Mark Your Calendars: Startup Week Detroit Kicks Off on June 17

Every year, Detroit’s entrepreneurial community comes together for a five-day event encompassing panel discussions, TED talk-style keynote speeches, bootcamps, tech demos, and networking happy hours, all of which are open to the public and free upon registration.

Techstars Startup Week Detroit kicks off on June 17, but the registration process is already underway for those who want to attend. Xconomy talked to organizer Olivia Guterson of Venture Catalysts to learn more about what to expect at this year’s edition of the event. She says each day will concentrate on two or three different “learning tracks” in order to build impact within specific innovation sectors.

For example, June 17 will cover mobility, marketing, and technology, while June 21 focuses on art and design, music, female founders, and food entrepreneurship. On June 19, PlanetM, the state organization advancing Michigan’s mobility ecosystem, will hold its inaugural hardware tech summit at the Lexus Velodrome in partnership with Hardware Massive and Centrepolis Accelerator. Other learning track topics include financial technology, blockchain, social entrepreneurship, healthcare, and startup funding.

Guterson says this year’s event will be held at both downtown and neighborhood locations. The downtown programming will happen daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at businesses near Capitol Park. Additional neighborhood programming will be hosted at the Durfee Innovation Society during the same hours. Music, art, and social events are planned throughout the week in both downtown and neighborhood locations, with childcare available in the evenings. Free neighborhood transportation, a small-business legal clinic, and Google office hours are also available.

“Detroit has transformed the traditional Startup Week by breaking participation records, creating significant and expanding interest, and curating [a] program that cements our city as a premier startup hub,” said Ted Serbinski, managing director of Techstars Detroit, in a statement. “The first Startup Week [in 2016] was the largest inaugural Startup Week ever, the following year was the most diverse Startup Week on record, and last year it was the largest. We can’t wait to see what 2019 brings in terms of size, scope, and talent.”

Just before Startup Week Detroit launches, Quicken Loans—one of the event’s primary sponsors—will host a demo day downtown on June 14. There, Detroit companies will pitch in front of a live audience and panel of judges for a share of the prize: $1.2 million in investment capital. Quicken Loans Basecamp, which will serve as the headquarters for Startup Week Detroit, will be located at the Lear Innovation Center and will offer on-site registration, co-working space, free professional headshots, and a hiring fair to connect attendees with employment opportunities, Guterson adds.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the community come together,” Guterson says. “We’re really focused on highlighting Detroit’s talent. I’ve met so many people with incredible stories of how Startup Week Detroit allowed them to find their tribe and really gain the confidence to take their idea to the next level.”

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