Revitalization & Business – Detroit SHIFT
I had the pleasure of attending an awesome event, Detroit SHIFT, held at Michigan’s Ross School of Business last week. The Revitalization & Business organization, comprised of Ross School of Business MBAs, hosted this two-day capstone conference featuring prominent industry and city leaders and entrepreneurial change agents. The conference examined how business issues contribute to Detroit’s progress and transformation through vibrant speakers, in-depth panel discussions, and an interactive, fast-faced IdeaLab co-hosted by Model D Media.
I left Detroit SHIFT extremely encouraged by the numerous initiatives sprouting up through the eyes and hands of young people throughout Detroit. I was so excited that I wanted to to share a recap with you, including the major points made by these change agents during their company presentations.
“The next big thing from Detroit is a million little things.”
Chief Creative Officer, Team Detroit
“The biggest marketing challenge Detroit has starts at 8 mile and goes to 25 mile. The secret to making cities work: get people from the suburbs to come into the city. Restore the natural city ecosystem.”
Goldman Properties, CEO
“When you have a community that has the depth of soul of this one, it’s up to you to find that soul and reinvent.”
“The key to any revitalization program is street life.”
“You only need two blocks to start to see a change in the neighborhood.”
Slows Bar-B-Q, Owner
Ponyride is a study to see how the foreclosure crisis can have a positive impact on our communities. Using an ‘all boats rise with the tide’ rent subsidy, we are able to provide cheap space for socially-conscious artists and entrepreneurs to work and share knowledge, resources and networks. We purchased a 30,000 square-foot warehouse for $100,000 and offer space for $0.10-$0.20 per square-foot, which includes the cost of utilities.
“I specifically am not made up to go to a traditional City and climb that ladder. And as you’re getting pooped on from above, you’re doing the same things to the people below you.”
“My ideas of what I thought Detroit would be in the future…now that I’m here, Detroit has taught me so much. Another reason I’m here is that there is a possibility for a different path forward.”
Nick Gorga & Ted Balowski
Hatch Detroit, Founders
Hatch is an organization seeking to help entrepreneurs in the city of Detroit through funding options, business services, education, and training.
“There’s no other better place to be an entrepreneur, a doer, than in Detroit.”
En Garde Detroit, Founder
En Garde! Detroit is a social enterprise which utilizes the transformative effects of fencing to better the community. Its core belief is that fencing is an effective youth development tool for at-risk youth based on documented and personal experiences.
“What is the responsibility that you have with the massive brain power that you are generating in your classes? How deep does the well go in challenging yourself?”
“Challenge yourself to see what you can do to affect human well being.”
A new program to attract and retain creative and entrepreneurial talent in Detroit.
“How do I pursue my passion…and the money will find me.”
The Empowerment Plan, Founder
The Empowerment Plan is a humanitarian project based in the city of Detroit. The plan centers around a coat that is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. The coat is made by a group of homeless women who have been paid to learn and to produce the coats for those living on the streets. The focus is on the system to create jobs for those that desire them and coats for those that need them at no cost. The importance is not with the product but with the people.
Kiva Detroit, Co-Founder
Kiva Detroit is the first Kiva City, a program where Kiva works with community organizations in the United States to provide local small businesses with microloans.
“Live. Lend. Lead.”