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TechTown goes after food entrepreneurs, crowd funding with new programs

Food is becoming increasingly important at TechTown these days now that the small business accelerator has launched a new program for food entrepreneurs and started its own SOUP pitch event.

Detroit's slow food scene has quickly emerged from the like of urban garden and Avalon to the recent addition/growth of McLure's Pickles, Simply Suzanne Granola and Corridor Sausage to name a few. All of these businesses and a number more have taken off in the last few years, creating scores of jobs and occupying once-vacant space in the city.

"There is a ton of interest in food entrepreneurship and activity around a lot of those areas," says Leslie Smith, president & CEO of TechTown. She adds that a significant portion of the food grown in urban gardens in the Motor City is shipped to neighboring states for processing. Smith sees that as an opportunity to build a supply chain for Detroit's growers. "If we can create the food processing supply chain here then that make the fresh food fresher," she says.

TechTown has also started its own SOUP business/project plan pitch competition. The SOUP pitch events started in Southwest Detroit as a way to crowd fund local projects and businesses a few hundred dollars at a time. The TechTown Startup SOUP will offer a chance to win $1,500 on August 3. For information, click here.

"SOUP for me is the most organic form of crowd funding that exists," Smith says. "And it started here in Detroit."

Source: Leslie Smith, president & CEO of TechTown
Writer: Jon Zemke

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