Aria Equities venture firm opens in Birmingham

Jeff Sloan is back in Michigan, and now the well-known entrepreneur behind StartupNation has his own venture development firm in downtown Birmingham – Aria Equities.

A venture development firm is, as Sloan describes it, a company that gets start-ups ready for venture capital investment. That means it lends the expertise to refine the business plan, gets the management team in place, the revenues flowing and perfects an elevator pitch for angel investors.

“We’re typically the guys going to pitch the angels for the company,” Sloan says.

Sloan and his brother Rich founded StartupNation a decade ago. The company, now based in downtown Birmingham, focuses on showing entrepreneurs how to build a start-up. The brothers have also developed and patented products that have been acquired, such as The Battery Buddy.

After being on Metro Detroit’s entrepreneurial scene for six months, Aria Equities employs three people, including the Sloan brothers. It has a handful of clients, most of which are still gearing up for a launch. Sloan sees them as potential base hits in his entrepreneurial strategy.

“I’m more about hitting singles and doubles than swinging for the fences every time,” Sloan says.

The Flint native says that philosophy is a key part to developing Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Although Sloan concedes developing that environment into a powerhouse comparable to what exists on North America’s coasts is still a long ways away, stringing together a few hits will go far toward achieving that goal.

“We want to help create a culture here for start-ups and entrepreneurs,” Sloan says. “We want to help establish Michigan as a place for people to start their companies.”

Anyone interested in pitching a business idea to Sloan can send an executive summary of two pages or less (he emphasizes the less part) to

Source: Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of Aria Equities
Writer: Jon Zemke