Sassa Akervall
Akervall Technologies Inc.
Saline, MI

“Building a manufacturing company has been one of the most rewarding journeys I have ever embarked on! This excitement stems from having built something from scratch, bringing unique and far superior products, in our case dental protection, to the market and knowing we are protecting teeth all over the world.”

Sassa Akervall built Akervall Technologies Inc. from scratch, selecting and mentoring each employee in the organization. She developed a business strategy that involves outsourcing policies, financial models, and sales and marketing strategies that fit a science-driven innovation company with no external funding. This long-term vision has resulted in the company experiencing 60+% annual growth rates and $2.4M in sales.
Sassa immediately saw the potential application of the SISU Mouthguard in the local sports marketing, testing it on her own and friend’s children who had just begun on sports teams. She partnered with local incubator, Ann Arbor SPARK, for initial guidance, and decided to aim for niche sports with low competition.  She initially targeted end-customers online and independent specialty sports retailers. When the company reached targeted sales and profit numbers she changed strategies to go after large distributors in an effort to grow sales exponentially. Eventually, this led to a co-branding contract with Reebok/CCM that since 2014 is the global, exclusive distributor for ice hockey. 
Sassa has relied on recruiting exceptional co-workers to grow the business.  Her clear vision for the company and distinct leadership skills helped convince talented individuals to take a gamble and join the team.  She effectively communicates her vision, and has created a culture of open communication and employee empowerment. 
Sassa has always been engaged in her local community, even before starting the company.  Recently she has volunteered in a new outreach program through Enterprising Women Foundation (EWF).  The EWF has embarked on a major initiative to connect high school girls with women entrepreneurs in their communities to educate, inspire, and mentor them on entrepreneurship, with a special emphasis on STEM opportunities.  Sassa is the chair of the mentorship event in Michigan.

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