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Detroit, MI 48226

Steve Balistreri

Steve Balistreri wanted to a centralized place where he could wonk out on automobile minutia. The problem was the closest thing the could find to that was his local library. Everything online was scattered among a variety of websites, if it was online at all. So the auto enthusiast did something about it, creating DIYAutoFTW.

The website serves as a clearing house for information about automobiles. Everything from what type of filter a 1989 Ford Taurus needs for an oil change to the dimension of a bumper for 1969 Ford Mustang. All of that data is centralized into a Wikipedia of car information.

DIYAutoFTW has been up and running for a year. In that time it has collected information to 400 different vehicles from car enthusiasts. It website traffic and membership have steadily grown in its first year, a trend that looks to continue. It launched a crowding funding campaign earlier this year with a plan to raise $40,000 to improve the website. It didn’t hit that goal but it did a lot when it comes to promoting the website.

"It has been going up a lot since we launched the Kickstarter," Balistreri says. "It went up exponentially. They membership went up, too."

He adds the crowd funding campaign is the first time DIYAutoFTW has used external advertising to promote the website. That also helped build up its popularity.

"It has definitely been a learning process," Balistreri says. "Thankfully there are a lot of instructional material out there."

He adds that he hopes to continue to build the website’s traffic with a redesign and expanded content. The crowd funding campaign was supposed to pay for that but Balistreri plans to find new ways to continually build the website’s traffic from scratch this year.

"Once that is up we will begin expanding our online presence," Balistreri says. "We will be doing videos on Youtube. Once the website is up we will start expanding the website content as well."

Balistreri is a graduate of D:hive’s BUILD program, an 8-week course that teaches aspiring entrepreneurs the basics of running a business and pair them with resources to help them build one.

"The entrepreneurial community in Detroit, like D:hive, has been extremely supportive so far," Balistreri says.

- Written by Jon Zemke

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    D:hive is a non-profit partnership that will help individuals connect with information and resources relevant to living, working and engaging in Detroit.