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 13-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.

Start Studio Cohort Schedule

(dates are subject to change)

  Application Period Cohort Selected Cohort Period Showcase
Start Studio Spring 2021 Cohort 01/05 - 01/27 02/03 02/17 - 05/05 05/12
Start Studio Fall 2021 Cohort 07/12 - 07/30 08/02 08/25 - 11/11 TBA

Start Studio Summary

  • • Twelve-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
Interest form