The Garden Bug is a full-scale garden center located in Detroit’s Grandmont Rosedale community. After dabbling in landscaping for years and noticing a need in her neighborhood, owner Tina Castleberry decided to run her business full time. Through the TechTown SWOT City program, Tina was able to choose from various resources needed to grow her business.…
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 the program, she took her knowledge and moved on to her next venture. Following DTX Launch, Iyinoluwa began developing her own product called Skin Shield, a natural and organic mosquito repellent for sensitive skin. Her pitch for this product earned her $5,000 in cash and services from Wayne State University’s Warrior Fund. And she recently became a Venture Coach for Innovation Warriors, the university’s student entrepreneurship center. All this while she pursues her degree in industrial systems engineering and sings for her church choir.
What did you work on at the DTX Launch Program?
The business that I worked on at TechTown was ESAP, which stands for Energy Storage Application Platform. The purpose of the business was to take all of the requirements for installation of energy storage units in buildings that just want an extra power source. We would take all the components that they needed, like approvals and safety regulations, and put them into one platform. It not only offered convenience to the users directly but it also helped the people who would be approving the applications so they didn’t have to go to a different platform each time they wanted to approve one person. So everyone applying can be on the site and everyone approving can be on the site.
What made you want to join DTX Launch?
I found out about DTX through Paul Riser. He came to speak at a regional conference for industrial systems engineering. He was telling us about TechTown and that we can do so much more with our engineering degree. He said it’s more about exploring our personal interest rather than just fixing other people’s problems. Then his PowerPoint stopped in the middle, but he looked at it then kept going on with his presentation. And I thought, “That’s a business professional!”
What did you learn at DTX?
I learned about the business model canvas. I learned even more about professionalism, because I’ve already had jobs in the past, but DTX is different. I learned about how passion truly drives people in business, because when you see a business person you think they’re heartless. But when you get the internal view of things you see their passion and drive, and having to succeed in their venture is what’s really driving them. They know what they want and what they need. You have to know yourself well enough too if you’re going to continue your business.
Applications for DTX Launch Detroit 2017 are open through April 21. Application and more info here.