Thanks to everyone who came out to SpaceLab Detroit last Thursday., March 5, for the UEI-sponsored Urban Innovators Reception. Our objectives were (1) to meet, greet, and network, (2) to share what urban-focused entrepreneurs are currently doing to uplift the Detroit community, and what they need to be successful, and (3) to discuss the new U-M Detroit Center for Innovation (and a similar center in the planning stages at MSU) and to discuss how such innovation centers can best benefit people and organizations in the Detroit community. We also wanted to get a feel for the desire to hold regular gatherings of this sort going forward.
I would say that we definitely accomplished the meeting objectives. We had a great time networking and sharing, especially against the backdrop of great music provided by Urban Organic (Drake Phifer). We heard from several entrepreneurs about their current activities, and were heartened to see the increased activity, capability, and level of enthusiasm compared to just a few years ago. We also had a lively and informative discussion about the U-M Detroit Center for Innovation, and we intend to continue to seek input regarding this important development. One of my fellow DCI Curriculum Committee members, Professor Roy Clarke, was present at the reception, as was Professor Forrest Carter who represents the MSU innovation center effort. We all appreciated the sincere and helpful suggestions.
Based on the input received and the general vibe of the reception, we will be holding regular future receptions of this type, probably once per quarter. Our aim is to continue to support and enhance the success of Detroit-area urban-focused entrepreneurs.