Business giants offer expertise and opportunities at Detroit Startup Week

Detroit Startup Week kicks off Monday, May 22 in downtown Detroit, offering entrepreneurs and hopefuls access to business influencers including JP Morgan Chase, Google, NextEnergy, Comcast, Quicken Loans, and more. The weeklong event, hosted by Techstars and powered by Chase for Business, is completely free and offers the chance to learn, network and grow through programming, funding opportunities, and access to powerful business influencers.

The opening session, sponsored by Chase for Business, will occur 9:00 a.m. on Monday, May 22 at Detroit’s historic Masonic Temple, which serves as Chase Basecamp for the week. Jill Ford, head of innovation and entrepreneurship for the City of Detroit, will give a “State of Detroit Entrepreneurship” address.  Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) will then deliver a “State of Michigan Entrepreneurship” address, followed by opening remarks from Chase and other corporate leads.

“Startups are driving economic growth and creating millions of new jobs across the country every year,” said Senator Gary Peters. “Detroit’s innovators are helping Michigan become the startup capital of the Midwest. I’m proud to support our local entrepreneurs by working to ensure they have access to the capital and resources they need to launch their businesses and succeed.”

Senator Peters will join NextEnergy President and CEO Jean Redfield and Paul Hemmersbaugh of General Motors for a mobility fireside chat on Monday, May 22 at 11:00 a.m. The panel will discuss what role startups play in future of mobility, how policy must develop with this new industry, and how mobility solutions affect business models and communities.

“Startups are already making a sizeable impact on the future of mobility,” said Jean Redfield, president and CEO of NextEnergy. “With mobility solution revenue expected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, large companies continue to look to these innovators as partners to demonstrate and prove out emerging technologies. Detroit Startup Week will showcase the role startups play in Michigan’s booming mobility industry.”

The week is packed full of sessions from 16 learning tracks for entrepreneurs of every type and stage, funding opportunities, access to mentors, and a healthy amount of plain old fun as Detroit entrepreneurship is celebrated. Valuable offerings are abundant, and include:

Keynote addresses by Google leadership, and Google programming

  • Chris Genteel, head of business inclusion for Google, will deliver the keynote “Tech Opportunities for Everyone” on Wednesday, May 24 at 1:00 p.m., Masonic Temple.
  • Seth Romaine, director of global deals for Google, will deliver the keynote “Future Proof Your Business” on Wednesday, May 24 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Office Hours for Google Products, Wednesday, May 24, noon to 2:00 p.m. at Grand Circus’ Small Business Resource Fair.
  • Google sessions including Growth Marketing for Startups, Google 101, Developing Your Company’s Cloud Strategy, Google my Business – Adwords, and Develop Your Personal Brand.

Q-Line & MoGo: Detroit’s Newest Mobility Options, Wednesday, May 24 at 9:00 a.m.

Moderated by NextEnergy, Detroit Startup Week’s mobility track captain, this session offers leaders from M-1 Rail and MoGo to discuss new eco-friendly mobility options and how entrepreneurs can get involved. Attendees can win free MoGo day pass and Q-Line passes.

The Power of the Network, presented by Chase for Business, Tuesday, May 23 at 11:00 a.m.

Learn from one of Techstars most engaging networking experts, John Hill. As former higher education evangelist for LinkedIN, Hill knows a thing or two about building relationships and connecting people. Attendees will learn LinkedIN hacks to create amazing connections.

Five Obvious, yet Overlooked Ways to Increase Revenue, Wednesday, May 24 at 2:00 p.m.

According to 2016 research performed by Techstars and Chase for Business, while diversity is important to 72 percent of founders, only 10 percent are taking action, and only 23 percent believe diversity improves financial performance. This session will offer five ways to leverage diversity for increased revenue.

Startup Next Detroit 2.0: Startup Boost Launch, Wednesday, May 24 at 10:00 a.m.

In 2016 Startup Next, the number one pre-accelerator in the world, launched in Detroit with resounding success. This year it is returning as Startup Boost to prepare startups for accelerators and seed investment through high quality mentorships and access to a global network of investors. Startup Boost is comprised of the top seven performing Startup Next cities (Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Toronto, London and Dublin). This session will introduce the 2017-2018 Startup Boost plans and application process, and present success stories from the inaugural 2016 program.

Power Scale investor and entrepreneur recruitment, sponsored by Comcast

Power Scale is a quarterly, reverse Shark Tank-style program sponsored by Comcast where investors will pitch themselves to be allies to metro Detroit startups. Entrepreneurs will win funding, mentorship, investor meetings, professional service packages, and much more. Recruiting will occur throughout the week. Sign up at the M-1 lounge on Masonic Temple’s second floor.

Small Business Legal Academy, multiple events throughout week

Miller Canfield will offer free legal help to new and future business owners through the third annual Small Business Legal Academy (SBLA). Ahead of Detroit Startup Week, SBLA will offer a panel of attorneys for a Q&A session with business owners on Saturday, May 20 at 9:00 a.m. Additionally, SBLA will host free legal clinics that will include 30-60 minute meetings between pre-registered entrepreneurs and lawyers matched to their individual needs. Clinics will take place Wednesday, May 24, 9:00 a.m. – noon and Thursday, May 25, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Preregister at

This year’s Detroit Startup Week has expanded to include 16 learning tracks that support every facet of business development. Tracks are Technology, Entrepreneurship 101, Growth-Stage Entrepreneurship, Mobility, Music, Food-preneurship, Design/Art, Civic Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, IoT – Internet of Things, MedTech, FinTech, Women Entrepreneurship, Place-Based Entrepreneurship, Retail Entrepreneurship and Youth Entrepreneurship.

“This is a celebration and opportunity like no other,” said Monica Wheat, lead planner for Detroit Startup Week and founder of Parallel Ventures. “We have the energy and enthusiasm of tech, the determination of long-time Detroit businesses, and some of the most influential business leaders in the world convening to celebrate and support Detroit entrepreneurship. Our aim is high, and our impact will be great.”

Detroit Startup Week is powered by Chase for Business, and supported by many other generous sponsors. Bob Rummel, business banking market manager for the Midwest for JPMorgan Chase, shares, “Chase for Business is excited to sponsor Detroit Startup Week for the second consecutive year because entrepreneurs, especially minority-owned small businesses, are critical drivers of job creation and economic opportunity in Detroit. We hope JPMorgan’s Chase’s $150 million investment in Detroit’s economic recovery, as well as Chase for Business’ ongoing commitment to the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, fosters growth and development citywide.”

Detroit Startup Week occurs May 22 – 26, 2017 with headquarters at Detroit’s historic Masonic Temple. A full list of events and free registration can be found at  


From the Web