Miguel McKelvey, co-founder of WeWork, to keynote Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2015 in Detroit Oct. 23

Miguel McKelvey
Miguel McKelvey

Major event sponsors also announced; event theme is “Shock the (Urban) World”

Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466; barbara@eafocus.com

 Detroit, Mich. –Sept. 14, 2015 –The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative is pleased to announce Miguel McKelvey, co-founder and chief creative officer of New York-based company WeWork, which provides workspace, community and services around the world, will be the keynote speaker at the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2015, to be held in Detroit on Oct. 23 at the College for Creative Studies. The announcement was made by W. David Tarver, founder and president of the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative and chief event organizer.

“Urban entrepreneurship is business innovation that produces needed products and services for urban communities, or makes a significant number of jobs available to urban residents. With a for-profit startup company valued at $10 billion and geared to finding shared workspace in urban areas, Miguel McKelvey and WeWork epitomize urban entrepreneurship,” Tarver said.

McKelvey is a multi-disciplinary designer and entrepreneur with diverse experience in architectural design, construction management and web development. At WeWork, he directs all architecture, design and construction activities. Prior to WeWork, McKelvey  created the design framework and led the national retail roll-out for American Apparel (170 stores), and was involved in the early stage development of several companies, including Green Desk, Barre3, Versation and English, Baby! He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the University of Oregon.

Tarver also announced the following sponsors for the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2015:

  • University of Michigan – Innovate Blue
  • Michigan State University – Eli Broad School of Business
  • Wayne State University
  • Comerica Bank
  • Diplomat
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • InvestDetroit
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
  • mQrg, LLC
  • New Economy Initiative (NEI)
  • Rock Ventures LLC

In addition to serving as sponsors, the three universities listed are also event co-hosts, and each will be ensuring strong student participation.

The inaugural Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium was held last year on the campus of the University of Michigan to a capacity crowd of nearly 300 attendees. The event is moving to Detroit this year to attract an even broader audience of business innovators, academics, students and community and government leaders

Through expert panels and targeted business breakout sessions, symposium attendees will receive information and tools to assist in creating scalable, profit-making businesses that address important urban community needs. A complete agenda is available at urbanei.org.


Details on the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium – “Shock the (Urban) World”

  • When: Friday, Oct. 23, 2015; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (with reception and networking immediately following until 8 p.m.)
  • Where: College for Creative Studies, A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education; 6400 Cass Avenue, Detroit 48202
  • Cost: tickets are $50 ($75 after 10/16) and include a continental breakfast and lunch (a limited number of complimentary tickets are available to full-time students)
  • Registration; advance registration is required; purchase tickets online at urbanei.org
  • Sponsors: Major sponsors for the event are the University of Michigan – Innovate Blue, Michigan State University – Eli Broad School of Business, Wayne State University, Comerica Bank, Diplomat, Fifth Third Bank, InvestDetroit, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), mQrg LLC, New Economy Initiative (NEI) and Rock Ventures LLC. For sponsorship information, please call Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative at (313) 457-2050 or email info@urbanei.org.
  • Event questions: for general questions about the event, please email info@urbanei.org.


About the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative

The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, founded by W. David Tarver, a technology entrepreneur, Michigan native and author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir, offers programming and resources that encourage, facilitate and enable the development of for-profit businesses that explicitly and intentionally address the needs of urban communities. Learn more here.