The Story of Detroit Added Some Significant Chapters in 2010; Here Are 10 of Them

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Michigan’s economic revival is to rebuild Detroit and make it thrive again.

TechTown, and TechTown Two, supported by the Kauffman Foundation and the New Economy Initiative, are cranking out entrepreneurs and companies. TechTown Executive Director Randal Charlton calls them “bets,” and most of them will probably fail. But this is how you create a culture of entrepreneurship in Detroit, through programs like FastTrac, which takes ideas and nurtures them. For many entrepreneurs launching their companies at TechTown, this is their Plan B. Their old automotive-industry jobs are gone. TechTown represents hope for Detroit.

Film incentive

Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation 42 percent tax credit for filmmakers might fall victim to political wrangling in Lansing next year, but in 2010, it definitely made many Michigan residents starry-eyed. And not just because movie and TV stars were suddenly seen at local diners and coffee shops, but also because there are the beginnings of a whole new industry here.

It’s called a “film incentive,” but companies like Royal Oak’s Pixofactor are using it to produce interactive video games. The folks at Pixofactor say that even if the tax incentive goes away, 2010 gave them enough of an initial push to keep the momentum going into the future.

Business Accelerator Network

In 2010, Southeast Michigan’s four major business incubators at last discovered how to work together, forming a regional Business Accelerator Network with the help of a $3 million grant from the New Economy Initiative.

And one of the first things they did was create what it called the world’s largest business plan competition. The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in December gave away more than $1 million in prizes to winners, but in terms of encouraging entrepreneurship in Michigan, the contest was priceless.


Call them makers, call them hackers, call them garage tinkerers, but whatever you call them, … Next Page »

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2 responses to “The Story of Detroit Added Some Significant Chapters in 2010; Here Are 10 of Them”

  1. My #1 Michigan story in 2010 was Detroit’s popular opinion victory. In 2010, for the first time in my adult life, popular opinion in Michigan tipped in favor of saving Detroit. Thank you Xconomy, for becoming part of the solution with the launch of Xconomy Detroit.

  2. Thank you, Michael. We’re trying! There are still many who consider Detroit to be a burned-out hulk, but it is based on outdated information. It’d be tempting to focus purely on Ann Arbor for news about entrepreneurship, but I’ll keep reporting on the cause for optimism in Detroit.