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Detroit residents work to engage the community with signs of hope, resurgence

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Detroit residents are hoping to breath new life into their communities, despite the city's filing for bankruptcy earlier this year. Neighborhoods are working to attract developers to rehab blighted buildings, create new jobs and assist would-be buyers and renters. Jeffrey Brown reports on the optimism driving their efforts.

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Detroit Soup out to reward good ideas

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Thanks to a bowl of soup, Detroit’s neighborhoods are finding their voice.

From Grandmont-Rosedale to downtown, Livernois Avenue to Brightmoor, Detroit residents are gathering over a meal to finance new businesses, nonprofits and artistic ventures that will benefit their slice of the city. It’s the latest evolution of Detroit Soup, a monthly micro-funding dinner that, now in its third year, has branched out to include smaller, quarterly events in about 10 neighborhoods.

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Where can young people buy a house for $500? Detroit

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Imagine buying a house for only $25,000 in your 20s or 30s. It may sound like a dream that ended in the 1970s, but it’s happening today; the only catch is that it’s happening in the city America gave up on, Detroit.

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Next wave: Entrepreneurs shaping new Michigan

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A century ago, plucky entrepreneurs armed with vision and a healthy appetite for risk laid the foundation for Michigan’s rich 20th-century economy.

Could history be repeating itself? Because a byproduct of the fall and rise of Detroit’s automakers — and the evolving pull they exert over the the state’s economic life — is a refreshing reprise of the entrepreneurialism evoked by names like Ford and Durant, Dow and Kellogg, Gerber and Olds.

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Pure Detroit featured in AmEx national campaign, launches Detroit Small Business Passport

If you haven't already, you might soon see a familiar brand featured in a national American Express Small Business Saturday/Shop Small campaign. Our very own Pure Detroit is one of five small businesses from across the country featured in a series of Shop Small videos from American Express. The campaign launched Nov. 4 and will run through the rest of the month.
 
The two-minute video highlights the three Pure Detroit shops and their employees, loyal customers, and the variety of cultural programming they host.
 
In this video Pure Detroit, which celebrates 15 years in business this year, announces the launch of their Detroit Small Business Passport, which encourages customers to shop at all of the other independent retailers throughout the city by receiving "Shop Small" stamps when they make a purchase at each of the 18-plus participating locations, unlocking various discounts and freebies. Passports are now available for pickup at each of Pure Detroit's locations in the Renaissance Center, Guardian Building, and Fisher Building and will be active and valid through Jan. 31, 2014.
 
Particpating passport retailers include Pure Detroit, Vera Jane, Stella Good Coffee, HUMAN, RUNdetroit, Cass Corridog, Nest, City Bird, Detroit Hardware, Source Booksellers, Emily’s Fashion Place, Todd’s Facets & Jewelry, Detroit Athletic Co., Workshop, Hugh, Nora, Detroit Gallery of Contemporary Crafts, and the Rowland Cafe. Each business is offering at least 10 percent off your purchase (terms vary per store).
 
Source: Ryan Hooper, Creative Director for Pure Detroit
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg 

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

Accelerate Michigan emphasizes diversity in new economy

Expect to hear the word diversity at this year’s Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.

Lauren Bigelow, executive director of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, says this year's keynote speaker (former Microsoft CIO Tony Scott) came to event organizers saying he wanted to speak about getting more diversity in the tech community and making it more inclusive.

"That really resonates in Detroit," Bigelow says.

Making the local new economy more inclusive isn’t just limited to Metro Detroit's traditional racial lines. Bigelow adds that it also means making it more welcoming to women, immigrants and businesses that aren't normally considered tech-oriented.

"That's the only way we can move Metro Detroit forward," Bigelow says. "We need the region as a whole. That means everybody. Not just educated white males."

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, a business plan competition, is an annual event that offers $1 million in prizes, including a top price of $500,000. The winners are tech startups that are either based in Michigan or looking to move to the Great Lakes State. Organizers boast that the competing teams also get access to executives, investors and local resources that the competition attracts.

The competition, now in its fourth year, moved to downtown Detroit last year. It will be held Nov. 12-14, primarily at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. For information, click here.

Source: Lauren Bigelow, executive director of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition
Writer: Jon Zemke

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

Trish's Garage helps college students fit into professional life

Ebony Rutherford remembers her first job out of college. It was a sales position in the corporate world that demanded a better wardrobe than the average student has in their closet. She ended up nearly breaking her bank account getting the right clothes for the job.

That experience inspired Rutherford to start Trish’s Garage, a consulting business that helps students and recent grads put together a professional look on a budget.

"I want to help college students who are making the transition from school to work without breaking the bank," says Rutherford, who is also a seamstress. Part of her business is consulting on the best clothing buys to make. The other part is providing them with some affordable options.

"So you can find a pieces to put together with your cool jeans or skirt," Rutherford says.

Rutherford has graduated from D:hive's BUILD program, which teaches business basics to aspiring entrepreneurs, and TechTown's Retail Boot Camp program this year. "They were my spark of joy," she says. "If their resources weren’t available to me my business wouldn’t be where it is right now."

The name Trish's Garage is play on t-shirts (which Rutherford loves) and the Motor City's heritage. "I took the word "shirts" and made it into a gird (Trish)," Rutherford says. She plans to open a retail outlet in Midtown or on the Avenue of Fashion (Livernois in Detroit’s University District neighborhood) early next year.

Source: Ebony Rutherford, founder of Trish’s Garage
Writer: Jon Zemke

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

Three Lessons On Placemaking

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Spend enough time around urbanists and you’re bound to end up talking about placemaking, which at its core is about improving public space and neighborhoods. Whether it’s repurposing a depopulated city’s old town square or turning an abandoned factory into a park, creating a sense of community through space is the main goal.

Under the Radar Michigan: Detroit

On this special episode of Under The Radar Michigan, we spend the entire show back in the Motor City. We’ll show you a flash mob that takes fine dining to a whole different place; why Shinola now means quality products made in Detroit; and, how the Legend of Lightshow Bob is lighting up the entire city. Plus we’ll eat some Dangerously Delicious Pies with Donny 'Doop' Duprie.

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Dinner and kickstart in Detroit

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Detroit recently filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history. The Motor City has come into hard times in recent years, but one group of residents refuses to see their city fall any further.

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A School That's Changing Lives Gets a Huge Surprise

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There's no denying the heart and passion of these two incredible educators. They are doing everything they can to help the children of Detroit. Ellen met them on her show and gave them something that is really going to help keep them going!

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An Eye On the Great Lakes State - 10 Great Things Happening in Michigan

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Here at RTC, November is all about Michigan.

This month, we'll be unearthing and celebrating the great trails, the new trails, the hard-workers and the leaders - all the energy behind trails, biking and walking across the state.

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Grand Circus aims to fuel Detroit's improbable dream

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Is Detroit really poised to be a technology hot spot, with hundreds of young brainiacs creating software apps in scores of start-up companies sprouting in and around Dan Gilbert’s downtown buildings?

Or is this merely a passing pipe dream, predicated on the romantic notion of impoverished Detroit as the ultimate urban underdog story, rising from chump to champ like Rocky Balboa of movie fame?

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Corporate power players coming to advise container hotel developer

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Imagine you’re a struggling Detroit entrepreneur and, all of a sudden, two dozen corporate giant management gurus in finance, design, marketing and production are gathered in one place to give you advice on your start-up.

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Detroit Labs moves into new office with 20 new hires

Walk into the new offices of Detroit Labs and there is a good chance your jaw will drop.

The mobile app firm recently moved into its new space at 1520 Woodward, a half block south of its first home in the [email protected] Building. The move is necessary because Detroit Labs CEO Paul Glomski says his firm was "bursting at the seams" in its old space after making 20 hires in its second year of business.

"We have essentially doubled in size," Glomski says. He adds the staff now stands at a little more than 40 employees and a handful of interns.

Detroit Labs creates custom mobile apps for some large corporations, including Domino’s Pizza, Chevrolet, Quicken Loans and DTE Energy. The 2-year-old tech firm is a part of the Quicken Loans family of companies and was one of the early investments made by Detroit Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm based in the [email protected] Building.

Detroit Labs was one of the first companies to move into the [email protected] when it opened two years ago. It recently moved into a bi-level office space in a building recently acquired by Rock Ventures, the property acquisition arm of Quicken Loans, and renovated by Bedrock Real Estate Services, the property management arm of Quicken Loans. The new space accentuates the historic building’s character with exposed steel structural beams, brick walls and period windows. It is also open with only a few walls and conference rooms. There are no individual offices so even the co-founders man desks next to everyday employees. The idea is to create an open and accessible workspace.

"It gave our whole team an energizing boost," Glomski says. "Having a creative space like this really fuels our team."

Source: Paul Glomski, co-founder & CEO of Detroit Labs
Writer: Jon Zemke

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