It used to be that basically the only business narrative around Detroit was the big automakers. In some ways, Detroit is still a big company town – whether it’s mortgages, health care or cars – but that’s starting to change with a nascent but energetic startup scene.
As part of that, three events this May consisting of Techweek, Detroit Entrepreneur Week, and and Detroit Startup Week are set to make May quite the month for entrepreneurship conversations and events.
“This month is about celebrating, inspiring and providing resources. If you want to be an entrepreneur, or you are one, you won’t regret being in Detroit during the month of May,” said Kyle Bazzy, lead organizer of Detroit Startup Week. “It’s important that entrepreneurs know they are supported. We’re both rooting for them and linking them to resources that’ll help them succeed.”
According to organizers, more than 4,500 people will be involved with the three events.
In the beginning of the month are Techweek and Detroit Entrepreneur Week.
Techweek is in its third year with a Detroit edition. Even though it kicks off Monday, May 2 and runs seven days, tickets are still available. The event highlights a list they curated of 100 of the most innovative people, companies and organizations as well as brings in speakers like Taggart Matthiesen, Director of Product at the ridesharing service Lyft and David Behen, the Chief Information Officer of Michigan.
There also will be a variety of panels:
- Diversity in Tech panel, Monday at Bamboo Detroit
- Kick-Off Party with Hatch Detroit, Monday at Batch Brewing Company
- Launch Startup Competition, Tuesday at Techtown
- An Insiders View – The Reporters Perspective, Wednesday at Grand Circus
- Hiring Fair, Thursday at TechTown
- SUMMIT*: The Future of Transportation in a Lyft World – Taggart Matthiesen, Dir of Product at Lyft, Friday at M@dison Building
Some events are free but in order to get all-access, tickets at $100 for the week are required.
Detroit Entrepreneur Week is in its fifth year and is a more neighborhood-focused event. It has 20 free events across three neighborhoods spanning six days also starting May 2 and also has its own version of the popular Detroit SOUP entrepreneurial contest.
“DEW provides an open space for all who are passionate about entrepreneurship in Detroit. We are dedicated to bringing together entrepreneurs, influencers, industry-experts and thought leaders under a “big tent” of remarkable collaboration and engagement,” said Regina Ann Campbell of Detroit Entrepreneur Week.
Later in the month is Detroit Startup Week, coming to Detroit for the first time. There will be more than 100 events spanning May 23-27.
Nine learning tracks will be offered to entrepreneurs at all levels: technology, entrepreneurship 101, mobility, music, food-preneurship, design/art, civic innovation, neighborhood collaboration and the Internet of things (IoT).
“Detroit Startup Week is all about celebrating and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s growing in Detroit. The talent here is second to none, and we’re committed to being a support system,” said Jill Ford, special advisor to Mayor Duggan on innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives at the City of Detroit, and special advisor to Detroit Startup Week.
Events will take place all over the city at venues that include Detroit Design City, Grand Circus, Techtown, Bamboo Detroitand more. Event headquarters are at the historic Masonic Temple.