#DetSW18 Celebrates the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Michigan has been a magnet for innovation and entrepreneurship for hundreds of years, from fur and timber to mining, manufacturing, and mobility.
Detroit is Michigan’s economic epicenter. Ann Arbor is its research hub. The entrepreneurial ecosystem stretches from the thumb downriver, and from the mitten to Canada. Innovation, meet traction. Will, meet way.

This year, Techstars Detroit Startup Week celebrates the unity and diversity of our broad and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem by building regional connective tissue and bringing together hundreds of startups, thousands of entrepreneurs, and millions of dollars in investment capital.

Ann Arbor and Detroit both attract new talent and capital to the state, which the entrepreneurial ecosystem challenges, rewards, and recycles. The synergies we forge at Startup Week help retain these critical resources, building regional wealth and sustainability.
Techstars Detroit Startup Week is investing regionally to break down internal (and international) barriers, hoist a big tent, invite broad collaboration, and advance the broad and diverse community of Michigan innovators.
Zoom out: what does this look like? It looks like a community. It looks like an ecosystem. It looks like a region bootstrapping itself, marshaling resources, and investing in its entrepreneurial future. It looks a lot like Michigan.
David Bloom
University of Michigan School of Information
[photo credit: Tara Turkington, www.taradanielle.com]

Volunteer Checklist for Success

Volunteer Checklist for Success


  • Dress for the weather, you may be spending time outside.
  • Wear something you can be active in, you’ll be walking!
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes early for your volunteer shift – this will help us effectively transition between volunteer shifts.
  • Always be courteous, kind, and hospitable toward hosts, speakers, attendees, other volunteers, etc. – we are here to make the event as enjoyable and valuable as possible.
  • If you see someone who needs help – reach out and help – we want to be proactive in asking if we can help with directions, a suggestion for a session, feedback they have to give or assistance our guests may need. Please be proactive with attendees!
  • If someone has a complaint, or looks frustrated with something, please engage them, ask what we can do to make it better, find one of the core leads for help, and get a phone number for follow up. Our goal is that people feel included, welcomed, and valued.
  • If you have questions or need assistance, look for the person in charge at your location or contact one of the volunteer leads.
  • If you need to cancel your volunteer shift ahead of time, please contact one of the volunteer leads or update via the link on the volunteer tab of the Detroit Startup Week website.
  • Don’t forget to chat, network, learn, laugh, and have some fun!


Volunteer Leads
Colleen Geyer
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (248) 376-1673

Joe Schoch
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (419) 779-4053

Gerard Smith
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (313) 244-7125

Detroit Startup Week Speaker FAQ’s

Speaker FAQ’s:

How many people are coming to my event?

A good amount – We’re anticipating 8-10k attendees this year


What is the venue size?

Venue sizes range from 50-200 people


Will my event be recorded?

No, your event will not be recorded by the DSW team. However, you are welcome to bring your own equipment to record your talk if you would like.


How do I add a speaker?

Email:  [email protected]


How do I add my bio and picture?

Login into sched.com


How do I share my event?

Find your talk on detroitstartupweek.com and share the link on social media.


Will there be A/V equipment available?

Yes – the only thing we request from you is that you bring your laptop, if you wish to display a slide show. We will also provide you with all mic equipment


Parking and Transportation at Detroit Startup Week

Parking for Techstars Startup Week 2018 will be at The D Garage (located at 90 E Fisher Service Dr. Detroit, MI 48201) and is walking distance to basecamp at Grand Circus Park. Olympia Development of Michigan is offering a 20% discount to the garage and parking passes can be purchased in advance using promo code DETROITTECH or by using this link:


For traveling to and from surrounding events, MoGo, Detroit’s public bike sharing system, has also sponsored a heavily discounted $15 weekly pass (a day pass is regularly $8) for attendees. The discounted rate will be available at MoGo kiosks using the code DSW18.

Public transit is also an affordable option for getting to events. Basecamp at Grand Circus Park is a short 5-minute walk from DDOT’s Rosa Parks Transit Center and a stones-throw from Grand Circus Q-Line and People Mover stops.

To get to neighborhood programs and events, shuttles will be provided courtesy of the Detroit Bus Company. Buses will leave Basecamp at 30 minutes after the hour and depart the neighborhoods at the top of the hour. Shuttles will be provided on the following schedule:

12:30PM – 5PM Monday: Grandmont- Rosedale

830AM – 4:30PM Tuesday: Southwest Detroit

8:30AM – 5:30PM Wednesday: Durfee Innovation Center

9:30AM – 5:30PM Thursday: Osborn


Podcast: Conversation with Corey Williams

Corey Williams: Strategic Business Development by Detroit Startup Week

Corey Williams is a self-proclaimed urban place-maker. He takes urban blight, revitalizes it, and creates spaces for people out of them.

listen to more podcasts…

Podcast: Conversation with Brooke Dunwell

Brooke Dunwell: Boj by Detroit Startup WeekBrooke

Dunwell is the Founder of Boj, a mobile app that connects current college students and graduates to job opportunities within companies that hire recent college grads and or interns. It is simple and easy for college students to create a profile, upload their resume, and submit a self-video.

Boj: www.bojapp.com


listen to more podcasts…

Podcast: Conversation with Rachel Nelson

Rachel Nelson: RL Concetti by Detroit Startup Week

After getting her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Kendall College of Art and Design, Rachel moved from Grand Rapids to the Detroit area. After a variety of gigs as a design consultant and interior designer, she started RL Concetti with her business partner, Lauren DeLaurentiis. Their goal, through design, is to capture the gut feeling you get when you feel something is right.

RL Concetti: www.rlconcetti.com/

listen to more podcasts…

Podcast: Conversation with Stephanie Mckire & Sydney Davis

Stephanie Mckire & Sydney Davis: Hype Digital Innovation by Detroit Startup Week

After leaving her job at Ford Motor Company, Stephanie started Hype Digital Innovations after seeing the need small businesses had for their own mobile app.

Hype Digital Innovation: apps.hypedigitalinnovation.com/

listen to more podcasts…

Podcast: Conversation with Gaurav Mukhi

Gaurav Mukhi: Team Valiant by Detroit Startup Week

Gaurav Mukhi has over a decade of experience in multimedia and marketing. He’s a self-taught digital marketer, and he’s here to help you grow your brand!

Team Valiant: www.valiantvibes.com/

listen to more podcasts…

My #GiveFirst Story: David Bloom

Entrepreneurial education begins with un-learning and demythologizing. Shark Tank is a game show. Silicon Valley is a sitcom. Zuck is an outlier.

One of the hardest entrepreneurial myths to bust is “networking.” Students think it means elevators, pitching, sales. Or worse: that you can network from behind a screen without Getting Out of the Building.

I teach Selfless Networking. You just met somebody new? Shut up and listen. What are their values, their goals, their challenges? Listen, listen, listen.

Then, if you can connect them get the resources they Need to Succeed, just do it. Help the other person. Go out of your way. Expend social capital. Expend actual capital. No quid pro quo.

Through Selfless Networking, you learn how to serve them better, Discover new opportunities, and sharpen your entrepreneurial focus. You can’t do any of these things by pitching, so begin by helping.

In other words, #GiveFirst.

#GiveFirst is the animating principle for Techstars Detroit Startup Week, its hundreds of volunteers, and thousands of participants. When I first encountered this hashtag, its reductive beauty took my breath away. Months of entrepreneurial learning and unlearning packed into two words.

The challenge, of course, is walking the talk. Empathy, generosity, and altruism can seem to run counter to the hyper-capitalism of entrepreneurial mythology. In fact, #GiveFirst accelerates innovation and adoption, which is the whole point.

Set aside Return On (networking) Investment for a moment and just #GiveFirst because it feels good. The intrinsic motivation of helping somebody is your Drive; the extrinsic will follow. The world is full of Givers and Takers and Makers and Fakers. Help them all.


David Bloom

University of Michigan School of Information