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Shifting Gears: IdeaLab to showcase Detroit entrepreneurs and innovators


Back to Ann Arbor we go! This Friday, Jan. 20, we’ll take the Model D Speaker Series on the road to the University of Michigan’s Revitalization & Business conference for the second year in a row. The two-day conference actually begins Thursday at the Taubman Center, College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Get more info and see the entire agenda here.

Last year, we ended the inaugural two-day conference with 12 talented Detroiters who presented their work to a full auditorium at the Ross School of Business. (Watch the videos here.) We called it IdeaLab and we had a lot of fun. So we’re doing it again this year with a whole new crew.

This time, we’ve assembled another impressive line-up of creative thinkers and doers who are shifting Detroit’s business landscape. A recent article in Xconomy asked, "Could Detroit become the Silicon Valley of Social Entrepreneurship?" We think these people prove it already is: Ken Agacinski, The MORE Program, Phillip Cooley, Slow's Bar BQ and Ponyride, Nick Gorga & Ted Balowski, Hatch Detroit, Rishi Jaitly, Kiva Detroit and Knight Foundation, Josh McManus, D:hive, Veronika Scott, The Empowerment Plan, Delphia Simmons, Thrive Detroit, Bobby Smith, En Garde Detroit and Suzanne Vier, Simply SuzanneTashmoo Biergarten.

What do these speakers have in common? They all demonstrate the possibilities that emerge when our entrepreneurial spirit and the public good meet. From creating more opportunity for startups through grants and micro-loans, to teaching financial literacy to young fencing students, to turning a design school assignment into a job creator, these Detroiters are creating exciting new solutions to build stronger communities and address social needs. 

We showcased some of these ideas at our Next Big Thing event in October. And we’ll continue sharing them with you in new ways in the new year.

Interested in joining us? Model D’s IdeaLab will take place Friday, Jan. 20, 1-3 p.m. at the Ross School of Business, 701 Tappan Avenue in Ann Arbor.

Conference registration is open to the public. Sign in here.
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