In 1999,Wayne State University, under the leadership of then-president Irvin D. Reid, identified an unmet need for a special kind of business accelerator and incubator – one that could bring the university’s extensive pool of research expertise, business insight and student talent to bear on diversifying the city’s economy, fostering spin-outs and serving local technology businesses. The university, in partnership with General Motors and the Henry Ford Health System, incorporated TechTown Detroit in 2000. This concept quickly grew to such an extent that it needed a new home.
In 2004, TechTown opened its doors to a 135,000 square foot facility in a landmark 1927 Albert Kahn building, contributed by General Motors. The building now houses the organization, its incubating enterprises and other forward-looking Detroit businesses.
Today, TechTown itself is a dynamic place where talent, technologies and capital converge. Its recently renovated first floor catalyzes entire communities of startups across the retail, wholesale and technology sectors, continuously hosting business acceleration, incubation, co-working and events.