Here are five reasons why the Motor City perseveres and prospers.
Dedication- As a recent Entrepreneur article reveals, Detroit is dedicated to inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship. For example, the Build Institute offers an affordable eight-week small business class for new entrepreneurs. ProsperUS assists immigrant and minority entrepreneurs by providing technical assistance, entrepreneurial training, and micro-lending for entrepreneurs. Classes are taught in both English and Spanish to better serve this entrepreneurial community.
Recovery- Businesses both large and small have overcome major setbacks. Just six years ago, General Motors (GM) filed for a government-assisted Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a plan to re-emerge as a less debt-burdened organization. Today, GM remains one of the largest employers in Detroit, however the automaker has been delving into the software space, according to patenting data, which shows that GM filed 592 software patents over the past five years which accounts for over 15% of their patenting activity.
Innovation- The city continues to attract new venture capitalists poised to fund innovative businesses. Detroit Venture Partners (DVP) was founded five years ago by Dan Gilbert, Josh Linkner and Brian Hermelin with a sole goal of investment in early-stage technology companies. Some of DVP’s portfolio winners include LevelEleven, which makes sales motivation software and won the Game Changer award at the annual Google Demo Day in Silicon Valley last April. Marxent Labs develops iOS and Android-augmented reality apps and games for retail customers and marketing campaigns.
Value- Detroit continues to attract millennials who are eager to join start-up teams because unlike most major cities, purchasing a home costs less than renting. College graduates are qualified for high-paying STEM roles as soon as they exit school, so the affordable cost-of-living is therefore a key driver to the city’s renaissance.
Evolution- Last spring, a Fortune article explained, ‘Why Detroit could be the next Silicon Valley.’ Known as a hub for manufacturing and the auto industry, today over 32,000 professionals in the Detroit metro area are employed in the computer systems design sector alone. The city’s ability to constantly evolve is paramount to its success.
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