Detroit Startup Week™ Announces Marquee Speakers

Global initiative celebrates entrepreneurs in Detroit May 23-27 

Detroit Startup Week, powered by Chase, will feature over 100 events with 2,500+ participants expected over five days. Marquee speakers include: 
Detroit’s inaugural Startup Week™ will be the largest first-year event in the global brand’s six-year history.
“Our city is unlike any other, with both ingenuity and a welcoming spirit, brilliance and grit, and opportunities abound. Detroit Startup Week™ is designed to glue together those opportunities, celebrate what’s already working, and lay the groundwork for what’s to come,” said Kyle Bazzy, lead organizer. 

Detroit Startup Week, powered by Chase, celebrates and supports entrepreneurship in Detroit and beyond. All activities are free and startups, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts are all welcome to attend to amp up their business skills, networks, and knowledge of opportunities in Detroit and the region. Ten learning tracks will be offered to entrepreneurs at all levels: technology, entrepreneurship 101, mobility, music, food-preneurship, art+design, civic innovation, neighborhood collaboration, social entrepreneurship and the Internet of things (IoT). 

“Entrepreneurs are playing an invaluable role in Detroit’s comeback,” said Jennifer Piepszak, CEO of Chase Business Banking, whose firm has committed $100 million over five years to Detroit’s economic recovery. “Detroit Startup Week is a great opportunity to recognize small businesses’ importance to the city’s recovery and to ensure they gain access to the necessary resources to support and grow.”

"More than a century ago, Ford Motor Company was a startup business that applied innovative thinking and collaboration to get where it is today,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. "We are proud to support the next generation of entrepreneurs at Detroit Startup Week who embody that same spirit."  

Sessions aligned with the ten tracks, including fireside chats and panels, networking opportunities, happy hours and even free headshots for entrepreneurs will round out the week. Events will take place all over the city at venues that include Civilla, Grand Circus, Techtown, Bamboo Detroit and more. Event headquarters are at the historic Masonic Temple, known for the week as #ChaseBasecamp.

To learn more to register for Detroit Startup Week, visit 

Startup Week™brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together over five days to build momentum and opportunity around Detroit’s unique entrepreneurial identity. Detroit Startup Week is led by entrepreneurs and hosted in entrepreneurial spaces all over Detroit. Tracks include technology, entrepreneurship 101, mobility, music, food-preneurship, design/art, civic innovation, neighborhood collaboration, social entrepreneurship and the Internet of things (IoT). This Techstars initiative can be found in dozens of cities worldwide. Detroit Startup Week is powered by Chase and made possible by Ford Motor Company, Butzel Long, Microsoft, Liquor 43, Opportunity Detroit, Telemus, Social Enterprise Alliance Detroit, Billhighway, Solidea, Pixo Group, Detroit Regional Chamber and Verii. To learn more or register, go to
Photo: Crain's Detroit

Like many Rust Belt cities, Detroit has been slowly rebuilding from decades of neglect and the catastrophic recession in 2008 that nearly destroyed the city's auto industry, the lifeblood of its economy.

On top of that, the housing market crash that kicked off the recession hit Detroit the hardest, carrying the highest number of foreclosures nationwide during that period.

In spite of these setbacks, Detroit has been seeing a new kind of renaissance as of late. The Midtown region has been slowly revitalizing with new businesses and property prices returning to pre-2007 levels. Young adults just starting their careers or families have been flocking to the Motor City as new businesses move in to be a part of the city's cultural and economic revival.

"It's almost like a duty, if you're from Michigan, to move to Detroit now because it kind of needs us more than ever," Andrew Meftah, a media and information graduate moving into a place on 7 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue, said.

Aside from growing up in the metro Detroit area, Meftah's reasoning to settle in Detroit comes from his own interests in DJing and producing. Given Detroit's long history with electronic music and hip-hop, it only made sense that Meftah would want to be a part of that returning scene.

"A lot of the community of people that I produce for and DJ, you know they all live out in Detroit, so I personally, you know, it's a lot to always drive out from Lansing to Detroit," Meftah said. "I'd just like to be in the middle of all the action."

Younger residents have also been drawn to the city not just for its arts scene but also for more practical purposes such as new job opportunities or to continue their education at one of the nearby universities, Keller Williams realtor Hulya Erol-Garvett said.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

Kaitlyn and Ryan Lawless of  Corbé.

A ceramic artist fires a plate in an industrial kiln in her bright studio loft, overlooking a community garden and a row of hip bustling eateries. This isn’t New York City. It’s Michigan.

There are parallel timelines in the history of Detroit. The popular version that gave the metropolis its “Motor City “ moniker and ended in bankruptcy and desertion is just one side of the story. Tell me if you’ve heard this one: the booming auto industry propelled the population to a whopping 1.85 million at its peak in 1950, providing over 296,000 manufacturing jobs, only to leave Detroit a rust and scrap metal graveyard, dependent on government handouts.

Sit back, put on some rose-tinted glasses and a Diana Ross LP, and let me tell you another version.

While industrialization and prosper gave way to plant closures and government scandal, a culture rich with music and arts maintained a constant, unwavering influence in the city. Detroit is the home of Motown Records, the birthplace of techno, and a driving force in the early-80s punk scene. The Detroit Institute of the Arts and The Scarab Club are centenarian fixtures in the community, a defunct GM design lab now houses the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, and The Heidelberg Project celebrates its 30th year.

It’s been said that hardship and suffering are artist-making. That the emotional aftermath of trauma makes beautiful music, and art that hits you in the feels. If there’s truth to it, Detroit embodies the tortured artist. In the wake of its collective financial suffering, the city has taken comfort in a steady old friend: the arts.

And what are abandoned buildings if not blank canvases? Who better to revive a city, while preserving its bones and honoring its roots than the artists and the makers?

Former NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg, once told a group of business grads:

"Detroit is like New York City back in the ‘70s. When everybody had written us off, there were people who believed.

I believe. Detroit is one of my favorite cities, and home to some of my best memories. I have a knack for spotting the potential in fixer-uppers – the city is just another curbside armoire in need of a little paint and elbow grease. Blocks of empty structures are opportunities for lush urban gardens, and endless crumbling walls are a street-artist’s dream. I see what I want to see. And it’s good.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

8 Street Art Hot Spots In Detroit

The local Library Street Collective gallery hired artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his Obama campaign poster, to paint a mural on the side of Bedrock Detroit's One Campus Martius building, a downtown skyscraper. The 184-foot mural was Fairey’s largest to date when it was installed last May. “Shepard Fairey is an icon, so where he gets involved people pay attention,” says Anthony Curis, a partner and founder of Library Street Collective. “The mural he did here is part of the landscape now. You can look up and see it from Tiger Stadium, the Eastern Market—all different parts of the city.” 87 Monroe Avenue
Photo: Bedrock Detroit

Detroit has become a mecca for artists and entrepreneurs thanks to cheap real estate and plenty of space to bring creativity to life, so it’s no surprise that a flurry of new murals and public art projects are enlivening run-down corners downtown. Last fall a street art festival brought in talent from all over the world to add color to Detroit’s historic farmers’ market, and last spring Shepard Fairey peppered the city with murals when he was in town for an exhibition of his works. “The amount of public art that’s available just driving through the city has amassed to a critical level,” says Jesse Cory, founder of Innerstate Gallery. “We’ve reached a tipping point in 2016.” While all this new work is attracting attention and tourists, murals are nothing new for Detroit: It’s home to the 30-year-old Heidelberg Project, one of the oldest renegade art-for-urban-renewal initiatives in the country. Here’s where to experience Detroit’s street art boom.


The local Library Street Collective gallery hired artist Shepard Fairey, best known for his Obama campaign poster, to paint a mural on the side of Bedrock Detroit's One Campus Martius building, a downtown skyscraper. The 184-foot mural was Fairey’s largest to date when it was installed last May. “Shepard Fairey is an icon, so where he gets involved people pay attention,” says Anthony Curis, a partner and founder of Library Street Collective. “The mural he did here is part of the landscape now. You can look up and see it from Tiger Stadium, the Eastern Market—all different parts of the city.” 87 Monroe Avenue

In 2014 a large parking garage became an art attraction called the Z when Library Street Collective brought in 27 international street artists to add colorful murals along the glass stairwell and the walls of the ten-story structure. Park in the garage and head downstairs to the funhouse-style cocktail lounge, Punch Bowl Social, which occupies a 24,000-square-foot space on the ground floor and features games like pinball, skee ball, and bowling. 1234 Library Street


In 2014 a large parking garage became an art attraction called the Z when Library Street Collective brought in 27 international street artists to add colorful murals along the glass stairwell and the walls of the ten-story structure. Park in the garage and head downstairs to the funhouse-style cocktail lounge, Punch Bowl Social, which occupies a 24,000-square-foot space on the ground floor and features games like pinball, skee ball, and bowling. 1234 Library Street

Head to the Belt, a pedestrian alley and open-air gallery of sculpture and murals between the Z and the adjacent brick warehouses, for an incredible display. Openings at the Library Street Collective, where Shepard Fairey had an exhibition last May, spill out into the alley as well. The gallery commissioned some two dozen murals to fill the alley and has erected steel frames to show rotating exhibitions, with the intention of donating some of the work to the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Belt

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

'Shark Tank' Update: The Sharks' Sour Reaction to a Vinegar Company Now Tastes Sweet
Detroit's Jess Sanchez-McClary pitching her business, McClary Bros.
Photo: Shark Tank

Register to pitch your business at the Detroit Casting Call for ABC’s Shark Tank on May 16, 2016 with Brand Camp University at Grand Circus Detroit.

Values Partnerships is working with Shark Tank and our partners to support entrepreneurship and bring more diverse ideas and voices to the show.

On a first come, first serve basis, companies may be selected to pitch their businesses to the casting team from ABC’s Shark Tank.

Please note: Shark Tank occasionally features entrepreneurs who have a “good idea,” but the vast majority of entrepreneurs that appear on the show display market demand through user acquisition, sales, and/or intellectual property protection. We look forward to seeing you pitch your business.

This event is sponsored by Shark Tank, Grand Circus Detroit, Brand Camp University, and Values Partnerships.

Click HERE To Register!!! 
Colorful murals line The Belt alleyway, a public art space in downtown Detroit. 
Photo: Katie Hammel

Residents of Detroit — plagued with crime and blight for decades — have been waiting for it to become the “Renaissance City” that one of its nicknames heralds it to be since the 1980s

But it seems Detroit’s time has finally come, or at least, it’s on its way.

In recent years, the Michigan city’s been called “the new Brooklyn” enough to annoy residents of both areas, but with an influx of restaurants and creative cocktail bars that rival any in the U.S., and an art and design scene finally getting the attention it deserves, the comparison isn’t so far off.

For a look at the “new Detroit,” start in the city’s oldest neighborhood, Corktown. Once the home of the Detroit Tigers baseball stadium (it closed in 1999), the historic area is one of a growing number of hip micro-neighborhoods. Along cobblestoned Michigan Ave., within view of the city’s most iconic symbol of decay, the hulking remains of the Michigan Central Station, there are more than a half-dozen culinary hotspots where less than a decade ago, nearly all the buildings were boarded up.

Stop for a handcrafted cocktail at Two James (, the city’s first post-Prohibition distillery, or at the speakeasy-style Sugar House (, or get your caffeine fix at Astro Coffee (, which serves organic baked goods and coffee sourced from roasters around the country. Try Gold Cash Gold (, where Southern and Midwest dishes meet a farm-to-table sensibiity (think: keilbasa with apple and fennel saurekraut; pickle brine fried chicken with pepper gravy) housed in a former pawnshop. Or, head to the restaurant that kicked off the revitalization of the block, the always-packed Slows Bar BQ ( for slow-cooked pulled pork and St. Louis-style spareribs. Named the country’s best new restaurant by Bon Appetit in 2009, its quality and popularity haven’t diminished since. Slows has since opened a carryout location in the nearby Midtown area.

Midtown, once known as the Cass Corridor (and still designated that way by most Detroiters) is another neighborhood on the rise. While some boarded up buildings remain, the streets around the intersection of Cass Ave. and W. Canfield St. have been given a major facelift. Alongside old favorites like Motor City Brewing Works (, and Avalon International Breads (, there’s a new crop of restaurants, bars and boutiques making the area a walkable enteraintment district.

Click HERE To Read The Full Article! 

The lobby of the 1915 David Whitney building reflects the 
grandeur of times gone by. It was converted from medical offices 
into residences in 2015, a 
century after it was built. 
Photo: The Roxbury Group

The City of Detroit has had more than its share of big, bad headlines in the last few years, but the bigger news is that not only is the greater downtown area rising like a phoenix but that its renewal is, in large part, being fueled by the old. Iconic skyscrapers, along with bread-and-butter office and factory buildings, are being transformed into apartments, hotels, chic shops and entertainment venues that are bringing in a new generation of employers and reverse-commuting residents to the once downtrodden city.

These projects form the backdrop for a wider revival that includes a streetcar line, a bridge across the Detroit River to Windsor, Ontario, and a 44-block arena and entertainment district. “This is the dawn of Detroit’s next golden age,” declares developer David Di Rita, principal of The Roxbury Group, which was founded in 2005 and has been working in the city since then. The so-called Renaissance City is in the perfect place and perfect time for a revamping. The story, appropriately enough, starts and ends with architecture.

Founded in 1701 by the French trader Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, Detroit came into its prime as a mercantile center in the 19th century, and the Gilded Age structures it erected reflected its power and prowess. The oldest, 1895s United Way Community Services Building, soon was joined by an illustrious set that included Detroit Cornice and Slate (1897), the Romanesque Globe Tobacco Building (1888) and the Wright-Kay (1891).

The automobile-fueled building boom all but put them in the dust, adding a constellation of Art Deco and Neoclassical spectacular structures by the likes of Daniel Burnham, Albert Kahn, Louis Kamper and Smith Hinchman & Grylls that still define its mighty Midwest skyline.

Burnham’s Ford (1909), Dime Building (now Chrysler House) (1912) and David Whitney (1915) led the way for Kamper’s Book Cadillac Hotel (1924) and Book Tower (1926); Albert Kahn Associates’ Cadillac Place (1923) and Fisher Building (1928); Writ C. Rowland’s Gothic Revival Buhl Building (1925), Penobscot (1928) and Guardian (1929); and John M. Donaldson’s David Stott Building (1929). During the succeeding decades, other buildings by other architects rose, but, for the most part, they were eclipsed by these historic gems.

The city’s fortunes continued to rise and fall with those of the rest of the nation, and by the turn of the 21st century, the Motor City had sputtered to a halt. Unlike some other cities that scalped their skylines to modernize, Detroit pretty much left things alone simply because few were willing to invest in what was perceived as its bleak future.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

A  Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education
460 W. Baltimore in Detroit’s New Center Area
Free parking is available on both campuses with shuttle service to and from the Taubman Center

Opening Night: Friday, May 13

Open May 14-27 to public – Free
Saturday – Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday and Friday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Opening Night includes:
•       The Collectors’ Preview and Private Reception, beginning at 5:30 p.m., provides an exclusive opportunity to enjoy a VIP reception and browse and buy exceptional artwork before the doors open to the general public ($350 per ticket),
•       The General Exhibition and Opening Sale,  beginning at 7:00 p.m., for all general admission ticketholders ($50 per ticket)
•       Included in all ticket prices are food from local restaurants, wine and beer and entertainment from local musicians, event concludes at 10:00 p.m.

Get Your Tickets HERE!

Comerica Bank and Hatch Detroit announced the return of The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest. The 2016 contest will include an expanded benefits package for the $50,000 grand prize winner as well as additional support for entrepreneurs and Hatch Alumni. Comerica is more than doubling its commitment for the contest, investing more than $125,000 to help launch even more small business successes in Detroit and help ensure the success of current Hatch Alumni.

“Comerica is deeply rooted in the Detroit community and we recognize the important role small businesses are playing in the resurgence of the city,” said Linda Forte, senior vice president and chief diversity officer, Comerica Bank. “We are proud to be the flagship sponsor of this contest, which has sparked other small business contests and economic development in the region.”

The additional funds will be strategically allocated to enhance the contest and its alumni through marketing and public relations efforts as well as a series of business planning sessions hosted by Hatch Detroit in their targeted neighborhood revitalization areas of Hamtramck, Jefferson East, Grandmont Rosedale and the Avenue of Fashion. Four workshops are scheduled during the contest application period:

·         June 2 – Hamtramck
·         June 16 – Jefferson East
·         June 29 – Avenue of Fashion
·         July 7 – Grandmont Rosedale

The free workshops will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to work with established business owners to strengthen their business ideas, solidify their business plans and develop a contest application that will make a strong impression on the Detroit community.

Comerica Bank has also expanded its commitment for contest alumni. Comerica has contributed $25,000 to the Michigan Women’s Foundation to establish a micro-enterprise loan fund offered exclusively to Hatch Alumni to help them meet short-term funding challenges. Comerica and Hatch Detroit will also host a business planning workshop later this year tailored to Hatch Alumni to address challenges related to opening and operating a storefront.

The business competition seeks entrepreneurs with a retail concept to submit their business plans to establish a brick and mortar location in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck. Business applications will be accepted May 2 – July 15, 2016.

The winning business pitch will take home $50,000 from Comerica Bank, $25,000 in branding and logo design from global advertising agency Team Detroit, and a package of accounting, legal, IT, public relations, and counsel from Hatch Detroit and its partners.

“The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest is a catalyst of business competitions. Not only does it help the winning businesses to establish storefronts, but it introduces us to the area’s top entrepreneurs,” said Vittoria Katanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit. “All contest alumni are continuously encouraged and guided toward opening their doors. The 14 Hatch Alumni who have operating storefronts and 16 more operating as pop ups or opening soon, proves this contest is really revitalizing Detroit.”

Hatch Detroit has experienced tremendous success igniting small business growth since it launched the contest in 2011. Comerica Bank became the first flagship sponsor of the contest in 2012 and has provided $200,000 in prize money as well as public relations and marketing support to Hatch Detroit and the contest alumni. The contest has garnered 1,400 business submissions with a combined 300,000 public votes that helped crown Hugh, La Feria, Batch Brewing Company, Sister Pie and Live Cycle Delight as contest winners, and helped push the doors open for numerous contest alumni including the Detroit Institute of Bagels, Detroit Vegan Soul and Busted in Detroit.

Click HERE To Submit A Business Plan!

It’s Time to Vote!

It's now time to decide which of the 30 Regional Winners will be the Comcast Business I4E Grand Prize Winners!

Public voting is now open and will be through May 13, 2016. Cast your vote to help determine which six will win an additional $20,000 and a special trip to Philadelphia– where they will meet with Business Innovation Experts to discuss how to put their technology plan into action!

Vote Now!

You can vote one time per day in each category (Startup/Entrepreneur).

Grand Prize Winners

From the 30 regional winners, six will be named as GRAND PRIZE Winners and will receive an additional $20,000 cash award…plus:

  • A chance to get advice from business innovation experts at our I4E specially-designed day long event to discuss the future of their business
  • Hear the latest techniques on managing financials, growth strategies, operations, marketing and business planning to set their business up for success and growth
  • An all-expenses paid trip to Comcast Headquarters in Philadelphia – a renowned entrepreneurial city! Check out these interesting facts about Philadelphia.
  • The total value of cash and prizes is up to $34,000!

I4E Grand Prize Event

Grand Prize Winners will spend a day meeting and brainstorming with business experts about how to grow their business. Past winners call this opportunity “life changing” and “unparalleled.”

The business experts currently include:  Anita Campbell, Founder, CEO & Publisher of Small Business Trends;  Danielle Cohn, Senior Director, Entrepreneurial Engagement, Comcast;  Denice Hasty, Senior Vice President, Product and Marketing, Comcast Business;  Robert Irvine restaurateur, TV star and entrepreneur;  John Jantsch, Marketing Consultant, speaker and best-selling author;  Jon Kaplowitz, Vice President, Business Development and Strategy, Comcast;  Bob Maiden, Startup & SMB Consultant;  Brian Meece, CEO, RocketHub;  Kevin O’Toole, Senior Vice President and General Manager, New Business Solutions;  Chuck Sacco, MBA, Assistant Dean, Charles D. Close Close School of Entrepreneurship;  Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer at Comcast;  Walker Tompkins, Financial Services Executive;  Louis Toth, Managing Director, Comcast Ventures;  Bob Victor, Chief Financial Officer, Comcast Business;  Orly Zeewy, Brand Architect.

Post is a paid sponsorship for Comcast Business.