Chris Lum is a DTX Launch Detroit 2016 graduate. During his time in the program, Chris gained firsthand insight on what it takes to launch a successful tech- based business. At the conclusion of the program, Chris opted to join an existing startup to gain more experience. The inaugural awardee of the DTX Career Experience…
Iyinoluwa Omishope is a DTX Launch Detroit standout, named 2016’s Most Valuable Player. But in many ways, she is also a very typical DTX Launch student. She came to an info session, joined a team, refined a compelling concept and, with her teammates, gave a great pitch for ESAP, an energy storage company. Then, after…
Art in Motion is a ceramic studio and gallery located on Detroit’s famous Avenue of Fashion. After participating in Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s REVOLVE Detroit program, which matched businesses with empty storefronts, owner Marlynne Kay Willingham became one of TechTown’s first SWOT City clients, where she gained the resources needed to further grow and sustain…
EnBiologics is the perfect example of a pivot. The three Wayne State University biomedical engineering graduate students who make up the team– Gregory Apers, Sean Carrol and Ramy Habib–began exploring their idea for a medical hydrogel for human burn treatment last summer in the DTX Launch Detroit student accelerator. After developing their business model, conducting customer discovery and defining their value proposition, they recognized that the road to FDA approval—and thus to profit– was very long. Less so, though, for a veterinary product. So now, the trio is refining HoneyCure—the first scientifically proven, honey-based, all-natural veterinary wound care product. As winners of the On the Mark award at the DTX Launch 2015 showcase, EnBiologics was awarded a spot in the TechTown Business Incubator, where they continue to move HoneyCure forward.They are focusing on the equine market to start, as further customer discovery has revealed this market holds the most initial promise.
Who founded EnBiologics and why?
Ramy: Sean and I had a part in it. A year ago we did a medical class for engineers and as part of it, Sean would do observations for surgeries. One of the observations was at a hospital where there was a burn patient.
Sean: We had to do dressing changes in the ICU, and it was archaic to say the least as to how they were doing the dressing changes. Most of those dressing changes were based on 1950s technology.
What led you from this to veterinary care?
Ramy: The human track to approval is painful. We have to go through a lot of clinical trials, FDA approvals, we have to file a lot of applications, and doing that with federal bureaucracy can take almost four years.
Sean: It can take seven years at its most painful.
Ramy: And as a small company, we won’t be able to withstand it with no revenue coming in. And we’re fresh out of college so we have debt.
Sean: It costs a couple million dollars to do, and we don’t have that kind of money lying around.
Gregory: Also, with the veterinary track, there aren’t nearly as many regulations. While you still have to communicate with the FDA, it’s less about getting approved and more about acknowledging that we exist.
Where do you plan on taking this venture?
Sean: We have been going to events in the local area to market the product and build a following. We’re building research data behind our product and are actively making a brand for ourselves. HoneyCure will be the first natural brand backed by scientific research and made available on a large scale. As we get research and sales results back, it will help us move forward in the veterinary markets and plan for how we expand further and whether we expand back into the human markets.
Gary Wozniak founded RecoveryPark Farms (RPF) in 2013 to grow specialty produce on vacant Detroit land. Gary was raised in a farming community, and during his early 20s he struggled with drug abuse and ultimately served time in prison. In 1987 he became clean and sober and graduated from Self-Help Addiction Rehabilitation (SHAR) Inc., a…
Why did you choose popcorn? I was looking to open a soul food restaurant, and as I was prepping to do that, I went to Chicago for another business, and that’s when I came across Garrett’s Popcorn. So I look at the line for Garrett’s, and it’s wrapped around the building. My friend and I…
In the summer of 2014, the City of Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department faced widespread scrutiny after shutting off water to more than 20,000 residential customers unable to pay their water bills. Abess Makki wanted to help the City counter the negative attention while providing residents with tools to better manage water usage and costs.…
Aisha Warren believes fashion is her calling. Her business is Posh Fashions, a women’s boutique on East Jefferson. A TechTown SWOT City client, Aisha celebrated the grand opening of Posh Fashions on May 6. Aisha began her career with the national chain Dots, serving as a store manager for over 21 years and learning about…
Like many entrepreneurs, Jason Wolfe-Greer’s startup idea stemmed from personal experience.Training to be an RN while caring for his fiancee’s grandfather in hospice, Wolfe-Greer recognized that stressed and overworked family caregivers need a break. So he developed Care PRN, an app that matches caregivers with qualified respite providers. Greer’s journey with CarePRN is a true…
Mandisa Smith of Detroit Fiber Works is a Detroit native artist whose vision has brought an incredible corps of local artists together under one roof. DFW hosts classes, exhibitions, and events on top of being a working studio and boutique within the University District on Livernois. We chatted with Smith about her involvement with SWOTCity…
Love. Travels. Imports. is making great strides in the city by connecting Detroiters to amazing, handmade pieces created by fair trade artisans from around the world. Founded by Yvette Jenkins in 2013, the shop has operated as a pop-up and online marketplace, spending time most recently in the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood at the Grand River WorkPlace…
by Ned Staebler It’s been a busy two months since I became CEO of TechTown, succeeding the indomitable Leslie Lynn Smith. And in this time, there is one refrain I have heard more than any other: “Are you crazy?” Not because this isn’t a great gig, mind you. But because it is a demanding position,…
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By Joanna Dueweke Day One Immediately as the event began on Friday afternoon, TechTown was filled with the hum of excited developers, designers, healthcare professionals, business-minds, and volunteers. They were all gathered in this place, together, because they are believers in making a difference in human lives. Hacking Health is a Canadian-born event that brings…
During the pitches on the first night of Hacking Health – Windsor Detroit, a silence and awe fell over the room when several high school girls took to the microphone and delivered a well-honed one minute pitch. They talked about a need to track their mental health as teens in order to better communicate with…
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Last month, Paul Riser represented TechTown in a Detroit Delegation for the Tunisia Investment and Entrepreneurship Conference in Tunis, Tunisia. As one might imagine, he’s been hearing a lot of the same questions since his return, so we thought we’d organize his thoughts into a overview of the trip coupled with a brief interlude on what…
by Joanna Dueweke Do you want to make an impact on today’s healthcare challenges? Perhaps you want to put your innovative ideas to good use, or you want to witness what happens when people truly collaborate. The “Hacking Health” Hackathon event is unique in so many ways, it’s an opportunity to bring together IT and…
However, when we spend our time doing work that brings us deep and abiding satisfaction, we will do it longer and better. The lines between work and play will blur, and the life we build will be the best one we can imagine.
Pat and Joe recently graduated from the DTX Launch Detroit program — a 10-week program geared toward college students and recent grads looking to work on a tech entrepreneurial idea. Read about their experience in the program and learn a very valuable camping tip!
Darlene, founder and owner of Just a Bit Eclectic, a TechTown Detroit SWOT City client company in Grandmont Rosedale, explains what her company does and tells entrepreneurs why they should “Do you.”
TechTown’s SWOT City team has been working to help open the Fenkell Street Market in Brightmoor, and now the market needs vendors! If you’re interested in selling goods at the market, print out this application, fill it out and turn it into the Brightmoor Community Center at 14451 Burt Rd, Detroit, MI 48223. The market will open every…
Dave Stenson, founder and CEO of Inventev, currently an incubation company with TechTown, explains what his company does and imparts his best advice.
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Thriving economies will carry innovation from city cores to neighborhoods By Leslie Lynn Smith, president and CEO, TechTown Detroit Albert Einstein described insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It’s my general observation that those of us engaged in urban economic development strategies suffer bouts of insanity…
Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) is an annual awards program created by six founding organizations to recognize the importance of successful small businesses across the state of Michigan MCSB honors those businesses, whether second stage or recently launched, and their supporters who greatly contribute to the overall growth of Michigan’s economy. On Tuesday, May 6,…
In short, he painted a picture of the Detroit we all imagine. A Detroit for all people: old and young, black and white, American and foreign-born. A Detroit where we live in fellowship and community, supporting one another. One Detroit. Our Detroit.
Love Travels Imports is a Detroit-based social enterprise that connects fair-trade and local artisans to the Metro Detroit community. Founder Yvette Jenkins graduated from TechTown’s Retail Boot Camp in November 2013.
While I can’t speak directly for our Living Cities peers, I can speak to my observations and the data we’re tracking in Detroit. Gentrification isn’t our problem. Access, opportunity and scale are our challenges.
SIB Medical Technologies is developing a safe, simple and convenient stool sample collection device. The company graduated from our summer 2013 DTX Launch Detroit program.
Over the past two days at the NBIA Annual Summit for Advanced Incubation Professionals, we’ve been talking about talent and how our failure to collectively address the growing talent gap puts our ability to create sustainable, wealth-creating companies at risk.
So what do we do?
Treats by Angelique is a specialty dessert shoppe that graduated from TechTown’s fall 2013 Blocks Retail Boot Camp.
I have no doubt in my mind that 2014 is going to be our best year ever! As I look back at the things we accomplished in 2013, I think you’ll agree.
SOUP Spoon is a student team from the University of Detroit Mercy that graduated from the DTX Launch Detroit program last summer.
I recently read a provocative blog suggesting that, instead of creating an annual letter that looks back, we draft one that looks forward and paints a vision of what our next year’s annual letter may say.
Voigt’s Soda House is a recent Retail Boot Camp grad and was the grand-prize winner of the fall showcase.
Omer Kiyani is the founder of Sentinl and a graduate of TechTown’s Venture Accelerator.
It was a glorious reminder of the vulnerability and criticality of connection, which reminds me of a Brene Brown quote: “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.”
On Monday, we welcomed our latest Labs Venture Accelerator class! We’re so excited to work with these 24 amazing entrepreneurs for the next 12 weeks.
Ebony Rutherford is the founder of Trish’s Garage and a recent graduate of TechTown’s Blocks Retail Boot Camp.
There I was, my first time in San Francisco, rambling around confused in the bowels of the public transit system trying to make my way to an early afternoon meeting. My destination, I was told, was a mere five stops away from where I’d pick up the train. That seemed easy enough. Actually, it was anything but easy.
Our fall session of the Blocks Retail Boot Camp kicks off on Monday (!!), and we’re so excited to introduce the nine entrepreneurs who will be joining us for eight weeks.
The secret, the art of the dance, is in the balance between urgency and thoughtful deliberation. How much time do we spend on each? When are we being careless, and does that look different than brilliance?
Phillip Coleman of COR, one of the startups that participated in this summer’s DTX Launch Detroit program, chats about his company and why it’s special; plus his best advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
On Friday, Aug. 2, DTX and Challenge Detroit co-hosted a joint event featuring final presentations from the Launch Detroit start-up teams and the Challenge Detroit fellows.
Suane Loomis is the founder of contemporary art studio We Are Clay and a recent graduate of TechTown’s Blocks Retail Boot Camp.
Corporations of all shapes and sizes have core values or culture statements that sit beside their mission and value statements, often only to get lost under a pile of business journals, reports and correspondence.
On Thursday, June 27, 11 promising tech startups from TechTown, Bizdom and Invest Detroit presented their businesses to win a killer prize package full of essential branding services at the first ever DTX Showcase.
The winning team from the DTX Showcase chats about their startup and why it’s special; plus their best advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
This week, I was reminded of one crucial element of any business strategy: Understanding your unique awesomeness! Too often, we get caught up in the nuts and bolts of our business.
Amanda Brewington of Always Brewing Detroit chats about her company (launching in a permanent location this month!) and why it’s special; plus her best advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
It is the unique combination of people, place and time, that seems to freeze the universe for a moment and allow people who may not necessarily find themselves in each other’s company, ready and without planning, able to connect.
Yesterday TechTown launched its first Blocks Retail Boot Camp. The highly customized program will prepare 12 serious entrepreneurs with strong, independent retail concepts for the successful launch of their Detroit business.
The building definitely didn’t look like this when we walked in this morning! First-floor construction has officially begun!
Pamela and Jack McGrath of Zerebral, one of the startups in TechTown’s Labs Venture Accelerator, chat about their company and why it’s special; plus their best advice for fellow entrepreneurs and how mental breaks only come when they sleep.
I’m a for-profit girl in a nonprofit world. At first, that sounds daunting, but really it’s not scary at all. The basics of good for-profit management apply perfectly to the challenges of leading a nonprofit.
Last week, Business Insider named us one of the 23 coolest businesses in Detroit. How pumped are we??!!
TechTown client Thiago Olson, co-founder and CEO of Protean Payment, chats about his company and why it’s special; plus his inspirations, best advice and what he does to decompress.
Failure is generally defined as a lack of success. I prefer Seth Godin’s refined view of failure as a learning event. By discussing our personal and professional failures as events of reflection, enhanced understanding and opportunities to pivot, we were able to expose our raw and most vulnerable selves. Exposed – not as victims – but as victors.
We’re LOVING this Fox 2 Detroit story on our SWOT City expansion to the East Jefferson commercial corridor! Check it out!!
TechTown today announced it has expanded its SWOT City program to Detroit’s East Jefferson commercial corridor through a new engagement with the Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA).
Haven’t met Charlie Moret? He’s TechTown’s managing director of entrepreneurial programs, a veteran of the technology innovation and entrepreneurial space, and is opening his office door twice a month to discuss your business questions. Anything related to tech-based entrepreneurship is fair game.
Hey, college students and recent grads: Are you considering launching your own technology-based startup? Check out Launch Detroit – a highly competitive, 10-week boot camp designed to help you test out your entrepreneurial dreams this summer – complete with stipend and more!
Bear with me, this won’t be easy, but it is absolutely essential to scale, survival and success. Dig through that pile. One by one, decide if each relationship, task or event is worthy of your attention, acknowledging each time that it will distract you from the prerogatives you’ve just identified.
Here’s the WHOLE scoop on the Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX). Thanks again to WDET 101.9 FM’s ”The Craig Fahle Show” for inviting us on to spread the word!
Big news, folks: TechTown and its partners, Bizdom and Invest Detroit, were awarded a grant for $1 million over two years from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s (MEDC) Michigan Strategic Fund to form the Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX).
The TechTown team has been blessed with the opportunity to do amazing work in an extraordinary city. We have learned, adjusted, grown, contracted and expanded as needed to target our efforts. Through it all, we’ve remained committed to being an indispensible participant of an entrepreneurial ecosystem working tirelessly to catapult Detroit into a vibrant future filled with opportunity and promise.
As part of its ongoing plans to expand programming in support of the region’s most promising technology-based enterprises, TechTown today announced that Charlie Moret has joined the nonprofit incubator and accelerator as managing director, entrepreneurial programs.
As we look forward to Thanksgiving week, my heart is filled with gratitude and I am humbled by the continual presence of miracles in my life.
Eight years after it opened its doors to help entrepreneurs, Detroit’s TechTown has embarked on a new challenge: revitalizing one of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods.
TechTown today announced it has received a $150,000 grant from the Marjorie S. Fisher Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The grant will support of the nonprofit incubator and accelerator’s recently launched business stabilization and development program in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood.
Congratulations to TechTown client Protean Payment on its $25,000 win at the 2012 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. The Ann Arbor-based startup snagged the product and service sector award for Echo, a reprogrammable card that can turn into any payment, loyalty or gift card of the user’s choosing with a touch of a button. Echo…
Detroit is home to the third highest concentration of design professionals in the U.S., attracts entrepreneurs by the minute and has one of the best platforms for turning ideas into companies. Curtis Johnson, president of the Citistates Group, tells Model D why TechTown is one of the catalysts for this growth.
TechTown today announced that the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX), an organization representing Boston’s digital marketing, media and Internet technology community, has selected the Detroit-based nonprofit incubator and accelerator to host the first MITX Up Detroit, an event that will pair TechTown startups with veteran marketers for a free two-hour mentoring session on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Bootstrapping isn’t a b-school concept to be studied, deployed and measured; it’s a state of mind. It’s knowing that the most important resource your new business possesses is you, and the more tenacious you are about the journey, the more successful you will be.
A trusted adviser, counselor or guide. That’s how the dictionary defines the word mentor, an often overused (even misunderstood) term, especially in the entrepreneurial space. In my opinion, the impact and importance of a mentor can not be emphasized enough.
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, innovators, executives, entrepreneurs, academics and thought leaders from technology, business, government and design will assemble at Wayne State University to discuss the far-reaching potential of technology-enabled change to accelerate economic, urban and social progress at Techonomy Detroit.
If you’re a female entrepreneur in need of funding, make sure you sign up for the Michigan Women’s Foundation Angel Loan Fund Orientation from 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Sept. 12. All future applicants must attend.
Soup. Startups. Two seemingly disconnected ideas, right? Wrong. In Detroit, the most disparate concepts can come together to make magic, and this past Friday night they did exactly that. TechTown, in partnership with the committed folks from Detroit SOUP joined forces to highlight start-up entrepreneurs in the city and give them some critical seed funding.
Does your startup have what it takes to win the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition? Put it to the test and submit your application by Wednesday, Aug. 15.
We always thought we were exciting but now it’s official. Best Colleges Online just named TechTown as one of the most exciting business incubators. Check out the list!
TechTown today announced the establishment of a partnership with the Brightmoor Alliance, a neighborhood community development organization, to provide business support services to area entrepreneurs.
Come see what’s brewing among local entrepreneurs at TechTown’s first Startup SOUP on Friday, Aug. 3.
Congratulations to TechTown client Maria Costa of Oro Entertainment – one of 24 local artists to receive a $25,000 no-strings attached grant from the Troy-based Kresge Foundation. Costa, an actress and writer, will premier her show, “Macho Men and the Women Who Love Them,” in Detroit on July 26.
Someone recently asked, what’s in a name? I don’t know the answer. I spend my time focused on the needs and opportunities that exist within the context of the TechTown mission but accept the advice to consider a change.
Want to pitch your brilliant business for a chance to win at least $1,500 and business training from TechTown? Nominate to pitch at Startup SOUP on Friday, Aug. 3. Nominations close Sunday, July 1.