What Our Entrepeneurs Do
Kristina Kamensky, Prismtech: Kamensky, a 2009 Kettering graduate, is a young and enthusiastic CEO. Her company, Prismitech, was the first tenant at the Innovation Center at Kettering University. “I love the fact that it’s green,” she said, regarding the first LEED certified building in Genesee County. “It’s very fitting and attractive to green-conscious businesses that are into alternative energies and energy efficiencies.” She should know. Prismitech, one of TechWorks’ affiliates, has wed high-tech artificial intelligence with green ideals in hopes of capturing a huge market. The business uses an ‘Air Curtain Simulator’ device that was designed utilizing an artificial neural network—one that gets smarter as it collects data. Read more about Prismtech here and visit the website.
Marc Alexander, Youth of Tomorrow: Alexander, a 2009 Kettering graduate, launched Youth of Tomorrow, a non-profit organization that helps prepare young people for professional careers. “One thing I've learned as an entrepreneur is that you do not let any opportunity pass you by no matter how much is being offered,” Alexander said. “For me, every penny is one more penny closer to my goal.” Read more about Youth of Tomorrow here and visit the website here.
Justin Schnabelrauch, THE AMERICAN FARM AND GARDEN: Schnabelrauch, an Ypsilanti native who graduated from Kettering with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2008 and who is currently pursuing his master’s, his wife Valerie, his brother Matthew (both also Kettering graduates) and Alexandria Henry, the mission of THE AMERICAN FARM AND GARDEN is to inspire future generations through educating them about the history of American agricultural innovations and to become a leading authority on the history and evolution of agricultural technology. “The idea came from a hobby,” Schnabelrauch said. “I had an interest in historical agricultural equipment and this idea just grew from there. What we’re trying to provide to the community is a science-based learning center where people can be inspired by agricultural history. This history is better understood by studying surviving artifacts, showing how technology has evolved connecting both the past with the present.” Read more about THE AMERICAN FARM AND GARDEN here and visit the website here.
Steve Schwartz, RateMyStudentRental.com: Schwartz is the owner of AlfaJango, LLC (web-based software) and the creator of RateMyStudentRental (on-and off-campus student housing) and LeadNuke (B2B sales lead generation by monitoring online conversations). As a student, the 2007 Kettering graduate created RateMyStudentRental.com to help students share their positive and negative feelings about their overall living experience with other students and landlords based on cleanliness, safety, cooperation and responsiveness of property owners. Additionally, RateMyStudentRental operates as a tool for landlords to help them grow their business by finding out what students feel regarding their rental experience. Read more about RateMyStudentRental here and read more about Schwartz here. Visit the Alfa Jango website here.
Kyle Schwulst, ElectroJet CEO: Schwulst, a 2002 graduate, founded ElectroJet in 2003 after achieving the first of many patents to reduce the sensor set and cost of electronic engine controls. Schwulst grew ElectroJet from a small group of friends working in a Michigan pole barn, to a burgeoning office in the Brighton, Mich., area that is taking its products global. According to the company website, ElectroJet, “Was founded on a group of people who just enjoyed what they were working on. Although the company has been expanding, it maintains its founder’s principles – hard work, dedication and a passion for problem solving.” Read about Schwulstand his team breaking four land speed records here and visit the ElectroJet website here.
Robert Evangelista, Business of Winning founder: Evangelista, a 1989 Kettering graduate, wrote The Business of Winning: A Manager’s Guide to Building a Championship Team at Work (CEP Press, 2001) after 20 years as a senior manager at General Motors Corporation. Today, the book has been published in 28 countries, and forms the foundation for a series of workshops, coaching and consulting. Evangelista was awarded Kettering’s Alumni of the Year Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement in 2002. Read more about The Business of Winning on his website.
Brian Olatunji, Leadfoot Media: Olatunji, a 2005 Mechanical Engineering graduate, is a professional race car driver, a successful engineer and an entrepreneur who launched his own marketing company, Leadfoot Media, which operates a NHRA Super Gas racing team. Among the sponsors the company has landed are Pepsi and the U.S. Army. Olatunji also has his own non-profit agency, the Leadfoot Foundation, which provides scholarships to Detroit area students. In 2012, Crain’s Detroit Business named Olatunji one of its ‘20 in their 20s.’ Visit Olatunji’s website here and the Leadfoot Media website here.
Ryan Quellet and Jeffery Ring, APPerfection: Founded by Kettering graduates Ryan Quellet (Chief Technology Officer), Mark Suddon (President, Product Development) and student Jeffery Ring (Chief iOS Software Engineer) to solve every day – and not so every day – problems by creating smartphone applications, APPerfection was founded in 2010 as part of the Kettering Entrepreneurial Society (KES). “You really can make a good amount of money in the app marketplace if you have a good business plan, and that’s where KES really comes in, teaching us how to really market a good idea,” Quellet said. “KES gives us specific things that we need to work on. They provide seed money to start the company, but also provide a group of like-minded people. As a group, we decide if something is a good idea or not and come up with feedback on what to improve or how to make businesses successful.” Read more about APPerfection here and visit the website here.
Albert J. Sobey, Albert Sobey and Associates: Sobey, a 1945 graduate and son of Kettering University’s first president Albert Sobey, has established an endowment to support an annual lecture featuring industrial leaders who demonstrate ethics in management. The endowment has been established through a $50,000 estate gift by Sobey, continuing the legacy begun by his parents to fund lectures on ethics and leadership. He is currently president and CEO of Albert Sobey and Associates, providing professional services on energy, transportation and business strategies. He began his career at Allison, a division of General Motors, in 1945 as a test flight engineer and researching solid and liquid rockets, Stirling engines and small power turbines. He designed a full scale aerodynamic wind tunnel for GM in the early 1960s. He went on to found Transportation Technology Inc. in 1967. After selling TTI to Otis Elevator in 1972 he worked for Booz Allen and Hamilton before returning to GM until 1987. “My objective is to expand Kettering’s national image by exposing the students to industrial leaders and exposing industrial leaders to the uniqueness of the Kettering-style education,” he said. Read about the Sobey Lecture on Ethics here.