Action-packed program for the 2016 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium (#UES2016)

UES2016_FacebookProfile#UES2016 Agenda Overview

The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium is a one-of-a-kind conference that assembles entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and their allies from academia, government, and community organizations. We explore ways to apply community engagement, design thinking, technology, and business formation to create amazing new companies that produce healthy profits and positive social impact. The ultimate objective is to promote for-profit business innovation that improves the quality of life in urban communities. Here’s what we’ll be doing at the symposium this year…


Wednesday, October 19, 6-9 p.m.

Flint Community Program and Reception – Mott Community College Event Center

This session will be a celebration of the resilience of the Flint community, as well as the power and potential of urban entrepreneurship. We will:

  • hear a welcome message from Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
  • discuss what we learned from Flint citizens in the “Give Us What You Got” community pitches campaign.
  • hear from urban entrepreneurs who are applying skill, determination, and innovation to make a real difference.
  • hear David Tarver, Flint native, tech entrepreneur, and UEI founder talk about the transformative power of entrepreneurship, and what it means for Flint.
  • witness the finals of the Urban Infrastructure Challenge business model competition.
  • enjoy good food and beverages, meet and network with the Flint community.

Cost: free, but registration is required.


Thursday, October 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Conference Program – U-M Flint Northbank Center

This session is where we really get down to business, with expert speakers and panelists, as well as meaningful problem-solving discussions. During this session:

  • A panel of local and regional experts will discuss their experiences engaging and assessing an urban community.
  • Andrew Highsmith, author of “Demolition Means Progress,” the powerful and insightful book about Flint’s perennial quest for urban renewal, will give an interview about his book and its implications for Flint’s future development.
  • As Flint strives to develop an effective entrepreneurship ecosystem, a panel of local, regional, and national experts will share their experiences and advice on the subject.
  • A panel of university student entrepreneurs will share their experiences engaging with urban communities.
  • Jeffrey Robinson, Academic Director and Senior Fellow at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at the Rutgers University Business School, returns to Michigan to talk about his department’s pioneering work in urban entrepreneurship.
  • Rishi Moudgill, Executive Director of the U-M Center for Social Impact, will lead a distinguished panel in a debate over the merits of different approaches – for-profit, not-for-profit, government, philanthropic, faith-based – of achieving social impact. We call this segment the “Social Impact Sector Smackdown.”
  • Finalist teams will present their entries in the Urban Jobs Challenge business model competition.

Whew! That’s quite a day, and it’s not over yet!


Thursday, October 20, 6-9 p.m.

“The Matrix” Business Networking Reception @ the beautiful new Flint Farmers Market

Flint Farmers Market Atrium
Flint Farmers Market Atrium

This reception will bring together entrepreneurs from Flint, the region, and the state with individuals and organizations that support entrepreneurs. This promises to be a fun and electrically charged evening, and will provide the opportunity for participants to make strong and lasting connections. Most of all, this will be another great party that will include:

  • great music by a surprise artist.
  • outstanding food and beverages.
  • unprecedented opportunities to network with local, regional, and national entrepreneurs and their allies.

Cost: $25.00 for entire day, includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner


Friday, October 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Seminars Program – Mott Community College Regional Technology Center

MCC Regional Technology Center Lecture Hall

We will present four non-overlapping seminars on topics that are timely and useful for urban entrepreneurs. These seminars will be presented in the stunning and very functional Regional Technology Center lecture hall. Seminar subjects will include:

  • Getting off the Dime – Starting an Urban-Focused Business
  • Billions of People, Trillions of Dollars – The Basics and Promise of E-Commerce
  • Who’s Backin’ You? – Financing Your Urban Startup
  • Presenting YOU and Protecting What You Do – Personal and Business Branding and Intellectual Property

For the full agenda, go to

To see questions and answers about the event, go to

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