Startup Spotlight on Detroit

by Matt Gardner, CEO, California Technology Council

CTC puts the Startup Spotlight on the reimagining of Detroit with Terry Bean, Chief Networking Officer at Motor City Connect, Josh Linkner, Chairman of Fuel Leadership, and Ned Staebler, CEO of TechTown. Our guests talk through talent, capital, and creativity in a city with a great legacy and all the ingredients for a new future.

Terry Bean provides a sense of pride talking about his home city. "Not only is there a ton of diversity and a lot opportunity, we've got the Great Lakes surrounding us. Michigan is one of the coolest spots on the planet."

"We're seeing lots of people coming home," adds Staebler, who himself is a boomerang back to the Detroit area from Boston, Chicago, and London. “A lot of it is that people have an emotional tie to the place that they’re from. We’re seeing a lot of people coming home.”

Bean, who is author of Be Connected: Strategies to Attract the Right Opportunities, Connections and Clients Through Effective Networking, and one of the organizers of TEDxDetroit, offers his view of some of the cultural need. “We have to ask for help. We get it done far more effectively together. That can change us.”

Josh Linkner is best-selling author of The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation. Linkner suggests the priority should be updating the global view of Detroit. "One of the bigger problems we have is clearing up perceptions. I like taking people for walking meetings. I discover a new art gallery or a new restaurant. I think once people see it and feel it, it’s a very different story than what the media has portrayed."

“I think it’s a pretty amazing time to be working in Detroit,” Staebler beams. “I’m pretty excited to be seeing it at a time when it’s making a really historic comeback.”

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