Michael S. Melfi helps emerging and established businesses overcome the legal and financial obstacles that often stand in the way of growth. His work with these companies focuses on financing and fundraising, intellectual property protection, technology licensing, tax planning, acquisitions and dispositions, and general corporate matters.
He has particular experience in a broad range of technology industries including software, big data, healthcare, manufacturing, publishing, automotive, and aerospace, as well as transportation, retail, food and beverage, and construction.
He has extensive experience mentoring, counseling, and securing funding for entrepreneurs, inventors, startups, and small businesses and their disruptive technology. Michael works with inventors to secure, protect and commercialize their intellectual property. He collaborates in an entrepreneurial manner on the assessment, strategic planning, business development, execution, and fundraising for the ideas and inventions' journey to commercialization.
Before joining Bodman, Michael founded and served as chief operating officer and general counsel of a multimedia company where he pioneered experiential digital campaigns for Fortune 500 clients and worked with numerous national industry-leading products and brands to monetize and grow their web-based businesses.
He is active in many organizations that serve the entrepreneurial and general business communities. Michael is a member of the Small Business Association of Michigan. He mentors entrepreneurs at 1871, a technology accelerator and incubator based in Chicago that is the home of more than 400 early-stage digital startups. Michael also serves on the Board of Governors for the University of Michigan's School of Kinesiology's Alumni Society and the President's Advisory Council (PAC) for The Community House in Birmingham, Michigan, a non-profit community center for professional, philanthropic, and recreational pursuits.
Michael is the author of a series of four books: The Simple Secrets of Social Media, The Simple Secrets of Crowdfunding, The Simple Secrets of Intellectual Property and The Simple Secrets of Entrepreneurship. He has published numerous articles in The Huffington Post, Crain’s Detroit Business, and StartUpNation.com. In his role as a contributing writer for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE), he has authored materials on social media, crowdfunding, and IP portfolio management.
To further support the entrepreneurial community, Michael founded Be Investable, an online curriculum that provides the tools to build successful teams, develop strategies to raise capital and produce results. Michael hosts a weekly podcast, also called Be Investable, on the Michigan Business Network, where engages entrepreneurs and business leaders in discussions about behaviors that translate into business success. He is a frequent speaker at seminars, conferences, and webinars. His recent work and speaking engagements can be viewed at his website, MichaelSMelfi.com.
Civic, Cultural, and Community Activities
- The Community House (Birmingham, MI) — President's Advisory Council (PAC), Member
- National Crowdfunding Association, Founding Member, 2012-2016
- 1871, Chicago's Center for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Mentor, 2017
- University of Michigan Kinesiology Alumni Society (KAS)
- Board of Governors, Member, July 2014-July 2017
- Alumni Engagement Committee, Member
- Student Engagement Committee, Member
- Detroit Regional Chamber, Leadership Detroit, Class XXV
- Oakland County Bar Association, Member
- Small Business Association of Michigan, Member
- State Bar of Michigan, Member
- Co-Author (with Nicholas P. McElhinny and Joseph R. Morrison Jr.), "SBA Disaster Loan Program for Michigan Business Owners," Bodman COVID-19 Response Team Update, March 2020
- The Trep Talk Podcast, Michigan Business Network
- "Cybersquatting: How to Protect Your Startup's Domain Name," StartUpNation (Mar. 5, 2017)
- "Resourcefulness Allows Entrepreneurs to Succeed Amid Challenges," Crain's Detroit Business (Feb. 14, 2017)
- "Position for Hire: Business Owner," The Huffington Post (Feb. 10, 2017)
- "The Guarantee of No Certainty for Entrepreneurs," Smart Hustle (Jan. 23, 2017)
- "What Does Trump's Tax Plan Mean for Entrepreneurs?," StartUpNation (Jan. 20, 2017)
- "Entrepreneur Blueprint," The Huffington Post (Dec. 2, 2016)
- "Seven Steps to Success," noobpreneur.com (Nov. 17, 2016)
- "Is Your Product or Service Revolutionary or Evolutionary?," StartUpNation (Nov. 16, 2016)
- "Entrepreneur in Residence: The Role that Will Boost Your Small Business," StartUpNation (Oct. 27, 2016)
- "The Entrepreneurial Kiss of Death — Outside Funding," The Huffington Post (Oct. 21, 2016)
- "Do You Have a Purposeful Passion for Your Business?," Michipreneur (Oct. 15, 2016)
- "If It Ain't Broke, Break It!," Young Upstarts (Oct. 7, 2016)
- "An Entrepreneurial Mindset Focused on Value Drives Success," Crain's Detroit Business (Sept. 6, 2016)
- " 'Growth Hacking' Offers Another Strategy for Expanding Client Base," Crain's Detroit Business (Aug. 17, 2016)
- "Busting the Myths of Small Business Funding," StartUpNation (July 30, 2016)
- "Entrepreneurs Benefit from Hiring Like-Minded Attorneys," Crain's Detroit Business (July 8, 2016).
- "The Anatomy of a Pitch Deck," StartUpNation (June 25, 2016)
- "Six Steps to Sales Success as an Entrepreneur," National Association of Sales Professionals
- "The Sales Funnel," National Association of Sales Professionals
- "The Importance of Sales for an Entrepreneurial Organization," National Association of Sales Professionals
- "The Art of Influence," National Association of Sales Professionals
- Michael S. Melfi, The Simple Secrets of Being an Entrepreneur (2016)
- Michael S. Melfi, The Simple Secrets of Crowdfunding (2014)
- Michael S. Melfi, The Simple Secrets of Intellectual Property (2014)
- Michael S. Melfi, The Simple Secrets of Social Media (2013)
Speaking Engagements (Representative)
- "Are You Investable?," Presenter, Sales Summit, April 2016, New York, NY.
- "Identity of a Successful Entrepreneur," Presenter, OU INC, September 13, 2016, Rochester, MI.
- "Entrepreneurial Funding," Presenter, Bamboo Detroit, August 18, 2016, Detroit, MI.
- "What Type of Entrepreneur Are You?," Presenter, TiE Detroit, June 15, 2016, Detroit, MI.
- "Identity of a Successful Entrepreneur," Presenter, Ann Arbor SPARK, June 8, 2016, Ann Arbor, MI.
- "Seven Obstacles Entrepreneurs Face," Presenter, TiE Detroit, May 18, 2016, Detroit, MI.
- "The Identity of a Successful Entrepreneur — What's the Secret???," Presenter, DeskHub, December 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA.
- "Global Entrepreneurship Night at the Palace of Auburn Hills," Speaker, Treps Nest November 21, 2015, Auburn Hills, MI.
- "From Patent to Commercialization," Presenter, Wayne State University, November 15, 2016, Detroit, MI.
- "Habits & Mindset," Presenter, Grand Circus, June 18, 2015, Detroit, MI.
- "Introduction to Crowdfunding in Michigan," Speaker, Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) January 29, 2015, Webcast.
- 07/26/2017Bodman PLC and Susan M. Kornfield Recognized for Trademark Law Excellence by Managing Intellectual Property
- 03/16/2017Business and Intellectual Property Law Attorney Michael S. Melfi Joins Bodman
- Michigan State University College of Law, J.D.
- Wayne State University, Finance M.B.A.
- University of Michigan, B.A.
- State Bar of Michigan
- Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA)
- Small Business Association of Michigan