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New Enterprise Forum Celebrates 22nd Anniversary, Presents Annual Entrepreneur Awards to Randal Charlton & Others

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New Enterprise Forum will celebrate its 22nd year as a resource for Michigan entrepreneurs in conjunction with its annual awards presentations. The event takes place at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 21 at the Holiday Inn North Campus on 3600 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

At the event, awards will be given to entrepreneurs in the following categories: Best New Product, Best Business Strategy, and Best Presentation. In addition, Randal Charlton of TechTown will be honored as the 2007 NEF Entrepreneur of the Year.

Randal Charlton's career has been focused on bringing new technologies to the market. From 2000 - 2007, he was founder and CEO of Asterand, a Detroit-based company that specializes in providing human tissue and data for the development of new drugs and diagnostics. Randal took Asterand from a concept to a public company in less than six years; the company now counts as its customers 18 of the top 20 drug companies in the world. Prior to Asterand, Randal was involved in a number of other bioscience ventures.

Randal is currently Interim Director of TechTown, Wayne State University's high technology business incubator park, and is Economic Advisor and Special Assistant to the President of the University. In addition, he is a non-executive director at Genetics Squared and at Gradecheck, and is the Founder of the Michigan Biobank, a not-for-profit that provides biomaterials for research.

Randal advises or is a board member for a number of health, drug discovery, and economic development organizations, and has been recognized by the MEDC, the MVCA, Wayne State University, and other organizations for his accomplishments as an entrepreneur.

Showcase Presentation: Each month, NEF highlights one or more emerging companies and provides them a Showcase Presentation. This month, our Showcase Presenter will be Peter Dresslar, CEO of Torrey Path, which facilitates drug discovery by combining information technology and statistical analysis into research decision support tools.

Open Forum: The evening's presentations are followed by Open Forum, during which attendees have the opportunity to make a 30-second pitch for their company, product/service, or need.

Registration and networking begin at 5:00 p.m. with the program starting at 5:45 p.m. Free to NEF members and journalists, the cost is $20 for non-members, $5 for students. The event is sponsored by NEF stakeholder sponsor, Bank of Ann Arbor; for information, visit


Through its hands-on work with entrepreneurs, NEF has been planting the seeds for Michigan's economic prosperity for over two decades. NEF serves Michigan entrepreneurs by linking them with management expertise, venture partners, business services, capital, and other critical resources. NEF also provides free coaching teams who assist entrepreneurs with investor presentations and business planning in preparation for fundraising meetings. For information, visit

SOURCE New Enterprise Forum
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