The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation recently announced its 2021-2022 lineup of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs). Entrepreneurs-in-Residence serve as mentors and coaches, working closely with student venturers participating in the Burgess Institute’s venture creation program. Of those joining the EIR team for the coming academic year, two are ComArtSci alumni.
The first ComArtSci alumna is Kelly Ford (B.A., Communication, '94). Ford is a tech industry executive turned general partner at Edison Partners, a growth equity firm focused on technology-enabled solutions in fintech, enterprise software, and healthcare IT sectors.
“Becoming an EIR is an opportunity to go deeper with a smaller group of entrepreneurs – to become a real part of their product and business-building journey,” Ford said.
In addition to investing in fintech companies, Ford is the pioneer of the Edison Partners’ “Edison Edge” value-added services platform focused on building and accelerating enterprise value for portfolio companies through operating excellence.
“Coming out of ComArtSci, all I wanted was to land at a PR agency and help a diverse set of companies with their communications programs,” Ford said. “What I learned from a brief stint in agency life was that I was drawn to our clients’ innovations, product launches, and the role of the product executives in shaping strategy for tech businesses.”
The second ComArtSci alumna is Melissa “MACK” Mackey (B.A. Advertising, '04). MACK is the founder and CEO of LU Management, a firm that helps professional athletes pursue entrepreneurship and venture capital, empowering them with a championship mentality in business. MACK was previously the founder and head of the Verizon Innovation Garage, where she led global open innovation, startup evaluation, and partnership strategy. MACK also advises several early-stage startups and is on the advisory board for the Michigan State University Foundation.