TechTown Detroit hosts conference geared toward Black mobility entrepreneurs

TechTown Detroit logo

Free, in-person conference features panel discussions, high school

pitch competition and fireside chat with mobility leader Donna Bell

Feb. 6, 2023

In honor of Black History Month, TechTown Detroit will host a free, one-day conference to honor the legacy of Black leaders in the mobility industry while highlighting the current achievements of the new generation of pioneers. Detroit on the Move: Celebrating the Evolution of Black Mobility presented by Ally will take place in person at the Wayne State Industry Innovation Center on Thursday, Feb. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Entrepreneurs who are interested in mobility are encouraged to attend.

Detroit on the Move, TechTown’s second annual Black History Month conference, will include panels geared toward mobility-focused entrepreneurs and startups, a business pitch competition for high school students, and a fireside chat with Donna Bell, executive vice president of product creation, engineering and supply chain at Lordstown Motors. Bell will lead a discussion on the evolution and future of mobility and the industry’s impact on Detroit. The two panels will focus on funding sources for mobility startups and resources available for existing mobility businesses in Michigan.

“TechTown aims to inspire the next generation of Detroit entrepreneurs and prepare them with the funding and resources needed to thrive in the ever-evolving mobility industry,” said Angeline Lawrence, entrepreneurial education director at TechTown Detroit. “Our Black History Month conference will provide networking opportunities for rising entrepreneurs, which is an important step in solidifying Detroit as the epicenter of mobility and electrification.”

TechTown has once again partnered with Minerva Education and Development Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and funds to Detroit youth and families, to engage 11th and 12th grade students in the conference through a mobility pitch competition. Students were encouraged to submit a pitch video to address mobility challenges within the Black community. Five standouts will be selected to pitch their ideas live at the conference and compete for over $2,000 in startup funds. The finalists will also have access to experts from TechTown to strategize and pursue their business ideas.

“This conference is a great collaborative effort between TechTown’s entrepreneurial education and tech teams that allows us to introduce TechTown’s new mobility programming while honoring Black leaders in the space,” said Marlo Rencher, senior director, technology-based programs at TechTown Detroit. “We look forward to many more mobility-related events in the future.”

Registration for Detroit on the Move: Celebrating the Evolution of Black Mobility is limited and can be found at

Detroit on the Move is made possible with support from Ally, Bank of America, First Merchants Bank, New Economy Initiative and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.