Fred Monroe came back to Detroit primarily for reasons: family and opportunity.
The Metro Detroit native graduated from the University of Michigan in the early 1990s and went west. The computer programmer ended up in Chicago day trading and working with startups. When his son became old enough to go to school, Monroe and his wife (also a Michigander and U-M grad) moved their young family back to Metro Detroit for the good schools and low cost of living.
"I'm here because I have family here and was born and raised here," Monroe says. "The honest truth is this is where home is. The other part is there is a lot of potential here."
Monroe began making angel investments last year and set up 313 Ventures
in the M@dison Building. He is focused on investing in digital startups and now has five companies in 313 Ventures. Of those startups, two are in Michigan, one is in Detroit and one is a Detroit Venture Partners portfolio firm.
"This is a place where the lean startup model makes sense in so many ways," Monroe says. "The reasons are because the costs are so low."
Monroe plans to make a handful of other angel investments in Metro Detroit-base startups. He believes the M@dison Building
is a great place to find those investment opportunities because of the growing cluster of startups and variety of angel investors and venture capitalists working together to build a viable entrepreneurial ecosystem in downtown Detroit.
"I care about the bigger purpose," Monroe says.
Source: Fred Monroe, manager & founder of 313 Ventures
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com