Happy New Year!
2013 was an amazing year for TechTown’s work and our city.
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. The importance and impact of our work is clear, and I consider myself blessed to be a part of the TechTown family.
With creativity, commitment and courage, we delivered best-in-class programs and participated in real change here in Detroit. We created and launched the Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX), which brings together critical tech-based partners to better serve the region’s entrepreneurs, including the brightest emerging talent coming our of our universities who joined us through the DTX Launch Detroit program. Our Labs team assessed more than 100 tech-based ideas in pursuit of the most innovative commercial technologies, and the Labs Venture Accelerator hosted 18 promising tech companies as we continued our commitment to the creation of economically impacting locally based tech startups.
Our Blocks team rocked the storefront with its Retail Boot Camp program. Sixteen of the best retail small business owners in the city graduated from this program, and many of them have already launched in the D! SWOT City continued to change the way economic development strategies are delivered in inner cities while bringing access and opportunities to the front doors of Detroiters. The SWOT City platform can now be found in FIVE Detroit neighborhoods (Brightmoor, Grandmont Rosedale, the East Jefferson Corridor, Osborn and Hope Village).
TechTown’s facility at 440 Burroughs was totally transformed into a world-class entrepreneurial hub in Midtown, complete with a brand-new co-working facility (Junction440), where it will sit in service to the region as a cornerstone of innovation and collaboration.
We hosted nearly 2,000 attendees at entrepreneurial events in the region and saw our commitment to diversity evidenced by a blended portfolio demographic and the addition of four women to the TechTown Board of Directors.
I want to thank TechTown’s many supporters for the special piece of magic they bring to this region. I want to thank them for working harder and smarter every day and for demonstrating commitment, courage and passion. I want to thank them for their willingness to take risks without fear of failure so that, together, we can change the way economic development programs are delivered and received and create a new future that protects the middle class, brings innovation to the most complex problems and treats all people with dignity and respect.
I am humbled by their presence and honored to serve beside them and look forward to what we can accomplish together this coming year.