Start Studio

Start Studio is TechTown’s answer to Detroit’s unmet demand for idea-stage tech business assistance. Our entrepreneurs-in-residence have been consistently hearing variations of “I have this crazy tech idea that just might work, but I don’t know where to start.” Pointing to books and tools and giving advice isn’t enough. Learning how to actually validate a business idea is a daunting and lonely proposition that takes our most precious of resources: time.

This six-week incubator will speed up the process and ensure that people who don’t usually have the time and resources to do so are able to pursue their big tech ideas.

Start Studio offers a combination of one-on-one coaching, technical assistance and group learning to help entrepreneurs refine their ideas. By providing the right tools and support system, participants will be guided through testing, research and the creation of a sample product.

At the end of each cohort, the Start Studio Showcase will celebrate their hard work with a pitch competition. The winning team will receive a stipend to pursue their startup along with legal, technical and accounting assistance.

Start Studio is made possible with support from Michigan Economic Development Corporation, New Economy Initiative, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr Foundation and the William Davidson Foundation.


Interest form

Start Studio Summary


  • Six-week program
  • Weekly group learning sessions and individual check-ins with dedicated entrepreneurs-in-residence
  • 100+ customer discovery interviews
  • Creation of a sample product to test with potential customers
  • Identification of a unique value proposition
  • Introduction to coder/developer community
  • Lean Canvas Model tracks progress
  • Real-time idea testing through sales



Start Studio - MVP Winter 2022 Cohort Application

Begin Start Studio: MVP Application

Applications are now being accepted for the TechTown Start Studio: MVP Winter 2022 Cohort. TechTown Start Studio: MVP is a six-week program for people who have validated their tech startups with potential customers and are ready to create revenue-generating early prototypes (also known as minimum viable products or MVPs).

Participants who successfully complete the program will have developed or refined an MVP that is able to generate revenue. It is important to note that validation by undergoing a robust customer discovery process is required to participate in Start Studio: MVP.

We invite you to complete this application to be considered for the Winter 2022 cohort. Submission of a short video explaining a simple sketch of your prototype is required. 

Please note that this application contains personal demographic questions. We gather this information in order to better serve the Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park communities. We appreciate you sharing information about yourself, but it is not required to receive this service. Please note that ALL applicants will be given equal consideration for TechTown programs.

Completed applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm EST on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. Please note that there is a $50 program fee. The fee is due upon acceptance to the program; a limited amount of scholarships are available. You are not required to submit the fee with your application. You will be able to start your application and return to it at a later time by selecting the “Save and Continue Later” feature at the top of the screen.

Program timeline:

Application Deadline – December 14, 2021

Applicant Notification – December 17, 2021

Deadline to Accept – December 31, 2021

Program Kick-Off – January 12, 2022

Please email us at with any questions or concerns. Please note that TechTown is closed beginning December 20, 2021 and reopens on January 3, 2022.

Begin Start Studio: MVP Application

If you’re experiencing technical issues, please email

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