TechTown Detroit teams up with Plain Sight, The Players Company, local organizations to debut the Sports, Tech and Venture Summit in Detroit during NFL Draft Week

A promotional graphic for the Sports, Tech and Venture Summit

The four-day summit will feature free and paid events focusing on entrepreneurship, technology and sports business

March 27, 2024

Detroit-based event-tech company Plain Sight and The Players Company, a collective of over 500 professional athletes and accredited investors dedicated to empowering individuals through financial education and exclusive investment opportunities, are teaming up with Michigan-based business leaders to host the inaugural Sports, Tech and Venture Summit during this year’s Draft in Detroit. 

“TechTown is excited and proud to participate in and host the Sports, Tech and Venture Series during NFL Draft Week. This series demonstrates the shared vision and dedication we have as an ecosystem to uplifting Detroit as a tech hub,” said Christianne Malone, TechTown Detroit Chief Program Officer and Wayne State University Assistant Vice President of Economic Development. “As Wayne State’s entrepreneurship hub, we are incredibly proud to welcome attendees to our innovation district for events that highlight Detroit’s tech and investor collective, all while showing how deep our entrepreneurial spirit is.”

The four-day event series (Tuesday, April 23 – Friday, April 26) will bring entrepreneurs, investors, athletes, entrepreneurial support organizations, and brands together from all over the country with a mix of panels, local startup pitches, and evening parties. Events will take place in locations across the city, with a majority of the public programming taking place Thursday, April 25, at TechTown’s 6001 Cass Ave.

“As a former athlete and now founder of a tech company, putting on this series is a dream come true ,” said James Chapman, CEO, Plain Sight. “Being able to do it in the city where our startup was founded makes the opportunity even sweeter and we can’t wait for Detroit to see it.”

The Players Company, co-founded by NFL athletes Richard Sherman and Sheldon Day, is committed to empowering communities to build wealth and establish lasting legacies. Recognizing Detroit and the events surrounding the draft as an ideal opportunity, the company seized the moment to make a significant impact. 

In true Detroit fashion, Michigan’s most innovative leaders in business and tech are joining in on this collaborative effort to showcase the city’s dynamic tech scene and the diverse innovations driving it forward. Partners include TechTown Detroit, Detroit Venture Partners, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Founders Fund, Invest Detroit, Milestone Growth Capital Institute, Union Heritage, Song Foundation, Femology, Venture Catalysts, Bamboo Detroit and Techstars. 

“Milestone Growth Capital Institute is thrilled to participate in the Sports, Tech and Venture Summit, a pivotal event spotlighting Michigan and Detroit’s dynamic tech ecosystem,” said Founder, Dawn Batts. “Together with the Summit’s strategic partners, we’re empowering local founders, attracting new investments, and uniting our collective pursuit of innovation and economic growth.”

Nationally recognized brands have also joined in to lend support through sponsorships, including Molson Coors, Titletown Tech, and Zendesk, an award-winning customer service software for leading startups and organizations across the world.

“Through the Zendesk for Startups program, we empower startups with the best customer service tools for scalable growth. We’re here to help founders in the Michigan ecosystem put their customer relationships first with a best-in-class, easy-to-use, AI-driven support solution backed by onboarding resources and an expert community to set you up right from the start. Supporting an initiative like the Sports, Tech and Venture Summit was something we are excited to be a part of,” said Michaela Tupini, Strategic Partnerships, Zendesk.

A feature event of the Sports, Tech and Venture Summit will be the Michigan Founders Fund Pitch Competition, which will showcase Michigan-Based founders pitching to a panel of investors for a chance to win $10,000 in non-dilutive funding to advance their businesses. To learn more and apply, go here

Full List Of Events  

Programming around the four-day series will feature prominent venture capitalists, angel investors, professional athletes, and brand leaders, as well as celebrate the vibrant tech scene and pioneering startups across Detroit and Michigan. More information and registration details can be found at

Day 1 – Tuesday, April 23

  • Motor City Tech Summit (TechTown Detroit) | Free Event | Open To Public
  • Tech Tuesdays Trends of Sports Happy Hour Featuring Sharpz (Bamboo Detroit) | Free Event | Open To Public

Day 2 – Wednesday, April 24

  • Angel Investor Accelerator (TechTown Detroit) | Free Event | Invite Only
  • State of Female Entrepreneurs (Newlab) | Paid Event | Open To Public

Day 3 – Thursday, April 25

  • Coffee and Coworking (TechTown Detroit) |  Free Event | Open To Public
  • Brunch: NIL Conversation (TechTown Detroit) |  Paid Event | Open To Public
  • Draft Style Pitch Event (TechTown Detroit) |  Free Event | Open To Public
  • Players & Paychecks Podcast featuring former and current professional athletes (TechTown Detroit) | Free Event | Open To Public
  • Happy Hour: Fourth & Inches (TechTown Detroit) |  Paid Event | Open To Public
  • NFL Draft Watch Party (Eastern Market) | Paid Event | Open To Public

Day 4 – Friday, April 26

  • Luncheon: Players, Investors & Ecosystem Builders (The Conservatory at Book Tower) |  Invite Only
  • Sports, Tech and Venture Summit Celebration | Open To Public