TechTown names Marlo Rencher diversity and inclusion entrepreneur-in-residence


Date: February 14, 2019
Contact: Ashleigh Dandridge
Phone: 313.577.0636


TechTown names Marlo Rencher diversity and inclusion entrepreneur-in-residence


TechTown Detroit has named Marlo Rencher its new diversity and inclusion entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR). Rencher will work with the startup incubator and accelerator—and throughout Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem—to establish dedicated resources and more intentional strategies to increase engagement of women and minority tech entrepreneurs.


Rencher has more than 20 years’ experience in entrepreneurship and marketing, and most recently served as vice president for innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity at Cleary University. In this role, she oversaw integration of entrepreneurial and innovative thinking across curricula, designed and managed diversity initiatives, and played a leadership role in the Howell-based university’s expansion to Detroit. Rencher has significant startup experience of her own, having founded or co-founded four tech companies. She developed entrepreneurial programming for digitalundivided, an Atlanta-based social enterprise supporting black and Latinx women tech founders, and created Cleary University’s Founders Farm student incubator. She is the co-author of digitalundivided’s groundbreaking ProjectDiane study examining funding outcomes for black women tech founders. Rencher was also the first managing director of TechTown and served in various roles from 2004 to 2009.


“There was a collective cheer in Detroit’s entrepreneurial community when we announced Marlo’s return to TechTown,” said Ned Staebler, TechTown’s president and CEO. “Her reputation for developing insightful, impact-driven programs for women and minority entrepreneurs is unparalleled in our region. TechTown is committed to building a diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem, an effort Marlo has long championed. We look forward to working with her to support entrepreneurs from a wide range of backgrounds develop, launch, grow and make a meaningful difference in Detroit.”


Rencher’s duties will include:
● Implementing tactics and strategies that ensure TechTown’s culture and programs are increasingly effective at serving more diverse entrepreneurs.
● Working with TechTown Detroit strategic partners to curate robust data, analysis and assessment of the true state of diversity and inclusion gaps in Detroit’s tech community.
● Offering group and one-on-one community-connecting activities that amplify an inviting, open-door policy to diversify participation in Detroit’s tech sector.


Rencher succeeds Marlin Williams, TechTown’s inaugural diversity and inclusion EIR, who was recently promoted to Chief Program Officer. She holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in business anthropology from Wayne State University.


TechTown is Detroit’s entrepreneurship hub, with a full suite of programs for both tech and neighborhood small businesses. TechTown works with businesses at all stages, helping startup, emerging and established companies develop, launch and grow.