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Detroit Development Fund lands $10M for small business lending throughout the city

The Detroit Development Fund recently landed $10 million in new funding that will allow it to make loans to more small businesses throughout Detroit.

The downtown-based nonprofit makes loans to small businesses, developers, and entrepreneurs in Detroit and has invested in excess of $27 million to 214 recipients. Of those, 64 percent are minority-owned ventures and 49 percent are owned by women. The fund currently has $23 million under its management.

This summer, the Detroit Development Fund received $10 million in new funding -- $5 million from Goldman Sachs and $5 million from Huntington Bank. The Goldman Sachs money will be loaned to in increments of $100,000 to $250,000. The Huntington Bank money will be used to launch the Detroit Microloan Collaborative, which will make loans ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

"We're trying to deploy as much as we can with a focus on minority-owned businesses in the city, not just downtown," says Ray Waters, president of the Detroit Development Fund.

The Detroit Development Fund launched in 2002 under a different name. It rebranded in 2010 and has grown its staff since then. The nonprofit currently employs seven people after hiring a loan administrator and a credit analyst over the last year. It is currently in the process of hiring a new lending officer.

Source: Ray Waters, president of the Detroit Development Fund
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Brightmoor residents to open food co-op and community kitchen

Despite the many urban farmers, gardeners, bakers, and makers living in Brightmoor, the northwest Detroit neighborhood lacks a community kitchen. State law requires that many food products be produced in commercial kitchens, thus prohibiting many would-be food entrepreneurs in Brightmoor from selling home-made products at market.

To address this, a group of Brightmoor residents has organized to open a commercial kitchen in their neighborhood, one that will pump up that area's food economy through a co-operative model. It's called the Brightmoor Artisan's Cooperative and Community Kitchen, and if all goes right, they'll have opened their doors by April 2015.

After a number of conversations, members of the community identified the need for access to a commercial kitchen and decided earlier this year to purchase a building. After a successful a crowdfunding campaign, the group purchased the building at 22739 Fenkell Street, a 7,000 sq. ft. building split into three storefronts, at a price of $18,000 in the recent Wayne County foreclosure auction.

The group says that the building's previous owner -- a man who owns the liquor store next door -- is contesting the auction, though the co-op is confident enough in the sale to move ahead with their plans.

"Brightmoor has seen some tough times, but things have been improving in the past half decade," says Nicky Marcot, chairperson of Brightmoor Artisan's Cooperative and Community Kitchen. "The kitchen might bring businesses back to the Fenkell corridor and help create a vibrant and stable commercial district. This could be a catalyst."

In addition to the commercial kitchen facilities, the group plans on utilizing storefront space for a cafe or restaurant and a store where local food makers can sell their products. Classes for adults and children are also planned.

Source: Nicky Marcot, chairperson of Brightmoor Artisan's Cooperative and Community Kitchen
Writer: MJ Galbraith

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Inventev scores win at Accelerate Michigan hybrid truck technology

Inventev scored a win at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition earlier this month, adding $25,000 in seed capital to its current fundraising efforts.

"It will really help us with analytics so we can continue to match our product to customer needs," says Dave Stenson, founder & CEO of Inventev. "It will also help us with raising financing."

The TechTown-based startup is aiming to raise $5 million to bring its automotive hybrid technology to market. The company is looking to raise two tranches of money, and Stenson expects to close on the first $1.5 million in the first quarter of next year.
Inventev is developing a hybrid-electric system for commercial trucks. The technology is a new transmission architecture that allows electric machines to operate other aspects of the trucks, such as the hydraulic lift. That way the trucks' diesel engines don't need to idle while they dump their loads. The truck would also generate its own electricity so workers could use it as a generator.

"This isn't just a work truck," Stenson says. "This is a truck that is a job-site tool."

That technology won the Advanced Transportation category of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, which comes with $25,000 in seed capital. Inventev’s team of five people used the event to sharpen the startup’s business plan and help move the company toward its fundraising goal.

"It's a top-shelf event that is becoming even more well-known and respected in and outside of the state," Stenson says.

Source: Dave Stenson, founder & CEO of Inventev
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

D:hive design director launches own firm, Good Done Daily


You could say Andy Kopietz is a victim of his own success.

Kopietz has been working as a designer in Detroit for the last several years, most recently as the design director for D:hive, an organization serving as a welcome and help center for all things Detroit. Earlier this fall, D:hive announced it was splitting into two different organizations, which meant neither one could afford its own design person.

"I'm kind of designing my way out of a job," Kopietz says. "I have been a designer for 10 years, and I felt it was a good time to make a change."

That change was founding his own design company, Good Done Daily. The boutique graphic design firm is working with a number of local organizations, including the New Economy Initiative, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Midtown Detroit Inc. (the branding work for Dlectricity), and the Hudson-Webber Foundation.

"It's been very challenging because I have a full-time design job (the D:hive split doesn't take place until January) and I have a full-time business," Kopietz says. "I have been trying to straddle that line the best way I can."

He wants to grow Good Done Daily into a business with an employee or two next year. He also wants to open a Good Done Daily studio.

"I have started to look at office space in the Jefferson-Chalmers area," Kopietz says.

Source: Andy Kopietz, principal of Good Done Daily
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Minority Business Access Fund aims to lend $100M to Detroit small biz

Minority business owners in Detroit are getting a new pool of money to dip into, and it's a big one.

The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council is launching the Minority Business Access Fund, a $100 million loan vehicle offering liquidity assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses. That could mean everything from multi-million dollar automotive suppliers to family owned businesses.

"We hope this will be a great value to the businesses in the neighborhoods of Detroit," says Louis Green, president of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

The Minority Business Access Fund will offer up to $100 million annually to local minority-owned firms. That could be ten $10 million loans or 1,000 $100,000 loans. Green expects to make 75 to 100 loans in the first year.

The Minority Business Access Fund is meant to address the cash-flow needs of minority-owned businesses. Small businesses often find themselves in a cash crunch to meet things like payroll because of hiccups in payments from customers. Minority-owned firms have traditionally been underserved by traditional lending institutions, and this fund is meant to help bridge that gap. Although the fund is sponsored by a council focused on helping minority-owned automotive suppliers, the fund will be open to all comers of color.

"It's open to folks in lots of industries," Green says. "We're talking to folks in healthcare and folks who are working on the M-1 Rail. We're talking to a lot of folks."

Source: Louis Green, president of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

As startup scene grows, Detroit faces new challenges

Excerpt:

Internet memes typically don’t reflect complex urban issues or hint at long-running race and socioeconomic issues. Yet, upon glancing at the White Detroit Entrepreneurial Guy meme, a viewer can tell. It’s a response to often misguided public giddiness over “revitalizing Detroit.”

Read more.

 

The D (VIDEO)

Excerpt:

With an energy and vitality that are hard to resist, Detroit is America’s great comeback city. In recent years, billions have been invested into revitalizing downtown Detroit. A transformed riverfront, bustling nightlife, diverse dining, championship sports teams and a packed lineup of festivals and events make metro Detroit an exciting destination. The newly remodeled and renovated Cobo Center has been transformed into a world-class convention and meeting center. Throughout the $279 million renovation, Cobo has been operating at 100 percent capacity and is ready to host your convention. Be a part America's great comeback city.

Check out the video here.

 

Artists adorn new pub in Detroit with large 'world-class' murals

Excerpt:

A vacant two-story building in Midtown is undergoing a radical transformation with artfully crafted murals and an award-winning pub and entertainment spot that will serve 130 beers on tap.

Read more.

 

Why Whole Foods is moving into one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago

With the announcement of Whole Foods planning to open a store in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, one of the poorest in the city, the conversation once again turns towards the opening of the Whole Foods in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood last year, including the criticisms it was met with and how, in the span of 14 months, the store had already reached its 10-year sales goal. 

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Meet the Detroit Couple Giving New Life to Salvaged Lumber

Excerpt:

Meet Mutual Adoration—the power couple behind one of Detroit’s coolest furniture design studios. Wayne and Clare run a design house and experimental craft workshop in their hometown, building furniture from reclaimed materials. With degrees and hands-on experience in seemingly every art and craft, from photography to printmaking to woodworking and lithography, this pair have combined their powers to create truly unique pieces. They currently sell their custom wares regionally—and on Etsy.

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Kresge announces $5M initiative for Detroit projects

Excerpt:

The Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit is the three-year program that will provide nonprofits between $50,000 and $150,000 for up to 10 projects that can be completed in 18 months. Smaller planning grants will be awarded to organizations with promising ideas, Kresge officials said.

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Detroit's New Economy Initiative Announces 30 Small Business Winners For NEIdeas $10K Challenge

Excerpt:

New Economy Initiative (NEI), a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), announced the 30 small businesses from across Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park that were selected to win the $10k challenge for the first-ever NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth. The 30 winning businesses each received a $10,000 award for a total of $300,000 at a private awards celebration on Oct. 27.

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2015 Kresge Artist Fellowships application cycle is open

Excerpt:

Emerging and established metropolitan Detroit Literary and Visual artists are invited to apply for a $25,000 Kresge Artist Fellowship. Fellowships are funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by the Kresge Arts in Detroit office at the College for Creative Studies, with professional practice opportunities for the selected fellows provided by Creative Many Michigan.

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The 3 Biggest Surprises of Living in Detroit

Excerpt:

Detroit is still admittedly a tough place. Those who choose to be here grasp life at its deepest level. And the energy Detroit has isn't something you can pinpoint. If you go around looking for it, you won't find it because you can't really see it. The people here are rooted in something spiritual that renders the challenges of the built environment less material.

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Detroit bankruptcy plan approved as fair and feasible

Excerpt:

Judge Steven Rhodes on Friday approved Detroit's plan to get out of bankruptcy, ending the largest public filing in U.S. history and launching the city into a turnaround that will require discipline after years of corruption, budget-busting debt and an exodus of residents.

Read more.

 
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