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.
Since August, two of TechTown’s staff members — Derrin Leppek and Ted Jones — have been meeting with small-business owners in Brightmoor, helping them figure out ways to grow their revenues, overcome obstacles and tap into valuable resources.
The northwest Detroit neighborhood of nearly 24,000 residents suffers from high unemployment and crime, poverty, a glut of abandoned homes and a declining population.
But Brightmoor also has nearly a thousand local businesses and a group of community leaders who care about the neighborhood’s future and want to turn things around. That opened the door for TechTown.