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.
Anahata Yoga, a studio offering Hatha yoga, and Love Travels Imports, a social enterprise of fair trade and handmade artisan wares, have been selected by Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) and REVOLVE Detroit to create two new pop-up shops on Grand River Avenue in Detroit’s distinguished Grandmont Rosedale community.
Love Travels Imports, owned by Yvette Jenkins, will be located at 19120 Grand River, also the new home of WorkPlace, a neighborhood business incubator and co-working facility. Jenkins will manage WorkPlace and serve part-time as GRDC Economic Development Manager. This is the second location for Love Travels Imports, which opened a pop-up-turned permanent business on Livernois Avenue. Love Travels Imports will hold its Grandmont Rosedale grand opening September 20.
Anahata Yoga, owned by Regina Ward and Nicole A. Martin, will be located at 19560 Grand River. It will hold its grand opening on Sept 20 as well.
The owners of the two shops will receive assistance and resources to help create their pop-up locations as well as favorable rent terms during the pop-up, with the support of a Growing Communities grant from Charter One.
In addition, four other new businesses were selected to host events in the community through the end of December, including: apparel and fashion showcases with Funky Junk and Juju, and Dressing With a Purpose; Car-Go Paint painting classes and events; and Tender Moments holiday and event planning workshops.
REVOLVE Detroit is proud to use its pop-up strategy in yet another Detroit community to help both the businesses and the neighborhood. We know from our experience it can have a lasting effect on both.
Crain’s Detroit Business has named DEGC’s REVOLVE Detroit as part of its annual Salute to Entrepreneurs issue. REVOLVE program manager Michael Forsyth and his associate, Lori Allan were individually honored in the “Intrapreneur” category for their work inside DEGC creating innovative ways to connect retail store owners, startups, property owners, community organizations and artists. DEGC launched REVOLVE Detroit in the fall of 2012. Since then, Forsyth and Allan have worked under the REVOLVE banner to help revitalize West Village, the Livernois corridor, and as described in another article in this Growth Detroit Report, Grandmont Rosedale.
Crain’s annually recognizes entrepreneurs who are noteworthy for their innovation, problem solving ability or sheer relentlessness. Forsyth told Crain’s, “Being an intrapreneur is about understanding the mission of your organization and staying true to that, but taking a different path to get there.” In the case of REVOLVE, that meant using Facebook, and other social media tools to promote participation, hosting a program-specific website, and recruiting Lori Allan to help write, design and post web and print materials to promote the program. Allan started at DEGC as an intern while studying at University of Detroit Mercy, and she demonstrated such a wide variety of skills that she was hired as a communications and marketing consultant for REVOLVE.
Forsyth and Allan will be recognized along with the entrepreneurs that Crain’s is saluting at a lunch program July 24 at The Henry in Dearborn.
Whether starting a business, installing a public art project, restoring a building or promoting a neighborhood, the new REVOLVE Guidebook (www.revolvedetroit.com/resources ) is a one-stop resource of practical how-to information for anyone seeking to revitalize a neighborhood.
Designed for a broad audience of entrepreneurs, artists, community organizers and building owners who share the goal of activating vacant space, it includes checklists, flow-charts, permits, license agreements and similar information in an easy-to-understand, ready-to-use format.
The Guidebook was developed specifically for Detroit, but much of the information is transferable to other cities or applications of urban revitalization. And, while not all of the information is applicable to everyone, we believe that good things happen faster when people work together with a mutual understanding of the to-do list.
This is a living document so we ask everyone to share feedback and lessons learned by e-mailing us at email@example.com so we may continually improve the guide.
The “NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth” challenge will begin accepting applications May 8. Small businesses located in Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck that are at least three years old are eligible to apply for two types of awards:
$10,000 for businesses that gross under $1 million annually with ideas to grow
$100,000 for businesses that gross more than $1 million and under $5 million annually with ideas to grow “big”
Thirty applicants will be awarded $10,000 each and two businesses will receive $100,000 each. In addition, all the business that apply for the challenge will gain connections to other small businesses and entrepreneurs, access to a network of business resources, and public exposure.
Applications are due June 5 for the $10,000 award and June 19 for the $100,000 award. Online applications, and information on where to pick up physical applications, can be found at www.NEIdeasDetroit.com . Recipients of the $10,000 awards will be notified in September and recipients of the $100,000 awards will be notified in November.
NEIdeas is a partnership of DEGC and the New Economy Initiative (NEI), a special project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.