Detroit Makes Pitch for Ousted Yahoo Employees

Valley to Detroit logo


Quicken Loans and two affiliated Detroit venture capital firms have issued a call for the roughly 2,000 Yahoo employees who received pink slips last week to move to the Motor City to bolster the blighted city's efforts at revitalization.

The companies claim that Detroit is experiencing a tech boom, pointing to Twitter's recent decision to open an office in Detroit, primarily to sell advertising to the automotive industry. Twitter will rent space in the M@dison Building, a converted theater that now bills itself as a tech incubator.

Josh Linkner, the CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, said there are 300 to 500 open tech jobs at Quicken Loans and other companies backed by his venture capital firm and Rockbridge Growth Equity, an equity firm run by Quicken CEO and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Detroit Venture partners has put up a website called Valley to Detroit to support its efforts to bring Yahoo talent to the Motor City.

Linkner said that demand for tech employees in Detroit currently outpaces supply. Denise Lidell, the CEO of High-Tech Professionals, a staffing company, agreed.

Linkner suggested that Detroit's latest effort to diversify its economy is in keeping with the city's history.

"A hundred years ago, Detroit was the Silicon Valley of the day. This is where people from all around the world, the best and the brightest, came to launch their entrepreneurial businesses and to build incredible technology of the day," he said.

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