Meet Three Local Entrepreneurs Making A Positive Impact In Detroit 

We’re counting down the days… we’re so excited for Detroit Startup Week to kickoff!

Of course, we could not get ready for Detroit Startup Week without meeting some of our local entrepreneurs!

This week, we are highlighting three Millennials who are not only making a significant impact in the city of Detroit but also bringing hope and positivity to others! One is creating benches to support local neighborhoods, another is co-working spaces and event series to help entrepreneurs thrive, and lastly, one is creating a medical device that will communicate with 911 dispatchers during food allergy emergencies.

We applaud them for the tremendous impact that they are generating, making Detroit known across the nation for its entrepreneurial spirit!

Meet Kyle Bartell, Co-Founder of Sit-On It Detroit

Kyle Bartell, Co-Founder of Sit-On It Detroit

Kyle Bartell is the Co-Founder of Sit On It Detroit. As an impactful local social enterprise, Sit On It Detroit provides reclaimed wood benches at bus-stops throughout the city. Bartell started Sit On It Detroit in 2012 with his business partner, Charlie Molnar after noticing the lack of seating at many bus stops. He saw this lack as an opportunity to not only bring together his interests in transit advocacy and urban planning but also to make an “on-the-ground” impact. Since launching Sit On It Detroit, Bartell and his business partner have expanded their reach and have placed more than 150 benches in cities across the nation, including New York, San Francisco, and San Jose. They have also begun
expanding production to provide benches for parks, neighborhood baseball diamonds, and more public spaces.

1. Why did you decide to start your company in Detroit?

I started my company in Detroit because it provides great opportunity for entrepreneurs like myself.
Economically, it made a lot of since and I’ve been able to make a significant impact in Detroit.

2. What are a few of the greatest assets and/ or experiences that you have had in starting your company in Detroit?

The experience of working with both the public and private sector has afforded me the opportunity to learn how to grow my company.

3. What impact you do hope to make on the city?

Having built over 200+ library benches at bus-stops, parks and local establishments, I’ve done so with the assistance of amazing Detroiter’s whom found ways to help out and get involved.

4. Why would you tell others to also move here to start their business?

Because Detroit is big enough to matter to the globe, but small enough for you to matter in it.

Check out Sit-On It Detroit’s work!


Meet Amanda Lewan, Co-Founder & CEO of Bamboo Detroit

Amanda Lewan, Co-founder & CEO of Bamboo Detroit

Amanda Lewan is Co-founder & CEO of Bamboo Detroit. She has worked in the startup world for nearly a decade. Now, she leads all community programming and strategic growth for Bamboo. She’s been honored locally and nationally for her work launching and growing Bamboo.

1. Why did you decide to start your company in Detroit?

We started Bamboo five years ago, much with a similar goal of DSW, to create an inclusive entrepreneurial community in Detroit. There were no co-working spaces at the time, but we also knew Detroit wanted a collaborative and inclusive entrepreneurial community.

2. What impact you do hope to make on the city?

We hope to see our members succeed. When others around us grow, hire, scale and make an impact — then we are making an impact with them.

3. Why would you tell others to also move here to start their business?

I am from Metro Detroit and have always had family inside the city. I would say it’s an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourselves. To make a difference. Plus, it is more affordable than other cities.

Check out Bamboo Detroit’s work!


Meet Javier Evelyn, Founder and CEO of Alerje

Javier Evelyn, Founder and CEO of Alerje

Javier Evelyn is the Founder and CEO of Alerje, a MedTech & Digital Health startup. As a lifelong food allergy sufferer, he had a vision of creating a more convenient, modern solution to fit the needs of today’s patients. Alerje is building an Internet of Medical Treatment phone case that holds a redesigned slim epinephrine auto-injector which communicates with 911 dispatchers during food allergy emergencies. Javier recently served as the 2017 Google for Entrepreneurs x CODE2040 Detroit EIR at Grand Circus. In this EIR role, he hosted diversity-focused tech events in Detroit neighborhoods with a goal to “Rewrite the Narrative” which culminated in a pitch competition exclusively for Black & Latinx tech founders called Pitch313. Previous to this endeavor, he led in the development of mobile app projects for a multi-billion dollar health insurance company and pharmacy benefit manager. He’s also spent some time teaching underestimated youth from Detroit how to code. Prior working in the tech industry, the Chicago native worked in sales as a founding team member of an independent insurance agency. He lives by the motto, “no risk, no reward”.

1. Why did you decide to start your company in Detroit?

I got my first opportunity in the tech industry as a mobile app developer in Detroit. Once the concept of Alerje emerged, it was a natural move to build it in this city.

2. What are a few of the greatest assets and/ or experiences that you have had in starting your company in Detroit?

The overall startup ecosystem is extremely supportive, ranging from private to public resources. We’ve benefited greatly from the exposure that both outlets have provided us with.

3. What impact do you hope to make on the city?

There’s a unique opportunity to leverage the city’s demographics to become a diverse tech hub. I also want Detroit to become not just an emerging travel destination, but a place where the boldest and brightest come to build amazing products and companies.

4. Why would you tell others to also move here to start their business?

There’s a budding startup ecosystem that’s rooted not just in the city’s recent momentum, but also in it’s rich history of innovation. Detroit has the right mix of creators, hustlers, supporters to become something truly special.

Check out Alerje’s work!

1 Comments

  1. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Very useful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>