Challenge Detroit is now taking applications for its third class of fellows, but also has some interesting statistics to show off from its first class.
Challenge Detroit is a talent/retention initiative that pairs recent college graduates with employers. The year-long program also provides the fellows with a housing stipend to live in the city and opportunities to volunteer and become involved in the city.
Challenge Detroit takes in about 30 fellows each year starting with its first class in 2012. Of those fellows in the first class, 90 percent stayed in the region. A vast majority of them also kept working with their host employer after the fellowship was up.
"We're hoping for similar events coming out of year two," says Deirdre Green Grove, executive director of Challenge Detroit
. "We're really excited about our first year’s impact."
That first class of fellows has also proven to have some aspiring business people. Five of the fellows from the first class have started their own business or are in the process of doing. Among those ventures are FYOUNK Clothing
, which just opened a retail location in downtown Royal Oak, and Zoom Detroit Studios
, a videography and animation firm.
"We weren't trying to start an entrepreneur incubator but we definitely had some entrepreneurial individuals," Green Grove says.
Applications for the 2014 class of Challenge Detroit fellows can be found here
. Applications are due by March 9. The new class of fellows will launch in September.
Source: Deirdre Green Grove, executive director of Challenge Detroit
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.