First Customer Program

Vedant Agrawal

Vedant Agrawal Assistant in Research Vedant is a junior majoring in Economics. He joined the Institute in March 2019. This past summer, Vedant interned at a Venture Capital firm in California and hopes to continue to work in the industry after graduating. Outside of class, Vedant is heavily involved in

Joseph Mancina

Joseph Mancina Assistant in Research Joseph Mancina is a senior studying Economics. Previously, he worked as a summer intern at the University of Michigan Federal Relations office and as a research assistant through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.

Pedro Magana Saenz

Pedro Magana Saenz Research Associate First Customer Program Pedro Magana Saenz is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and Master in Economics candidate at Rackham Graduate School.  Pedro earned his B.A. in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Alexander Smith

Alexander Smith Assistant in Research First Customer Program Alex is an Assistant in Research at the Economic Growth Institute. He is a senior at the Ross School of Business with a focus in business strategy and organizations. Under the First Customer Program (FCP), Alex assists technology start-ups across Michigan develop concrete

Dispatching business expertise to Michigan companies: U-M helps UP firm grow sales

by Kim North Shine Neuvokas Corp., a manufacturer in Ahmeek, Mich., a village with a population of about 200 in the Upper Peninsula, could have been among the more than half of manufacturing startups that fail in Michigan. But with its forward-looking leadership and the support of the Economic Growth Institute at the University of

Mary McCardwell

Mary McCardwell Project Manager Mary McCardwell, an Economic Growth Institute project manager, is pleased to support entrepreneurship and innovation. Her efforts help technology innovators communicate value, connect with influencers and university resources, and prioritize critical actions essential to bringing a technical product to market.  Mary's is a believer in bringing "team" and

Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson Associate Director First Customer Program, Small Company Innovation Program(SCIP)/Technology and Commercialization Assistance (TCA) Program Steven B. Wilson has a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cal-Poly and a minor in avionics technology. He has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing operations.

Vikesh Chandrashekar

Vikesh Chandrashekar Project Manager Vikesh Chandrashekar is a Project Manager at the Economic Growth Institute at the University of Michigan. Under the First Customer Program he supports tech entrepreneurs and start-ups across Michigan by addressing critical gaps in technology commercialization and new-customer acquisition. He graduated from the University of