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TechTown takes applications for 2014 startup programs

Aspiring entrepreneurs looking for their place in Detroit's emerging startup ecosystem have a chance to claim it in TechTown this year. The small business accelerator is taking applications for its Labs Venture Accelerator and DTX Launch Detroit program for 2014.

"There are all kinds of programs right now," says Leslie Smith, president & CEO of TechTown.

The DTX Launch Detroit program is more of a talent-retention program, focused on college students and recent grads. The 10-week program helps young adults (two-or-three-person teams) take their ideas for a startup to actual launch. Each participant receives a $2,500 stipend.

The Venture Accelerator program is a bit more advanced, taking early stage tech startups and turning them into a market-ready business. The 12-week program also provides a pathway for the participating startups to enter into full-time incubation at TechTown.

The two programs expect to take about 50 startups team this year. The deadline for applying for each of these programs is early March. More information about DTX Launch Detroit can be found here and information on the Venture Accelerator can be found here.

These two programs are each 1-year-old. It has already had some measurable success, such as Sentinl. The startup is developing a high-tech gun control technology. It showed well at last year’s Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition.

"That has really made some extraordinary strides," Smith says. "It's about to close on some seed funding."

TechTown has also launched its own co-working space, Junction 440, this year. It also plans to host a number of individual events to help build local startups this year.

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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