D2D Matchmaking Event – Detroit Businesses Gather with 200 Potential Contracts Up for Bid


Saundra Little, owner of Centric Design Studio, got everything she was looking for from the D2D Opportunity event at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit – three interviews with large institutions who could be clients, and an introduction to a fourth that could be in the market for her architectural services. The D2D event brought together nine major buying organizations, representing 200 bidding opportunities, with 280 Detroit-based companies eager to do business.

During the three-hour matchmaking period of the event, the nine buying organizations conducted a combined total of 180 interviews with companies that could become suppliers within the next year. Little’s firm does architectural work. Its specialty is renovating interior spaces that incorporate design themes and graphics that support a company’s brand. She earned interviews with two companies she had worked for as a subcontractor. “Our goal is to become a prime vendor,” said Little. “So they told us how to do that. They said they were satisfied with the work we did and gave us names to contact directly. That was very beneficial.”

Business owners also had chances to meet each other because, as Michigan Black Chamber President and CEO Ken Harris told the crowd, “the opportunities you are looking for are in this room.” Harris challenged attendees to try to meet 50 other people.

Companies attending the event also took advantage of a Resource Corridor where buyers offered general information about what they buy and how to become a supplier. The companies ranged from Build Institute to Lowe Campbell Ewald to Comerica Bank. DEGC also had a resource table to discuss all the services it offers Detroit businesses.

This event would not have been possible had it not been for the guidance and expertise from the D2D Buyers Council: Greektown Casino Hotel, Compuware, Skidmore Studio, Urban Science, Wayne State University, Quicken Loans, Ford Field, DTE Energy, Strategic Staffing Solutions, University of Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit Medical Center, Comerica Bank and Ernst & Young.

D2D is the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) program for connecting Detroit businesses with each other. It is funded by the New Economy Initiative.

Brian Watkins

D2D Program Manager

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