Mark J. Bennett, Esq., Founder and President, possesses a diverse and highly developed array of professional expertise to serve his clients’ strategy, legal and investment banking needs– developed over 30 years while working with both early stage and established companies. Mark has a rare combination of legal, business and entrepreneurial experience. Collectively, he offers a fully-integrated legal and business strategy approach to assisting clients in reaching their strategic objectives and solving their business challenges.
Mark’s “entrepreneur-entrepreneur” (e2e) perspective reflects his personal embrace of the entrepreneurial spirit which has been a lifelong passion. Mark has started five venture capital backed companies, raising more than $35 million in multiple industries from national venture capital firms such as Bain Capital as well as regional and local investors. He brings a “can do” sense of urgency to each engagement which is critical while navigating an ever changing marketplace. Mark is a Director of the Michigan Pre-Seed Fund 2.0 which provides early stage financing to Michigan companies and the Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB).
While still in law school, he founded Toxicheck, (which later merged with Environmental Data Resources Inc.) an information services company which helps the real estate industry avoid environmental liability. The company reached $50 million in sales before being sold to a DMGT, a UK-based media conglomerate. This was followed by Sandbox Ventures, LLC—an angel fund and Internet incubator Mark created to form several Internet consumer marketing and business-to-business concerns. Over a four year period, Sandbox raised and invested over $12 million in multiple ventures. More recently, he cofounded Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, an Internet-based, software-as-a-service workflow platform enabling real estate industry stakeholders to assess, benchmark and optimize the energy and sustainability performance of their properties.
This comprehensive business background proved invaluable when Mark joined Miller Canfield, an international law firm with more than 300 attorneys, in August of 2007. While there, he established the firm’s Climate Law Practice Team, enabling him to counsel clients on legal, business strategy and economic development issues related to the environment and energy issues, including carbon finance, renewable energy, green building and sustainable development. Mark has been a pioneer in the creation of the energy efficiency finance industry nationally, having been instrumental in the formation of Lean and Green MichiganTM, a consortium of organizations which are establishing a marketplace for energy efficiency financing in Michigan including implementation of Michigan’s new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) state – Public Act 270 of 2010. Mark is actively involved in creating the PACE marketplace on a nationwide basis.