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Marlo Rencher named executive director of Cleary’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Marlo Rencher has worked for three major corporations, founded three tech-based businesses and conducted doctoral research in three entrepreneurial communities.

In her new position as executive director of Cleary University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, others will have the opportunity to draw on Rencher’s experience.

“Cleary is a leader in business education and a growing institution,” said Rencher. “Honestly, I didn’t know a lot about it, but as I went through the interview process I discovered a lot of exciting things are happening here. They have added an athletics program and are preparing to build their first residence hall on campus. It is very exciting.”

“This is an opportunity for me to connect a lot of different experiences that I have had,” said Rencher. “Not many opportunities connect economic development, entrepreneurship and teaching.”

Rencher’s most recent venture is as co-founder of the mobile application Snapsure. Snapsure gives shoppers the opportunity to get validation from friends and family about purchases they are about to make.

Prior to Snapsure, Rencher founded the Web site GoodSweat. GoodSweat helps individuals convey their personal stories in an effort to fund raise.

Before striking out on her own with her first project, jazzdigital Marketing, Rencher worked for Kellogg, Kraft and Ford Motor Company in various capacities.

She also worked for more than seven years in Detroit tech incubators and entrepreneurial development agencies such as TechTown.

“All of those experiences come to bear here at Cleary,” said Rencher. “We are supporting this community and building it.”

Rencher received her Ph.D. in business and organizational anthropology from Wayne State University. She received her MBA from the University of Michigan and has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.

She was a winner of the 2011 Enterprising Health Business Competition sponsored by Ascension Health Alliance and was recently named one of the “9 Awesome Black Women Tech Founders to Watch” by Inc.com

“The first step here is to define what the CIE is and attract people to it,” said Rencher. “Most people out there are starting companies without getting the help they need. We want them to connect to us and to each other so that we all succeed. The challenge is finding the entrepreneurs and making it clear that the assistance we offer is for them.”

“We have to target businesses that are a good fit and we have to put ourselves out there,” she said. “What really excited me is the capacity to do online education and the opportunity to be fluid and engage people.”

“I am an entrepreneur and Cleary is an entrepreneurial university. We are engaging entrepreneurs with empathy, not just sympathy,” Rencher said.

Cleary University’s (cleary.edu) mission is to enrich students’ lives through the knowledge, skills and credentials that advance careers.

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