Business support organization the Build Institute expands to old Tigers site

New businesses often need a lot of support to be successful. Space to work and test out ideas, technical assistance, and opportunities to network, to name a few. 

Business incubator the Build Institute is looking to create a space which will offer all these services and more. Called The Corner, this business support center will be located at the former site of Tigers Stadium in Corktown. 

Build just launched a Patronicity crowdfunding campaign with support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to raise $50,000. Funds will support the buildout of the 3,800-square-foot space that will include: quiet work space, meeting and event space, popup retail areas, classrooms and courses for entrepreneurs. 

If the campaign is successful, the MEDC will provide a matching grant as part of its Public Spaces Community Places program. 

"We are thrilled to take part in the Public Spaces Community Places program with the MEDC,” said Build Institute executive director April Boyle, in a press release. "Creating a new inclusive innovation hub at The Corner in Corktown will serve Detroit-area entrepreneurs — artisans, retailers, service providers — as well as residents and visitors."

Build Institute has been supporting businesses at all levels since 2012 through entrepreneurial courses, popup opportunities, and more, while operating out of a small space in Mexicantown. According to its materials, it has helped created over 500 businesses and 1,000 jobs. 82 percent of its entrepreneurs are women and 64 percent are people of color. 

This bigger space will not only provide Build and its entrepreneurs greater capacity, but also more feedback due to the greater visibility of its businesses. 

"Entrepreneurship is essential to great placemaking," said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. "The Build Institute's efforts in Corktown will create a unique, attractive environment for local entrepreneurs to test and grow their ideas."
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Aaron Mondry is a Detroit-based freelance writer. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @AaronMondry.