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440 Burroughs St
Detroit, MI 48202

Mark Ostach

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I'm currently involved in the SmartStart program through TechTown. In addition to TechTown, I'm starting to get involved with Walsh College's Blackstone LaunchPad program which helps to foster entrepreneurs. I'm also a proud graduate of Leadership Detroit class 30.

Where did you find your first employee?
I found Paul Loe, the lead engineer on the project, through North Ridge Church. At about the same time I met Paul, I met another Detroit native, Chris Lee. Chris heads up the Web development side of the company. Both Chris and Paul are extremely talented individuals and have become close friends of mine.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Our goal is to secure funding through research grant dollars by March of 2011. We are focused on finding partners interested in research pertaining to behavioral trends in Internet use and the impact it can have on emotion, mood and mental health.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
There are numerous programs that exist to help support entrepreneurs. Local leaders need to become more aware of which programs are most effective and focus their efforts on directing young entrepreneurs to these resources. Personally, I've received a lot of support through local leaders in the community. Specifically, business coaches at TechTown have been very valuable in helping to shape mymentalspace.com.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
I would help to change the attitude of the city - those of the people in it and those on the outside that view it. It is not everyone, of course, but it's as if Detroit's self-esteem is so low because of how the rest of the country views it, and how it's trying to get back up. A lot of people who live here are proud to live here, but obviously the bad covers a lot of the good. It is not about pretending challenges don't exist - it is about learning how to take them on now and fix them, or at least start to.

What is one thing Michigan does better or has going for it that other more successful regional economies don't?
Michigan is full of talented minds. We have a very diverse yet well-rounded set of personality traits that make up the people within our State. I believe, more so than any other successful region, that our people are what we have going for it. We are friendly, hard-working and have strong ties to our roots. These attributes have allowed Michigan to position itself for a long-overdue path to revitalization through the collective efforts of our people.

What are some of the advantages to doing business in Detroit?
Detroit has a wide-open landscape for people with ideas to experiment at will. Plus, Detroit is full of resources to help foster entrepreneurship. The more people we have starting up businesses in Detroit, the better than chance we'll have at improving our economy. You never know, the next Facebook could be right here in Detroit.

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