The Good life

In our quest to find the factors making start up ecosystems in Austin and Boulder thrive, I couldn’t help but notice how ‘quality of life’ kept on being mentioned by almost everyone we visited. Almost all the entrepreneurs who had moved to these areas said that the quality of life is what attracted them there.Which […]

Uptown Fun(k) in Boulder and Austin

Wow. Where to begin? This class has been such a blessing beyond words. If you have been a true follower throughout our blogging, you know that we have seen and experienced many different and wonderful areas of the startup world. Not to mention, the great cities that we have been able to explore! I have […]

How does Quality of Life Affect a Start-up Community?

A successful start-up community can be measured based on many factors. One of the factors of a thriving start-up community is the ability for that community to attract talented individuals to the area. Why do individuals locate in certain areas versus other areas? One explanation that I have gained from the course, Understanding Start-up Communities, […]


Scary Detroit? Nahh!

Many of us have had a conversation something like this: “I’m going to Detroit tomorrow.” “Well, don’t get shot.” The negative connotations with Detroit seem to stand over time, but the city natives are bringing the city back to life. A wonderful trip to Detroit yesterday allowed our group to start our explorations with a bang as we saw the future of Detroit in the runnings.

There are many flourishing start up accelerators/incubators/resources for entrepreneurs in the community of Detroit. I heard the same goal time after time, which is getting Detroit back up on its feet. The participants of Bizdom, Grand Circus, Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), TechTown, and Bamboo Detroit see the potential in the Detroiters to make the city thrive again. It is not only a sense of economic development, but community growth. Bringing different groups of people in the same space, working together for personal and city goals, developing relationships and experiencing life in a unique way. I believe that one of the greatest aspects of life is experience, and these companies give start ups an opportunity that could only be found once in a lifetime.

While, Dan Gilbert plays a key-role in many of the start up hubs, the entrepreneurs in the programs are being trained to grow financially to someday benefit the community in the same way. It is a chain-reaction that can eventually make the city “the place to be.”  I found it fascinating how similar all of the hubs were. The atmosphere is quite laid back for each, and there are multiple companies that use the spaces. This is such a brilliant idea because it gives a different perspective for those selling shoes versus those providing technology services. Business owners can get so accustomed to the way it has always been, and that is just how they run their business forever. Those involved in these start up communities are conditioned right away to work with all types of  people, thus creating a twist on the perception of the business world.

Another great aspect about this start up community is that it is just that–a community. These accelerators and spaces are not competing against each other (well, at least not that I can tell!). Each team speaks highly of the others in the same type of business. They work together because, as I stated earlier, they all want to see Detroit be the best that it can be. The hubs also have different target markets, which allows many different Detroit natives to have a chance at success. For instance, TechTown specializes in what they call a “Retail Bootcamp.” This enables folks in certain Detroit neighborhoods to work with TechTown to create the successful business they want in a specific location.

So, did I learn anything on this trip? Of course! I now understand what the class is about–I came in thinking that we were viewing specific start ups, but now I see that it is the community of start ups, and to me, that is even more important. I understand how these hubs work and how they can be beneficial for different companies. There are still many more areas to learn, so I am grateful that there are more trips to come. I will end with a quote, because they stick with me, and they wrap up writing quite nicely. So here is a quote I saw at Bizdom: “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshipped.” Something to take into consideration as I am an entrepreneur myself.



First Out of Town Trip: Detroit!

On Friday, February 13th we took our first trip out of the city to visit a new start up community. We made the two-hour, early drive to Detroit to visit a thriving start up community that is working to revive and revitalize the city of Detroit. The first business we visited was Bizdom. Bizdom is […]