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One Detroit for All

Regina Ann Campbell at Forward Cities Detroit Convening

Amongst a sea of 30,000 teens embarking on Detroit for a Lutheran youth conference, Cassia Mattheis’ experience was so impactful she wrote a blog post that went viral: “A Letter To Detroit From A National Youth Gathering Participant."  “I was expecting a city filled with broken dreams and shattered glass, a city devoid of life and hope,” Mattheis wrote in her blog. “I expected a scene of desolation against the backdrop of a dead city. But you are not dead. You are so very much alive. You destroyed all of my preconceptions the minute I set foot on your gorgeous riverwalk and was exposed to the cultural diversity and breathtaking views you offered me.” 
 
This is exactly the inspiration I hoped my friends from Durham, New Orleans and Cleveland would take home from the Forward Cities Detroit Convening.
 
The Detroit Convening was our opportunity to show we are more than just the Motor City. I was excited to share not only our great entrepreneurial ecosystem, but also the true Detroit, one Detroit (downtown, Midtown, and neighborhoods matter equally). Despite varying nuances, there were several aspects of history and culture gleaming, and in some cases glowing, from the interactions shared with Forward Cities.
 
Our ecosystem is cohesive and intentional. We were so happy to share testimonials and presentations from our entrepreneurs that are helping revitalize our great city. We are grateful to have the support of the New Economy Initiative to not only share our great city, but to see The Biz Grid in action. 
 
I hope you better understand SWOT City and our client companies. TechTown is the oldest, most established business Incubator and accelerator in the city of Detroit. "We Mean Business"-- whether it's tech, retail, wholesale, or small manufacturing and lifestyle, we've got you covered.  

In the words of my CEO/President Ned Staebler, “We’ll continue to assert TechTown’s role as Detroit’s most established incubator and accelerator, serving an incredibly diverse group of entrepreneurs and businesses in neighborhoods across the city. We’re going to better integrate our services and strengthen collaborations with our partners who support small businesses. We want everyone from the neighborhood coffee house to the high-tech spinoff to have a more streamlined experience, and we want to support more businesses on the continuum through development, launch and growth. We’re working to make tech commercialization from Wayne State and Henry Ford Health System more seamless and to create a more structured incubation program. We’re sharpening our focus on urban entrepreneurship — bringing for-profit business models and technology to bear in addressing urban challenges.

'Most importantly, we’re continuing our commitment to neighborhood economic development, through programs like SWOT City and Retail Boot Camp, because you can’t have a 7-square-mile oasis in a 140-square-mile city and think you’re going to have prosperity. It doesn’t work like that.”  (via Crain’s Detroit)

Detroit is a world class city, one that has opportunities for positioning with best practices and with intentional focus on diversity, inclusion, innovation. One Detroit for all. Let's continue to define ourselves.

"Ain't no party, like a Detroit party cause a Detroit party don't stop!"
 
Thanks Christopher and Denise for including TechTown Detroit in Forward Cities. See you in Durham!

Regina Ann Campbell is the Managing Director place-based entrepreneurship at TechTown Detroit.

 
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