Jumpstarting Entrepreneurship in Your Community
Hosted by The Philanthropy Roundtable, in partnership with the William Davidson Foundation
Registration is open!
Strong entrepreneurial communities are prized for their innovation, dynamism, job creation and economic growth. And while it’s easy to name a handful of prominent startup cities – San Francisco, Austin or Las Vegas, for example – all is not well on the start up front.
Fewer businesses launch each year, and the ones that do emerge tend to hire fewer people. Further, women and minority-owned businesses remain a small percentage of all startups.
How can philanthropy help reverse these trends by supporting the creation of vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems in their communities? To better understand the opportunities for strategic philanthropic investments, The Philanthropy Roundtable invites donors to explore this and other questions, including:
How is philanthropy helping to promote entrepreneurship and fuel startup communities? What kinds of investments are donors making in their regional areas and what are they seeking to achieve with these investments? What do we know about the impact of these efforts? What are some of the metrics and data that have been collected to assess impact? Where are the gaps in evaluation and analysis? Are there case studies that showcase lessons learned? What are the promising efforts on the horizon?
Join us in Detroit, where local and national funders have embarked on the bold goal of returning Detroit to its position as a global economic leader. Recognizing entrepreneurship as a powerful means of diversifying and strengthening the region’s economy, they have invested in building a network of support for entrepreneurs across southeast Michigan. What can be learned from the ongoing Detroit experience and in turn, what can Detroit learn from others?
October 3, 2017
3:00-7:30 p.m. Site Visit and Reception
Experience Detroit’s “Grass Roots to High Growth” Entrepreneurial Community
Come tour Detroit’s TechTown, the innovation hub that brings together talent, technologies, and capital. Its recently renovated first floor space catalyzes entire communities of startups through business acceleration, incubation, co-working, and events. Mingle with area entrepreneurs to hear how local and national funders are supporting strategies to identify, support and nurture entrepreneurs in the neighborhoods and city of Detroit.
Panel: From “Grass Roots to High Growth” -- Meet local entrepreneurs and hear their stories.
Pamela Lewis, director of the New Economy Initiative, will lead a discussion among area entrepreneurs, who will share stories about their entrepreneurship journeys. What propelled them to start their own business? What have been their successes and challenges? How have funders been instrumental? How can they fill some of the gaps that continue to offer challenges? In a nutshell, what makes entrepreneurs tick in the rich communities of Detroit and how can philanthropy help?
- Pamela Lewis, New Economy Initiative (moderator)
October 4, 2017
8:30 a.m. Welcome
8:45-9:15 a.m. Change the World by Changing Your Neighborhood
- Andrew Yang, Venture for America
9:15-10:30 a.m. Rebooting a Great American City: Philanthropy and the Startup Experience in Detroit
We know the benefits of a strong startup community, but what does it take to nurture, strengthen and sustain a startup community? In this discussion, funders share lessons from Detroit investments to fuel a rebirth of startups in the city.
- David Egner, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation
- Josh McManus, Rock Ventures
- Mariam Noland, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
- Darin McKeever, William Davidson Foundation (moderator)
10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Beyond Detroit: Building and Supporting Ecosystems of Entrepreneurial Innovation
Partnerships with community colleges, helping kids become entrepreneurs, and strengthening capacity for aspiring entrepreneurs in underserved communities are just a few of the strategies donors pursue to support entrepreneurial development and success. What are the outcomes and impacts of philanthropic investments upon regional entrepreneurial success?
- Jon Bachura, Youth Entrepreneurs
- Deborah Hoover, Burton D. Morgan Foundation
- Jason Zylstra, DeVos Family Foundations
- Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation (moderator)
12:00-1:15 p.m. Lunch Program: Creating the Next Generation of Startup Leaders and Innovators
Children’s Business fairs grant kids the opportunity to create, market, and sell a product. The Children’s Business Fair was developed by the Acton Academy Schools and Acton MBA program, two organizations which believe in the power of work and entrepreneurship to improve self-esteem and strong communities. Its Children’s Business Fair model has been replicated in cities across the country including Detroit. During this presentation, hear from both the organizers of the Detroit venture, as well as some of its young entrepreneurs.
- Joseph Lehman, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
- Young vendors from the Detroit Children’s Business Fair
1:30-2:30 p.m. Design Session: Reaching Underserved Entrepreneurs and Communities
Research indicates that a variety of demographic, socioeconomic and geographic barriers stand in the way of entrepreneurs starting and succeeding today. Participants are invited to join in this brainstorming design session to explore the question: what are the best ways to reduce these barriers for underserved entrepreneurs and reverse the dismal startup numbers?
2:45-4:00 p.m. The Philanthropic Exchange: Perspectives from National and Global Funders
What’s on the horizon for entrepreneurship funding? What areas are ripe for future or additional support, collaborations or evaluations? In this session, national funders share their strategies and focus areas, providing insights about the success and failures of past investments, and goals for future investments.
- Deborah Hochberg, Paul E. Singer Foundation
- Sarah Koch, Case Foundation
DoubleTree Suites - Detroit Downtown
525 West Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 80202
The Philanthropy Roundtable has negotiated a special room block rate of $145 per night at the DoubleTree Suites - Downtown Detroit. Reserve your room at our group rate here. Rates will be available until Saturday, September 2, 2017, based on hotel availability. The hotel block may sell out, so please make your reservations early to ensure a room. The DoubleTree Suites - Downtown Detroit is located 22 miles from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW).