Home / About DNEP / The DNEP Team / Christie Baer

Christie Baer, a white woman with glasses, brown-blonde hair, wearing a white and navy color blocked top
  • Staff

Christie Baer

Managing Director, Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project, Ross School of Business

Christie Ayotte Baer is the Managing Director for the University of Michigan’s Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (U-M DNEP, pronounced D-nep), a program she built and has led since its founding in 2016. DNEP is an interdisciplinary engaged learning program that matches Detroit entrepreneurs with teams of students in multiple U-M schools through classes, community-based 1:1 support, and a summer internship program. These faculty- and staff-supervised student teams provide second-stage businesses with legal, financial, marketing, operational, design, and technology services to help entrepreneurs scale while providing students with life-changing consulting experiences. As of 2024, DNEP has worked with 700+ businesses (usually at least twice) in a semester-long class, and has supporting another 100+ through workshops, referrals, and other one-time events. DNEP also supports the small business ecosystem by creating unbiased open-source tools that business owners can use, posted on the Free Digital Resources page of the website.

Christie is a serial entrepreneur who has owned four businesses and managed dozens of other for-profits, non-profits, and political campaigns over 20 years. Prior to her relocation with DNEP to the Ross School of Business, she served as the assistant director of the University of Michigan Ford School’s Center on Finance, Law & Policy for seven years.

Before coming to Michigan, Christie was an attorney, mediator, and guardian ad litem in private practice in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia at a boutique law firm she founded and managed. She is licensed to practice law in Georgia (inactive) and Michigan. Her expertise is in community engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership. She earned a JD from Emory University School of Law and a BA in Sociology from Smith College. 


  • K-3510


  • 701 Tappan Street
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109