Get to know our Mentors. 

Our mentors bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our acclerator.  Our team grows regularly to further enhance the resources available to the startups in any of our programs.

Dennis Arouca

Senior Adviser

Grand Traverse EDC, Mfg Council, N Mi Angels, Board Member

Sr business leader of award-winning initiatives improving operations and working environment. An experienced board member, with intl experience, 16 yrs as Atty, Cert SPHR, Mfg and Transportation

Tim Parker

ACRE Board Chair

Grand Angels, President

Tim is passionate about entrepeneurism and is active across Michigan encouraging founders and investors.

Mark Schmidt

Bizstream, Founder

Mark is passionate about building teams of highly skilled people who love what they do. He is always on the hunt for technology trends.

Don Coe

Friend of ACRE

Ag Industry Advisor to ACRE

Don was an AG Commissioner of the State of Michigan appointed by two governors. He is also a co-founder of Black Star Farms, a well known winery in the Traverse City area

Greg Bird

Friend of ACRE - Ag Industry Advisor

Michigan Vegetable Council, Executive Director

Greg oversees all the critical functions and events of the Mich Veg Council. He has experience in the private sector and public sector as a business and strategic analyst

Dr. Bart Merkle

Grand Valley State Univ, Distinguished Professor of Education

Bart focuses on administration, leadership, and critical issues in higher education as well as applications of design thinking to problems in business and non-profit settings

M. Charles Gould

MSU Extension, Bio-Energy Educator

Charles provides expertise in the areas of renewable energy and energy conservation to Michigan farmers and agribusiness that enable them to be sustainable now and in the future.

Garrick Pohl

Entrepreneur in Residence

Insightful, CEO and Co-Founder

Garrick has spent the majority of his career building tech startups that connect people and devices to digital networks, creating greater transparency and efficiency for real world tasks.

Dr. Carol Sanchez

Grand Valley State University, Director of International Business Programs

As a professor of management, Carol’s teaching, consulting, and research focus on international management, ethics in management, women in leadership, and international education.

Paul Mead, CEO - Founder

An Army Veteran, Paul facilitates the development and execution of enterprise and other business strategies for business of all sizes helping them to realize their strategic and operational goals.

Feliciano Paredes, Founder

Feliciano has extensive HR experience contributing to starting AgHelp, an online service to bring farm workers and employers together. He has participated in two accelerators while launching AgHelp

J. Kevin McCurren

Michigan State University, Commercialization Program Director, Ag/BIO MTRAC

Kevin has corporate and entrepreneurial experience. Start-ups have included a medical mgt company, a dental lab company, and biomedical companies, as well as involvement with investment groups.

Abi Ramanan

Impact Vision, CEO & Co-Founder

ImpactVision is a hyperspectral imaging technology company serving food supply chains. Abi has earned numerous entrepreneurial awards, founded a social enterprise & completed an accelerator program.

Paul Quinn

JP Morgan Chase & Co, Executive Director

With experience in finance, international, and agriculture businesses, Paul is very capable to mentor tomorrow's leaders. As a partner in WM FarmLink he worked with agribusinesses of all sizes.

Attia Qureshi

KQ Consulting, CEO & Founder

Conflict resolution & collaborative negotiations, providing skills to handle difficult conversations, feedback, and frameworks for negotiating. She trains entrepreneurs skills to manage challenges

Ken Faris

Accenture Interactive , Digital Transformation and Innovation Strategy Manager

Ken is a Digital Transformation and Innovation Strategy practitioner I like to think of myself as a practical thinker, builder, visionary, and trekking guide.

Gary Holt

Holt Engineering, Founder

Gary has wealth of experience in farming and engineering solutions and innovations to enhance operations.

Dan Vogler

Harriet Hills Trout Farm, LLC & Mich Aquaculture Assoc, Owner & MAA President

Dan is an strong advocate of the Aquaculture industry. He is active in the industry as a producer and legislative activist. His vision is to see aquaculture become a thriving industry in this region

Angela Kujava, Managing Director

In addition to her Desai responsibilies, her expertise includes strategic planning, small business consulting, team management, technology marketing, UI/UX analysis, and content writing

Jovan Jovanovic

Watson IP, Founder & Partner

Jovan has practiced IP law for over 25 years and has clients across the globe. He serves clients with intellectual property law, patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret & unfair competition issues

Julie Lankes

Team Brightly, dynamo-catalyst-connector-workhorse

Julie is a connector. Person to person. Brand to audience. Goal to strategy to result. Julie sees the dots, connects them, and eagerly gives her clients the credit.

Kylen Blom

Blom Studios, CEO, Founder

A serial entrepreneur, Kylen builds brands, and mentors local startups along the lake Michigan lakeshore.

Disher Design Group , Make a Positive Difference

Disher is a highly respected design and engineering firm providing our cohort multiple opportunities of mentorship

Sadoc Paredes

AgHelp, Co-founder at AgHelp and RS Veterinary Diagnostics

Sadoc has extensive medical and technology start up experience. He is currently focused on growing agtech and lab science startups for national deployment.

Dayna Beal

Disher (, Business Lead - Discovery | Marketing

Dayna loves to partner with purpose-driven organizations, developing vision maps, brand strategies, marketing campaigns, product launches, coaching organizations to pursue their mission.

Become a Mentor !

If you are in the West Michigan area, or willing to travel to be part of our accelerator program, please drop us a note.  Chances are you have valuable experience to share.  Working with our founders is a great way to have an impact on tomorrow leaders.

Inquire about becoming a Mentor