What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
TEDx Detroit, a couple of informal entrepreneurial groups, and mentors.Where did you find your first employee?
Our company's staff are friends from college or other places (located in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit).Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Not yet.Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
We have looked to Michigan VC's, angel groups, small private investors, and Government programs (state and federal). So far, only small private investors have provided capital to help us grow. Every VC or angel group in Michigan I've looked into does not provide funding for entertainment & digital media companies or "lifestyle" companies as they are sometimes referred. It's currently a difficult spot for us to be in because we view our company as much a part of innovating technology as creative content. But I'm hoping the other funding areas will continue to open up as advancements take place in our industry. It's often said that Metro Detroit and Michigan need to reinvent their economies to be competitive. Are we making those changes, and if so are we making enough of them or doing it fast enough?
I think there is an good effort to make changes necessary to reinvent the economy to be competitive by various groups and pockets of groups in the state. However, I worry if enough is being done fast enough to really start turning things around in the next 5-10 years. The region needs to work toward building critical mass around a strong movements, and have a long term outlook about what will drive growth in the future. I hope that will show itself soon. The two aspects I see bringing a revitalized Detroit and Michigan back the quickest are 1) continued educational improvements and opportunities and 2) available capital investment opened up in the region for new and budding industries and ideas. I think these two major factors will reverse things like 'brain drains' and start becoming an attractor state and city like so many others. The people, culture, and history here are still wonderful and unmatched anywhere else. If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
Diversifying business and industry.