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Grassroots entrepreneurial events flourish in Detroit

Dug Song likes to say that startups live and die much when entrepreneurs are out networking more than when they're writing business plans. The successful Ann Arbor-based entrepreneur walks that talk with highly successful events, like A2 New Tech Meetup. Events that are now spreading and taking hold in Detroit.

Detroit New Tech Meetup is holding its first meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Wayne State University Engineering Development Center. The event will be held, with Song's help, the same way A2 New Tech Meetup is held with five startups giving short presentations and taking questions from entrepreneurs and investors. A2 New Tech Meetup is one of southeast Michigan's most dynamic entrepreneurial events, regularly attracting hundreds of people.

"The Detroit New Tech Meetup is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to share their ideas and help showcase their innovations in Detroit," says Thanh Tran, organizer of Detroit New Tech Meetup and co-founder of TechTown-based startup MentalNote. "It's about riding Michigan's entrepreneurial wave."

Another entrepreneurial event with Ann Arbor roots spreading to Detroit is Mobile Monday. The Detroit version started last month at Compuware's headquarters, attracting about 150 people talking about smart phone applications. The next meetup, hosted in part by Quicken Loans, is expected to have an equal or greater drawing power.

That's on top of the already successful entrepreneurial events in Detroit, such as First Fridays at TechTown, Detroit Startup Weekend downtown and Startup Drinks Detroit. All of those events regularly attended by dozens if not hundreds of people. That's on top of the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition that has received 570 entries.

Source: Thanh Tran, organizer of Detroit New Tech Meetup
Writer: Jon Zemke
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