and startup community have joined the EntryPoint Advisory Board to provide strategic insight on the company’s initiatives. Advisors include Shane Bliemaster, Founder, Marketing Supply Co.; Trey Boynton, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Duo Security; Patti Glaza, Managing Director, Invest Detroit; Jennifer Owens, Chief Executive Officer, Lakeshore Advantage; Amy Peterson, Vice President of Special Projects & General Counsel, Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality; Jeff Rinvelt, Managing Director, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund of Funds; Ted Serbinski, Managing Director, Techstars Mobility; and, Monica Wheat, Partner, Venture Catalyst.
What Advisors are Saying about EntryPoint
“It’s an exciting time to be involved in emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems like Michigan where innovation is thriving, but we need better collaboration to help them grow,” said Ted Serbinski, managing director of Techstars Mobility. “EntryPoint is utilizing real venture experience and helping spread best practices to improve Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. I’ve worked with Emily for a number of years as a former MVCA board member, and I can attest to the active role she has played in jumpstarting several programs and conducting research that has taken Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to the next level. The combination of Emily’s first-hand experience and deep involvement in the community along with the talented team of advisors made it an easy decision to get involved with EntryPoint.”
“One of the key aspects to strengthening an entrepreneurial ecosystem is ensuring we are broadening our networks to incorporate more leadership opportunities, pathways and perspectives from underrepresented communities,” said Trey Boynton, diversity and inclusion manager at Duo Security. “This is critical not only for retaining but also attracting top-tier talent to local startups. I’m thrilled to partner with Emily on initiatives that provide resources to entrepreneurs from different backgrounds and communities as well as organizations who are building a more inclusive culture in their workplace.”
“The entrepreneurial ecosystems throughout the Midwest are significantly changing,” said Jeff Rinvelt, principal at Renaissance Venture Fund. “Communities are realizing they don’t need to be the ‘next Silicon Valley’ and are finding their own ingredients for success. I’m very excited about Emily’s vision, because by utilizing her research expertise and data-driven approach, emerging entrepreneurial hubs can better identify their strengths as well as challenges within their community to determine the resources that are needed to create more vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
“Resources like training, research and mentorship are essential to helping entrepreneurs grow successful businesses,” said Monica Wheat, founder and partner of Venture Catalyst. “I believe Emily’s approach to addressing challenges in the community in terms of diversity, talent and connecting various groups is uniquely positioned to accelerate important initiatives forward. We’ve continued to see Emily successfully develop programs and research, but I believe this is only the beginning, and we’ll continue to see a significant impact in the community due to her level of expertise and drive.”
EntryPoint advances the entrepreneurial community by promoting inclusion, community engagement and education. The organization works with entrepreneurial support organizations and startups at all stages of growth foster an inclusive organizational culture, expand their networks, and conduct research for education, outreach and advocacy purposes. EntryPoint was founded in 2018 by Emily Heintz, a leader in Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community who was part of Crain’s 40 Under 40: Class of 2016 and recognized in Forbes, Axios, and VentureBeat. To learn more, visit http://www.EntryPointMI.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook (@EntryPointMI).
Media inquiries: contact Press@EntryPointMI.com