Michigan is gaining ground as a hub for business owners. In our blogpost “Detroit Named No. 5 Fastest Growing Tech City in 2012”, we explained that motown has been exploding, with over 1,100 new tech jobs a day in 2012. It shows that Detroit is no one-trick-pony, and it’s finding a shift occurring from more traditional manufacturing to high-tech entrepreneurship.
One huge player in this paradigm shift is TechTown, a midtown-situated company whose focus is to “incubate and accelerate technology and innovation. We are engines of economic growth and catalysts of urban revitalization”. They were formed in 1999, sidling up next to Wayne State University in an attempt to foster innovation within the area and stimulate the Detroit economy. While their focus was on tech, they also supported lifestyle and retail companies, in order to keep their own bills paid.
Now they’re making a push to get back to that day-one ideology: growing tech companies from the startup, up.
So, what’s the plan for TechTown? A Crain’s Detroit article outlined several opportunities they are planning to implement, including a 2 year, $1 million grant to help build 15 new companies. And this is just the beginning. There’s a boot camp for students across the state who have a drive to start a tech-based company. There’s Labs Venture Accelerator, where entrepreneurs get coaching while they put in a huge time investment to work out the kinks of their marketing and business models. There will be free office hours by the newly appointed managing director of entrepreneurial programs, Charlie Moret, that can help budding startups network, and receive invaluable advice.
These opportunities are not only going to be beneficial to entrepreneurs pouring out of nearby colleges, but for the city itself. New is important for Detroit. Allowing the city to be flexible, and change with the rising tech tide, will help Detroit become not just a player, but a leader in tech innovations. Startups can mean new, fresh thinking, and more efficient methods. It’s for people not afraid to take a risk to introduce a product or service that could benefit the world, especially a world with such an increasing dependence on technology (as the incredible rise in cloud computing can attest to).
For more on Michigan’s trends in tech, check out these other articles:
Cloud Computing Supports Southeast Michigan Tech Job Growth
Michigan growing in Supply/Shipping Industry
Michigan’s Data Centers Contribute to State’s 4th Nationwide Ranking For Corporate Expansion