D2D Buyer Ready Business: Liberati Group – Michael Turner, Sales & Marketing Manager

degc-detroit- growth-update_july_2016-Liberati Group

Liberati Group is a strategic media consulting firm that helps amplify the voice/vision of any brand. A small but mighty team, Liberati assists its clients through PR, social media management, business planning, crowdfunding campaigns, fundraising and more. One of Liberati’s key team members and founders is Sales and Marketing Manager Michael Turner.

What is the history and background of Liberati Group?

The three core, original Liberati members worked together to assist the Detroit Water Brigade to raise $100,000 to give bottled water/relief to those whose water had been shut off. Liberati also helped the Brigade receive nonprofit certification. In doing this we realized our passion of helping other companies do good here in the city. Liberati Group came to be by realizing that all our skill sets combined are quite powerful in helping individuals and companies.

Personally, I have a lot of entertainment/promotion experience. In fact I was on tour with Kenny Rogers at the age of 10. Other Liberati members bring in the PR, social and other talents —  combined we’re a great team.

What are some of Liberati Group’s notable clients?

We currently service about a dozen clients. Some of them include Mid City Grill, The Workers and Builders, Youngblood productions and the performer Martha Reeves (we do web, PR, marketing and promotions for her).

What is Liberati Group’s culture?

The way we function is simple: anytime we get a client we evaluate their needs and based on the services they need or are interested in we form a plan.. From there we’re off to the races. We’re dedicated to creating quality products and services.

Why did Liberati Group select Detroit as its headquarters?

I was born and raised in Detroit. Within the last year we moved into our headquarters at the Renaissance Center and have continually grown our clientele here. We are passionate about the nonprofits here in the city and helping other companies in Detroit thrive so it was the only city we considered when selecting our headquarters.

What companies have you collaborated with in Detroit?

Notably we’ve done a lot of work with the city of Detroit, specifically with CIty Council member Mary Sheffield. We’ve done two events with her so far in the community.

What are the benefits of connecting with other Detroit businesses?

Detroit businesses have a like-minded resilience — together we can do anything. There are so many benefits with working alongside Detroit businesses.

Brian Watkins

D2D Program Manager

Apply to MCM by July 1 to Receive Help Launching Your Business Idea

degc-detroit- growth-update_june_2016 Detroit Training Center

Detroit commercial property owners and entrepreneurs have yet another opportunity to receive support in growing their business. The next round of Motor City Match applications is open from June 1 to July 1.

The program aims to help revitalize Detroit’s neighborhood corridors by pairing vacant commercial property with new and expanding businesses and giving them the support they need to succeed. Applicants can receive various levels of support, including: free business planning classes, match-making between building owners and entrepreneurs, architectural design and other technical assistance, and up to $100,000 in grant funding.

With $500,000 in grant funding available, each quarter, Motor City Match is making a significant impact in Detroit’s neighborhoods. So far, the program has awarded $1.5 million in grant funding that has helped leverage roughly $10.5 million in local business investment.

Among the businesses to receive Motor City Match grant funding is the Detroit Training Center, which provides training and education to prepare Detroiters with the skills and licensing needed to work in high-demand industries. The company received a $100,000 Motor City Match grant in the fall of 2015. The additional funding allowed Detroit Training Center to expand into an additional center that offers a commercial driver’s license program and a diesel engine mechanic program.

Patrick Beal, president and credits Motor City Match for helping his company meet new demands, saying, “We could not have done this without the support we received from Motor City Match.”

Motor City Match has served more than 300 businesses and 180 commercial properties since its launch in 2015, with nearly two-thirds of the business winners coming from Detroit. Seventy percent of Motor City Match business winners are minority-owned.

For more information about Motor City Match, including application requirements, please visit www.MotorCityMatch.com.

Michael Forsyth

Director of Small Business Programs

Motor City Match Opens Second Round of Building Applications


Motor City Match is accepting its second round of building applications through September 1, 2015. This Building Owner Track is for Detroit building owners looking to lease vacant commercial space to quality businesses. Buildings must be structurally sound, in good standing and benefit the community as outlined in program guidelines.

Motor City Match helps businesses locate and thrive in Detroit by matching the best businesses from the city and around the world with Detroit’s best available real estate. The program provides competitive grants, loans and technical assistance to help building and business owners realize their dreams in Detroit.

Applicants will qualify for one of four award categories:

  1. Get Ready – Applicants who meet basic eligibility criteria will have their property listed as available on the Motor City Match website.
  2. Make a Match – Building owners reaching this level will receive a building assessment and be marketed as a top destination for new business in Detroit. These building owners will receive 1:1 match making with top businesses from the Business Track. Up to 25 businesses and 25 building owners will reach the Make a Match category.
  3. Make a Plan – Building and business owners at this stage have recently signed a lease but need help planning building renovations and tenant improvements. These participants will receive design/build assistance, connections to Detroit builders, financial planning assistance, and priority permitting. Up to seven building owners and seven businesses will reach the Make a Plan category.
  4. Match Your Cash – Applicants reaching this round will already have a tenant secured, a plan for build-out and strong of understanding of the money needed to complete building renovations at the space. At this point, building and business owners will have the opportunity to apply to Motor City Match lending partners for financing. If there are gaps in financing, applicants will be considered for 1:1 matching grants that are paid on a reimbursement basis. Up to 10 grant awards will be issued per round for a total of $500,000 to both building and business owners. Maximum grant awards are $100,000 per project.

For more information and to apply by September 1, 2015 visit www.motorcitymatch.com/building-owner.

Michael Forsyth
Motor City Match Program Manager

NEIdeas rewards 30 “been-up” businesses with $10,000 grants


A clothing design studio will buy an industrial sewing machine, an urban farm will buy land for Detroit’s first vineyard, a barber shop will buy equipment to start sharpening and repairing hair clippers, and so it goes for 27 other small Detroit businesses whose business plans earned them $10,000 grants from the New Economy Initiative.

A total of 600 Detroit companies based in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park, all in business for at least three years, applied for the first NEIdeas grants. The two-tiered challenge offered a total of $500,000 in cash rewards: $10,000 for 30 businesses grossing under $1 million annually and $100,000 for two businesses that gross between $1 and $5 million annually. The $100k challenge winners will be announced later this month.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs have been crucial to our city for many decades – from paying taxes, to hiring local employees and being anchors for their neighborhoods,” said David O. Egner, NEI Executive Director.

“Growing small businesses in Detroit is central to our administration’s strategy for building our economic base and creating employment opportunities for Detroiters,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We appreciate the New Economy Initiative for being such a great partner in Detroit’s revitalization.”

NEIdeas was operated in partnership with DEGC. We conducted an outreach program that featured more than two dozen “Ambassador” organizations and institutions throughout all three cities that provided small businesses with information and guidance throughout the application process. We also managed the juried selection process.

“This landmark challenge provided a nice boost to our work with small businesses throughout the city,” added Rodrick T. Miller, president and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “NEIdeas gave us the opportunity to connect more companies to all the forms of assistance we can provide, and in that respect it made every applicant a winner.

A full listing of the winners can be found online at: http://neideasdetroit.org/10k-winners/

Spencer Olinek
Business Development Manager

DEGC hosts NewCo session on September 18


Parkway Foods
Parkway Foods Grand Opening

For a second consecutive year, Detroit’s most innovative companies will open their doors September 18 to executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and future influencers during NewCo Detroit, and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is pleased that we were chosen as a presenting organization.

NewCo is a new kind of event experience: a mashup of an open studio tour and a business conference, with the vibe of a music festival. NewCo Detroit is designed to celebrate the spirit of innovation that embodies so many of the organizations in the city, including ours.

DEGC will be hosting its NewCo event at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 at our downtown headquarters. We will be presenting two innovative efforts to revive neighborhoods with retail businesses, REVOLVE and the Green Grocer Project. REVOLVE Detroit is our collaborative program that partners with local leaders, building owners, entrepreneurs and artists to activate vacant storefronts with transformational businesses and art installations. The goal of the program is to foster the evolution and vibrancy of Detroit’s neighborhood business districts.

The Detroit Green Grocer Project has helped support competitive, sustainable grocery stores in Detroit while improving fresh food offerings for residents. It has worked with independent grocers to improve stores inside and out and to plan moves and significant expansions. We invite you to attend and share in some Detroit-themed treats!

Overall, NewCo offers attendees a chance to meet innovators in their native habitat and hear from executives how they are trying to change the world with Detroit as their home bases. Investors, entrepreneurs, and anyone curious for a look inside Detroit’s resurgence is welcome to register. We hope to see you here! Visit www.det.newco.co to learn more.

Malinda Jensen
Director of Business Development