Uber and Loveland Technologies among businesses participating in #UES2014

September 30, 2014


Anita S. Lane




Uber and Loveland Technologies Among Businesses Participating at the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium, October 10, 2014

Symposium will offer strategies for developing sustainable,
scalable businesses that solve important urban problems.

ANN ARBOR, MI— Can businesses solve critical urban problems and turn a profit at the same time? The short answer is, “Yes.” And on October 10, 2014, business, education, government, and community representatives will convene to discuss viable strategies for creating sustainable, scalable business solutions for urban communities. This conversation is the focus of the inaugural Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium, which takes place on Friday, October 10, 2014 from 8AM – 2PM at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, 1000 Beal Avenue in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Space is limited.  Visit urbanei.org for tickets.

Detroit-based Loveland Technologies is a prime example of an urban-focused business, and their innovative technology is already addressing the blight problem in the city of Detroit. Other businesses, such as the urban-focused transportation provider Uber, clearly demonstrate that solving critical problems in urban areas is not just good for residents, but can provide lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The symposium will include two keynotes, three panel discussions, and brief student presentations of urban-focused business proposals. The morning keynote speaker is Dr. Jeffrey Robinson, academic director for the Rutgers University Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) and a recognized leader in the field.  Jill Ford, special assistant for entrepreneurial initiatives to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, will deliver the luncheon keynote.

Presenters at the symposium will include: Noam Kimelman of Fresh Corner Café; Michael White of Uber; Sheila McBride of GradeCheck; Jerry Paffendorf of Loveland Technologies; Brian Flanagan of the U-M Ross School of Business Leadership Initiative; Nick Tobier of the U-M College of Art and Design; Sebastian Jackson of the Social Club Grooming Company; and Justine Shu of Evolve. For a full program visit: urbanei.org/ues-2014-program

Leslie Smith, President and CEO of TechTown Detroit, is proud to be a co-sponsor through the Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX) and a panel moderator at the symposium. “The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium will provide a platform for the honest evaluation of our core urban challenges and how we might address those through entrepreneurship and an inclusive support system,” Smith said. “Innovative design thinking intentionally applied to the conditions that limit us can lead to viable solutions for urban markets across the country. At TechTown we make every effort to facilitate this outcome and see the upcoming symposium as a unique opportunity for a meaningful exchange of best practices to prompt true change.”

David Tarver, UEI founder and Symposium organizer, expresses his excitement over the most recent sponsors who’ve come on board to support the event. “We’re gratified that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX), and Comerica Bank have come aboard as sponsors,” Tarver said. “Their support is but one more indication of the importance and timeliness of this initiative.”

One of the key outcomes of the symposium will be an empowered network of individuals and organizations poised to bring more business innovation to cities. The long-term benefit will be a stronger set of enterprises that will make meaningful contributions to the health and wealth of urban communities in Michigan, the United States, and around the world.

Event co-hosts are the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative and University of Michigan Innovate Blue.


ABOUT the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative

The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI) facilitates community-driven entrepreneurial solutions to urban problems. David Tarver, a Flint, Michigan native, is the UEI founder. David is a successful engineer, tech entrepreneur, and author, and is currently a faculty member in the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship and College of Engineering. Learn more at urbanei.org



Innovate Blue unifies the University of Michigan innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, a web of experience-based curricula, mentorship, university units, and student-led organizations that enables Wolverines to turn their dreams into action. www.innovateblue.umich.edu.






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