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ArtServe study helps highlight local creative economy

A new report from ArtsServe is providing some hard statistics on the impact of Michigan's growing creative economy, and the Detroit Creative Corridor Center is providing a number of its own.

The CreativeState MI report issued by ArtServe shows that 9,700 creatively inclined companies, ranging from advertising agencies to design firms, employ 74,000 people in Michigan as of 2011. They represent $3.6 billion in wages. Oakland, Wayne, Macomb and Washtenaw counties are four of Michigan's top five counties for creative industries.

"I see this day in and day out and I didn’t think the numbers would be so big," says Matt Clayson, director of Detroit Creative Corridor Center.

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center provides business-building services to creative-based firms and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to set up shop in Detroit greater downtown area, specifically the Woodward corridor between Grand Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue. Its operates a year-long incubator program for these types of startups and is shepherding its third class through this year.

It currently has 18 companies in the incubator that represents 32 jobs. Those companies have added three jobs since the incubator class started last fall. Among its promising startups are Wedge Detroit (a marketing and branding firm), MammothReach (a web-design firm) and The Empowerment Plan (a company that makes a combination sleeping bag and winter coat.

"They have been fundraising machines," Clayson says. "They have been aiming to launch a kickstarter campaign to fund their prototype."

Source: Matt Clayson, director of Detroit Creative Corridor Center
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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