Detroit resurgent? VentureBeat is coming to the Motor City in September

A month ago I wrote a snarky column about Detroit, the site of the first satellite location for the U.S. Patent office in its 200-year history.

The response was huge, and the response was immediate: Detroit is alive, Detroit is resurgent, and Detroit is kicking ass. And among them was an invitation … to come and see for ourselves.

“There are an enormous number of myths about Detroit,” said Josh Linkner, a venture capitalist at Detroit Venture Partners. “It’s really good to be here,” said Bill Emerson, the chief executive of Quicken Loans, the largest online loan company in the U.S.

So we’re coming. And we’re going to see.

VentureBeat will be in Detroit on Sept. 11-14, and we want to see all the cool startups. A sign-up form is at the bottom of this post. Tell us what you’re doing, why it’s cool, and why we should chat with you.

What we’re hearing right now is that downtown Detroit is nothing like the news stories and gloomy photo galleries that get so much national attention. That Detroit is vibrant, growing, and alive.

“We wanted to help rebuild Detroit through entrepreneurship,” says Linkner. “But it goes much father than just a social imperative — Detroit is a great place to be a technology entrepreneur.”

Detroit’s costs are very low he says, about one-third those at Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley. Engineers are 50 percent cheaper, and with the University of Michigan and Michigan State nearby, the region has big supply of talent. That’s important, since Detroit Venture Partners runs an accelerator in the newly renovated M@dison building.

“When we launched in 2010,” Linkner told me, “there were zero venture funds. Today there are 12 to 15 funds.”

Detroit Venture Partners is the most active with 15 investments so far, all in technology.

Click HERE to read the full article by John Koetsier on VentureBeat!


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