TechTown is Detroit’s entrepreneurship hub. We’re a different kind of incubator and accelerator, with a full suite of programs for both tech and neighborhood small businesses. We work with businesses at all stages, helping startup, emerging and established companies develop, launch and grow.
Detroit City of Design believes in the power of inclusive design to shape a more equitable, sustainable and passionate society. It is that spirit of inclusivity that best describes the alignment between us. We honor the role design plays in all that we do at TechTown and recognize it plays a critical role in our vision for a vibrant region with lasting prosperity for all. Every decision we make – whether it be programs, coworking space or partnerships – we work to make sure those opportunities are designed to be accessible to all.
TechTown’s place-based entrepreneurship programming – Retail Services and SWOT City- has supported several initiatives of the UNESCO City of Design Initiative, including the Design Guide and the State of Urban Manufacturing Study. We look forward to supporting the Drinks x Design event in May in Grandmont Rosedale – one of our target neighborhoods.
Retail Services helps retail entrepreneurs prepare for the launch of their brick-and-mortar businesses. Retail Boot Camp, its flagship program, is an intensive, eight-week course that prepares serious entrepreneurs with strong retail concepts for the successful launch of their business in Detroit. Retail Boot Camp facilitators include local design professionals – from fields such as architecture, interior design, retail merchandising, graphic design and branding – that all intend to highlight how design impacts your bottom line.
SWOT City is a customized support program for brick-and-mortar small businesses in Detroit neighborhoods. Our staff of passionate, skilled professionals provides one-on-one assistance to help launch, stabilize and grow businesses and strengthen neighborhood commercial districts. Our client work frequently involves creative SMEs and advocacy for key programs such as WordPress’ Rebrand Cities and DEGC’s Motor City Re-Store to develop websites, design signage, refresh brand identity and re-imagine interior design.
The MedHealth Cluster is a regional collaboration that convenes, educates and connects the medical device and digital health ecosystem in Southeast Michigan and Southwest Ontario to accelerate the adoption of medical device and digital health technologies. The recently launched “Commercialization Pathfinder” tool will help make navigating the process easier by illuminating the elements of commercialization specific to medical innovation such as networking, design, development, regulation, IP protection, funding and marketin while also linking entrepreneurs to educational resources and support services. The tool specifically recommends using design thinking for tackling challenges when working through a bold idea. By engaging in the human-centered methodology of design thinking, users across Michigan and Ontario will be able to better understand and communicate how their idea or technology will be used in its intended market. Using design-thinking principles will also help users make better-informed decisions early in the commercialization process, shorten development time and optimize resources.