TechTown honors Century Partners, local entrepreneurs with Salute Awards

Date: September 28, 2017
Contact: Kristin Palm
Phone: (313) 483-1326



TechTown honors Century Partners, local entrepreneurs with Salute Awards
Detroit Denim, MySwimPro, Global Detroit and CFSEM all honored at Toast of the Town October 12

TechTown Detroit will honor Century Partners as 2017’s Entrepreneur of the Year at its second annual Salute Awards, to be presented as part of the Toast of the Town celebration of entrepreneurship October 12. The Salute Awards honor the year’s standouts in Detroit’s entrepreneurial community. The awardees were selected by a committee comprised of leaders in the entrepreneurship, small business and economic development fields.

TechTown recognizes Century Partners for its quickly growing profile in the city and its highly regarded work in strengthening local communities. Through the leadership of David Alade, Andrew Colom and Kimberly Dowdell, Century Partners has raised $3.8 million in investment, developed nearly 70 units of housing and managed over 100 residents in three of Detroit’s most vibrant neighborhoods: Boston Edison, The North End and East English Village. Century Partners was also selected by the city of Detroit to rehabilitate 115 homes as part of $4 million redevelopment of the Fitzgerald neighborhood.

TechTown will also honor Global Detroit with its Small Business Champion award for its work with immigrant business owners throughout southeast Michigan. Fares Ksebati of MySwimPro, and Eric Yelsma and Brenna Lane of Detroit Denim will be honored with TechTown on Tap Awards for TechTown clients who have reached significant milestones.

Additionally, TechTown Detroit will honor the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan with a Special Salute award for more than 30 years of serving its community.

“Since their launch, we’ve watched Century Partners grow and make an outsized impact in Detroit neighborhoods and we are proud to celebrate them,” says Ned Staebler, president and CEO of TechTown. “ All of our awardees exemplify the tenacity, creativity and ‘get-it-done’ work ethic that is a hallmark of Detroit’s entrepreneur and small business community.”

The Salute Awards will be presented at TechTown’s annual Toast of the Town celebration of entrepreneurship on October 12 from 6-9pm at TechTown, 440 Burroughs, in Detroit. The event will also feature a strolling dinner, signature cocktails, musical entertainment, an entrepreneur Marketplace and a Silent Auction and Raffle, with chances to win a weekend night’s stay at the El Moore Lodge, a Carhartt gift set, Michigan vs. OSU football tickets and much more. For tickets or more information, visit



About TechTown:
TechTown is Detroit’s most established business accelerator and incubator, offering a full suite of entrepreneurial services for both tech and neighborhood enterprises. TechTown helps startup and established businesses develop, launch and grow, while strengthening and diversifying the local economy.

About Global Detroit: Global Detroit is mobilizing Detroit’s immigrant potential by revitalizing neighborhoods and catalyzing the growth and development of immigrant entrepreneurs. Global Detroit has helped link some 50 immigrant entrepreneurs with ProsperUS training, facilitated over 100 NEIdeas applications, including over 60 in 2017 alone, with 22 NEIdeas finalists, in addition to helping immigrant business owners apply for Motor City Match and attain other business support services.

About MySwimPro: Launched in 2015 during TechTown’s DTX Launch Detroit program, MySwimPro is a technology company that creates mobile and wearable apps that help swimmers achieve their fitness and training goals through personalized workouts, training plans, analytics, and coaching. The platform has won international accolades including being named by Apple as the Best App of the Year for the Apple Watch and has been featured in Sports Illustrated.

About Detroit Denim: Under the leadership of Eric Yelsma and Brenna Lane, Detroit Denim has seen a significant amount of growth since the company set up shop at Detroit’s original and premiere makerspace, Ponyride, in 2010. In May of 2016, Detroit Denim moved from their original location in Ponyride and opened its factory and flagship store on Franklin Street. They have expanded to 9 full-time and 4 part-time employees and are preparing to launch their women’s line of denim. To date, the company has received $350,000 in investments. Most significantly, Detroit Denim has entered a partnership with Marcus Lemonis, host of the CNBC reality show The Profit, which features Lemonis searching for promising small businesses.

About Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan: The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has created permanent, positive change in the lives of people living in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties by distributing nearly $941 million through more than 61,000 grants to nonprofit organizations. The Community Foundation has worked to strengthen southeast Michigan’s economic environment by investing in local entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations who spur progress and revitalize communities. A majority of the Community Foundation’s direct investment in the entrepreneurship ecosystem stems from the New Economy Initiative, a special project of the Community Foundation. In 2007, the Community Foundation brought together 10 national and local foundations to fund and create NEI, which, to date, is the largest philanthropically led economic initiative of its kind in the United States. NEI’s grantees have helped create more than 2,200 companies and directly assisted more than 6,600 others. Together, these companies have contributed more than $2.9 billion to the local economy.