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460 W. Baltimore Ave
Detroit, MI 48202

Lander Coronado-Garcia

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Friends and family until now. We are currently applying to several city/state based micro-loan programs but have not secured funds yet.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
High visibility. Involved community. Extensive resources aimed at developing businesses.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
The mentality/quantity of early stage technology investors. Michigan grew up a manufacturing state and most investors still value companies the way manufacturing companies are valued: what is your widget, how is it better than other widgets, is your widget patented, and what are your margins? Tech companies do not develop this way. They are not always profitable from day one, and can sometimes have an extended period (a year or more) of losses before they turn a good idea into a profitable business. Investors in Michigan and in the Midwest are not used to calculating returns with a model like this and therefore do not seriously look at investing in companies that aren't profitable on user/widget number one.

Name an idea, policy or mindset from elsewhere that you would like to see this region adopt?
For Detroit: Pittsburgh's emphasis on historic conservation. Philadelphia's efforts to revitalize the Central Business District through a coalition of CBD-based businesses that reinvested some of their earnings into renovating/cleaning up the streetscape. Philadelphia's partnership with city based universities (UPenn and Drexel) to join the University City district with the CBD, creating a more unified sense of place.  Ann Arbor's focus on informing residents and tourists about landmarks and areas of interest through signage, placards and well crafted landmark stands. New York's adaptive reuse of derelict structures such as the Highline. Chattanooga's work to reconnect the city to the waterfront and attract retail and restaurant businesses to locate there.

For Michigan: A joint promotional campaign by the major public universities to emphasize the wealth of talent that the region affords businesses who want to locate here. A shift in mentality among investors to a more tech friendly investing strategy.

What could local leaders do to help attract and retain more entrepreneurial young people to Metro Detroit?
Create live/work/play pockets in the city. In these focused areas, public funds would combine with private development funds to build out amenity rich neighborhoods where very young professionals would be surrounded by other people like them. See Lincoln Park and Lakeview, Chicago.

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