Global power meets Detroit innovation to celebrate entrepreneurship
On the heels of a record breaking inaugural 2016 event, Detroit Startup Week, hosted by Techstars and powered by Chase for Business, is returning to Detroit May 22-26 to celebrate Detroit’s dynamic entrepreneur community. Startup businesses of every type and stage are invited to over 100 completely free events that are designed to support startup growth and build a stronger business ecosystem in Detroit.
“In true Detroit fashion, Startup Week broke the mold when it came to Detroit for the first time in 2016,” said Monica Wheat, lead of Detroit Startup Week and founder of Parallel Ventures. “With almost 4,000 attendees we surpassed all other inaugural Startup Week programs in the U.S., showing the power of the Detroit entrepreneurial community and the unmatched enthusiasm Detroiters have for growing our economy. This year’s Detroit Startup Week will only gain from that momentum.”
New this year is Detroit Startup Week’s partnership with Detroit Entrepreneur Week, welcoming its founders to the advisory board and benefiting from their deep community relationships. This partnership will foster greater collaboration across business sectors, allowing tech companies and place-based startups to learn from and network with each other.
“Helping entrepreneurs unleash innovative ideas is a prerequisite to economic growth,” said Regina Ann Campbell, managing director of place-based entrepreneurship at TechTown Detroit, and Detroit Startup Week advisory board member. “Bringing together startups and businesses from every stage and sector at this year’s event will be a remarkable opportunity for serendipitous collisions and idea creation.”
In order to honor the strength of diversity among Detroit businesses and convey commitment to the Detroit community, Detroit Startup Week will also feature distinct neighborhood programming each day of the event, including MidTown, Osborn, Southwest and Grandmont-Rosedale. Some neighborhood programming will even be offered in Spanish and Arabic.
As part of JPMorgan Chase’s $100 million, five-year commitment to Detroit’s economic recovery, the firm backs Detroit Startup Week to help deliver impact to entrepreneurs through powerful learning opportunities and exposure to investors. As a founding partner and lead sponsor, Chase for Business allows the events to be free and open to the public, providing programming and mentorship throughout the week.
Tech giant Google will offer sessions on technology and marketing, including Google My Business, Adwords and Growth Marketing for Startups. Opportunities to achieve funding will occur throughout the week and will include Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, where hundreds of companies will compete for a share of $1 million, and Vino & Ventures, a competition for women entrepreneurs to win seed funding and investor meetings.
Event goers will benefit from 15 learning tracks to support every facet of business development, including Technology, Entrepreneurship 101, Growth-Stage Entrepreneurship, Mobility, Music, Food-preneurship, Design/Art, Civic Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, IoT – Internet of Things, MedTech, FinTech, Place-Based Entrepreneurship, Retail Entrepreneurship and Youth Entrepreneurship.
“There is no other city like Detroit for starting and growing businesses,” said Jill Ford, special advisor to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the City of Detroit. “Our strong community of long time and early stage entrepreneurs, business support organizations, and initiatives such as the Detroit Startup Week provide a family of support for Detroit businesses at every stage of their development. Detroit Startup Week continues to be an extraordinary demonstration of the power of community collaboration.”
Ford is a member of the Detroit Startup Week’s volunteer advisory board, which is tasked with event strategy. Other members include:
- Regina Ann Campbell, Paul Riser and Marcus Harris (Techtown Detroit)
- Christina Christian (Techstars)
- Ted Serbinski and Lisa Seymour (Techstars Mobility)
- Devita Davison (FoodLabs Detroit)
- Robin Kinnie (Great Lakes Women’s Business Council)
- Christianne Sims (BUILD Institute)
- Joanna Dueweke (ProsperUS Detroit)
- Lashawna Manigault (LifeLine Consulting)
- Thomas Linn and Wendolyn Wrosch Richards (Miller Canfield)
- Aubrey Agee (Wayne State University)
- James Chapman (Rock Ventures)
- Jake L’Ecuyer, Kyle Bazzy and Monica Wheat (Detroit Startup Week)
The week will offer sessions aligned with the tracks, networking opportunities, concerts, and even free headshots and legal advice for entrepreneurs. Event headquarters will be at the historic Masonic Temple, known for the week as #ChaseBasecamp. Events will take place at many Detroit venues including Techtown Detroit, GEM Theater and other advisory board member locations.
This is all made possible by the generous support of title sponsor Chase for Business and event sponsors that include Quicken Loans/Rock Ventures, Google, Pixo Group, AMBR Detroit, and Parallel Ventures, with more sponsors joining daily.
“Techstars Startup Programs is an innovator in their field, launching not just Detroit’s event, but Startup Week programs across the country,” said Wheat. “The robust support from Chase for Business, together with the expertise and resources of 50+ other passionate and influential volunteer leads, will dial up the impact of this year’s Detroit Startup Week. We are humbled by all of our partners’ dedication to Detroit’s business community, and excited for another exhilarating, meaningful celebration of entrepreneurship through Detroit Startup Week 2017.”
Visit Detroit.StartupWeek.co beginning April 14 for free registration, information about funding opportunities, and event offerings. New sessions will be added to the lineup on a rolling basis. Keynote presenters and feature highlights will be announced as the event nears.