Business Resources and Programs


We offer education, resources and programming opportunities to our members and the community that help strengthen and grow Detroit’s design-driven businesses and designers.

Client Services Bootcamp

The Client Services Boot Camp is an annual six-session boot camp program for small- to medium-sized design firms/agencies and freelancers, based on the fundamentals of client service. Each cohort is small and capped at 10 attendees. In addition to workshops lead by industry professionals, attendees are asked to present their business pitch at the first and last session of the boot camp to help clarify their client offering and value proposition.

October 28, 30, November 4, 6, 11, 13


Co.Starters Design

CO.STARTERS DESIGN is a nine-week business development program helping design entrepreneurs put ideas into action, and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving small business. This course is for anyone planning to launch a design related business, like architecture, landscape or interior design, illustration or graphic art, photography or videography, website development or UX/UIX, storytelling, product design, etc. Applications open March 11, 2019.

In partnership with the Build Institute.

Every Wednesday from April 10 - June 5.

One-on-One Business Consultation

Our one-on-one business consultations help design-driven entrepreneurs or small businesses access resources, strengthen their business and connect to professional services.  Program can meet to discuss business ideas, goals or challenges.

See event page for latest availability.


City of Design Exchange

New opportunities emerge for Detroit’s creative community to be showcased through exhibitions, conferences, exchanges and global design events. To further its mission of supporting Detroit-based creative businesses and practitioners, Design Core Detroit is offering Detroit City of Design ambassador stipends to support the cost of travel and materials for Detroit designers selected to participate in a fellow UNESCO Creative Cities Network partner events.

Design & Dine Lecture Series

Design & Dine is a lecture series where Detroit Design Network members share industry expertise and trends with a wide audience. The series aims to connect designers, share knowledge and help attendees build a wide range of design-based skillsets. Topics can be on a variety of subjects. Some key areas that members have expressed an interest in for future sessions include copywriting and content, business skills, graphic design, marketing and more.

  • April 18th

  • June 20th

  • August 22nd

  • October 24



A 5-part financial management and capital readiness workshop series for design driven who aspire to scale, delivered in partnership with TechTown Detroit and Detroit Development Fund. The final session includes an individual consultation with a 2 person team, including a business coach and a lender who can evaluate participants current financial position.

Offered once a year in Q4.

Designer Dating Game

A panel discussion with pizazz, the Designer Dating Game tackles common business issues with a little retro game show fun. The contestant asks members of Detroit's Design Network challenging questions about how design services can solve everyday business challenges, improve the bottom line and otherwise make life better.

February 27 and September 5, 2019.


Drinks x Design

Held in a new location on the second Thursday of every month from 5:30-8 p.m., Drinks x Design offers an opportunity for creative businesses throughout the city to open their doors and share their work with the public. Attendees come to meet new people, make connections, promote their creative endeavors and learn about other projects in their community. Event information will be released one month before each event.

Detroit Design Network members have an opportunity to exhibit their work, current projects and connect with potential future clients.

  • March 14th: Talent Cypher

  • April 11th: City of Design

  • May 9th: Architecture and Interiors

  • June 13th: Mobility

  • July 11th: User Experience

  • August 8th: Commerce Design

  • September 12th: Design Crawl

*We are always looking for new spaces, talent, design ambassadors and partners. If interested, please fill out the following form and someone from our team will contact you.



Design Guide for Neighborhood Business

As the stewards of Detroit’s UNESCO City of Design designation, Design Core Detroit believes strongly in the power of design to strengthen Detroit’s commercial corridors, and to have a profound and lasting impact on the health and prosperity of our neighborhood business districts. Want more info? This Design Guide aims to empower and inspire Detroit’s brick and mortar business owners through information, examples, exercises and more. Email to order a physical copy of the book.

State of Urban Manufacturing Study

In partnership with Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA), Design Core released new research highlighting on the state of small batch manufacturing in Detroit. The State of Urban Manufacturing: Detroit Snapshot is the second of a six-city series produced by UMA that will provide first-of-its-kind data on city-based manufacturing across the country, with an emphasis on makers and small-scale manufacturers. Get the Detroit City Snapshot Here, and the Detroit Ecosystem Map below.