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Cities Techonomy Detroit

With Philanthropy and Business the Coaches, Motor City Aims to Play Again

In our many conversations about how to ensure that the United States retains its standing as the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial nation, we have often looked to Detroit as a cautionary tale. In the 1950s, Detroit was like today’s Silicon Valley—a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity, booming with high-growth companies, and the heart of American innovation. But then Detroit lost its way. The epicenter of Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem—the auto industry—went into decline. As a result, Detroit lost more than half of its population, and recently filed for bankruptcy. It lost its entrepreneurial mojo and became risk-adverse. And as its economy sputtered, its community struggled. Can Detroit get that mojo back, and rise again? We think the answer is yes.   More

Cities Techonomy Detroit

Detroit Is No Blank Canvas: Why Creativity Pays Here

"Detroit is a blank canvas." I cringe every time I hear this phrase, even though it's used by people who mean well. To say something that references "emptiness" regarding a city founded in 1701 is both unfair and inaccurate, as it implies that there's nothing here—or worse—that there's nothing worth talking about here. By suggesting this, the speaker disregards momentum building around the Detroit 2.0 movement, which is in full swing.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Detroit

Why a Recruiting Startup Thrives in Detroit

With backing from Detroit Venture Partners, Matt Mosher founded hiredMYway.com in 2010. In the crowded field of online recruiting, it might have seemed an unlikely-to-succeed upstart. But as an entrepreneur since his early teens, Mosher knew how to take a fresh approach in order to coexist with the biggest names in the industry. With Detroiter moxie, he built the Swiss Army knife of recruiting sites.   More

Digital Startup Culture Techonomy Detroit

Detroit’s Workfolio Helps Anyone Build Their Own Personal Website

Workfolio was founded in Detroit, but today also operates out of New York. The company aims to make creating online professional profile websites intuitive for everyone in the working world. Techonomy spoke with Workfolio Founder and CEO Charles Pooley about personal branding, how he got into DIY Web design, and what sets Detroit apart from other cities.   More

Business Startup Culture Techonomy Detroit

Josh Linkner on Why Entrepreneurs Should Be Street Fighters

Having built four startups from scratch and now investing full-time, you could say I’m in the business of entrepreneurship. But I don’t think that’s the right term anymore. At all. The word entrepreneur is borrowed from French and implies an aristocratic polish. It conjures up images of backroom deals with white men in three-piece suits, perhaps even wearing top hats, neatly manicured and coddled, issuing orders from afar to sweaty and tattered workers. But that just ain’t the way you win today.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Detroit

An App that Tells What’s in Your Future

In the lead up to Techonomy Detroit, we are profiling tech startups driving the city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. UpTo, a mobile application startup in the Detroit area, is garnering serious attention. The app is a social calendar that lets users share upcoming events with groups of friends, family, and co-workers. Techonomy contributor Tiffany Huang spoke with Greg Schwartz, UpTo’s CEO, about how his company is part of Detroit’s renewal as a city of the future.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Detroit

Detroit Startup Asks (and Names Itself), Are You a Human?

In anticipation of the Techonomy Detroit conference on September 12, we’re profiling six tech startups that are driving that city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. Are You A Human? offers an alternative to CAPTCHAs, those fuzzy letter/number combinations that web shoppers are often required to decipher before buying online. Because automated software tools are increasingly able to bypass CAPTCHAs, and because users are increasingly annoyed by them, Are You A Human? has turned human authentication into a game with its quick, fun PlayThru challenges.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Detroit

Picketreport.com’s Brian Bandemer: How Detroit Tech Hustles Harder

PicketReport.com, a website that aggregates information about neighborhoods and towns, is one of the latest tech startups in the Detroit area to garner attention. The site serves people relocating to unfamiliar areas, curating information about schools, crime, and income levels. It even pinpoints the nearest grocery stores and cafes. I spoke with Brian Bandemer, Picketreport.com’s co-founder and COO, about how his company is part of Detroit’s renewal.   More

Startup Culture Techonomy Detroit

Detroit-based Startup Quikly Rewards Nimble Bargain Hunters

In anticipation of the Techonomy Detroit conference on September 12, we're profiling six Detroit tech startups that are driving the city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. Quikkly was founded in Philadelphia, but moved to Detroit early this year after Detroit Venture Partners invested in the company. Quikklys are short-term offers, announced randomly via text or Facebook, that give the best deal to first responders. For instance, a $10 coupon to Fandango costs $1 for the early birds and $8 for slowpokes. I spoke with Shawn Geller, co-founder and CEO of Quikkly, about how he got into the online coupon biz and what it’s like running a business in Detroit.   More

Energy & Green Tech Startup Culture Techonomy Detroit

GreenLancer Boosts Renewable Energy from Detroit to Afghanistan

In anticipation of the Techonomy Detroit conference on September 12, we're profiling six Detroit tech startups that are driving the city’s re-emergence as a center of innovation. GreenLancer Energy connects freelance renewable energy engineers with companies and contractors looking for green expertise. Since 2011, GreenLancer’s clients have included the U.S. Department of Defense, Occidental Oil, General Motors, and the U.S. Armed Forces. I spoke with co-founder and CTO Patrick McCabe about freelancing renewable energy, the Midwest’s lack of green energy experts, and Detroit’s tech scene.   More