Why Detroit? Why Startup Week?
There’s a place where entrepreneurs can go to find valuable support, feel accepted, and broaden their network. Where?
Right here, in Detroit.
Sure, you hear about Silicon Valley, you hear about Denver, you hear about Austin and about a million other cities, but few talks about Detroit as the ideal entrepreneurial ecosystem— yet. Since 2016, Techstars Startup Week Detroit has been changing that narrative.
As a five-day, completely free celebration of Detroit’s entrepreneurship, Detroit Startup Week brings together a community like no other. Since the launch four years ago, we’ve had the honor of leading marketing and public relations for this globally significant event. It has meant so much more than just promoting a great event in Detroit—it’s about bringing to light the unstoppable energy of Detroit’s startup scene, connecting entrepreneurs with the opportunities manifest growth, and uniting a community of founders from all industries and stages. Most of all, it’s meant doing right by the businesses and dedicated individuals who are fueling the city we love.
Entrepreneurship isn’t just a trend or a hook: it’s in our blood, and it’s the driving force behind Detroit’s revival. After four years of Startup Week, and over 126.6 million media impressions earned, the nation is taking notice.
“There are great houses for people to move into, lots of new restaurants, startups, venture firms… it’s a vibrant city with lots of opportunity and it’s very startup friendly. You go to local coffee shops and if you throw a rock, you’ll hit a VC,” says Emily Heintz, associate director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association in Ann Arbor.
Innovators are planting their roots in Detroit for more than just the lower costs of living and running a business (though that’s a huge bonus); there’s a startup spirit here that refuses to be ignored, and we’ve got the numbers to prove it:
- There’s been a 54% increase in Detroit venture-backed startups in the last four years
- With the highest density of engineers in the nation, Detroit is the leading driver behind the mobility boom and transportation reinvention.
- More than 25% of venture-backed startups in Michigan are based in Detroit.
- Detroit was chosen out of only four cities to launch Backstage Accelerator, which is investing in startups led by people of color, women and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Not only are the city’s entrepreneurs breaking barriers, but Detroit Startup Week itself is too. Detroit hosted the largest inaugural Techstars Startup Week in the country, and is also hailed as the most diverse: in 2018, over 53% of attendees were women and over 63% were people of color.
We believe in Startup Week because we believe in this city.
We believe in its people, in their ideas, in their stories. As an entrepreneur-led company ourselves, we live out the value of innovation daily, which motivates how we give back too. With a deeply ingrained passion for founders, creatives, innovators and everyone in-between, we jump at the opportunity to amplify their powerful stories. As PR and marketing lead, we support vital sponsor relationships and coordinate an incredible team of volunteers who share our passion, while igniting widespread buzz and loyalty around the event. This year, we’ve reached nearly 180,000 people (and counting) with coverage in Crain’s Detroit, DBusiness, Xconomy and more. And we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
But don’t take our word for it. Come see for yourself. Startup Week is for entrepreneurs and hopefuls of every background and stage. Join us at Detroit Startup Week June 17-21 for the two sessions we’re leading:
- Media Training for Entrepreneurs— a chance to learn how to shine on camera and radio with a bonus opportunity to win a radio interview on “Small Talk with Mark S. Lee”
- Refresh Your Thinking, where we’ll dive into the importance of practicing daily innovation (and we’ll even share some lessons we learned from Innovation Week!).
To sign up, head over to the website to first register, and then build your schedule.
Want to take that next step to being part of something bigger? Join our volunteer team, where you can use your passions to empower others (and have some fun in the process!). Learn more here.
We hope to see you there– because you matter in this space.