GREAT IDEAS START WITH BUILD

We help people turn their business ideas into reality by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support network in Detroit. To date, we have graduated over 1800 aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs from our classes, many of whom have gone on to start successful businesses in the city. In addition to classes, we offer networking events, mentorship, connections to resources and a nurturing community that allows ideas to develop and flourish over time. With a little support, a lot of hard work, and a friendly nudge, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Do you have an idea? Want to be your own boss? Dream of starting a business? Join us and get Building!

History

Build was started in January 2012 as a program of D:hive, a welcome center and resource hub located downtown. The classes, called Build Basics, are based on national standards for entrepreneurship education. The first class in Detroit was offered in the spring of 2012 and since then demand has grown tremendously. Classes are now offered every season and have expanded beyond the core curriculum to include Build Impact, Co.Starters, and Digital Marketing, with classes offered throughout the City of Detroit, Metro Detroit, and beyond.

Mission

We empower people to launch ideas and grow businesses by providing access to education, resources, and a supportive engaged community.

Vision

Detroit will be the global leader in equitable and inclusive entrepreneurship.

Our Team
Carol Adams - Executive Assistant

Carol Adams is a seasoned Executive Assistant with many years of progressive experience. 
Carol has supported high level executives at New Detroit, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Arthur Andersen, Accenture, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and TechTown.  Carol currently supports the President & CEO of Build Institute. Her expertise includes board and program support, strategic planning, developing and implementing processes and procedures, team building, and event and conference planning. She has an Associates degree from the University of Phoenix and is a member of the Stars of Adah – Chapter 125, Mothers of Murdered Children, and The New Temple of Faith Missionary Baptist Church.  She is a parent of three and grandmother of six.

Jessica Bondalapati - Operations Director

After years of supporting Detroit small businesses in business plan development and product development, Jessica Bondalapati launched her consultancy Lady Bondo in 2017 to help fill in the “growth gaps” needed to take Detroit businesses and organizations to the next level. Her services include operations improvement, program development, and balance coaching for entrepreneurs. She enjoys providing a customized approach to each client by understanding individual needs and working on a plan everyone feels confident in executing. In 2015, Jessica was named a Next City Network Urban Innovator and an American Express and Ashoka Changemakers Emerging Innovator for her previous work with Build Institute and Kiva Detroit. She’s also written for Model D Media and Forward Cities on topics including local investment, ethical redevelopment, placemaking, and affordable housing, and a front cover spread for Conscious Company Magazine highlighting six innovators redesigning Detroit. When she isn’t working with her clients, you can find Jessica hiking trails or in her kayak. 

Lisa Grace - Development Director

Lisa Grace is a non-profit professional with over 25 years of experience working for Detroit area nonprofits. She believes that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our local economies and now more than ever before, entrepreneurial education and access to capital plays a critical role in ensuring that our communities are thriving. While at Ecoworks, Lisa was able to raise the visibility of the Reclaim Detroit program, developing a market for reclaimed materials and securing funding to support the environmentally driven workforce development program. At GRDC and Ennis Center for Children, she secured much needed funds to increase and support operations and programming. Lisa is also a passionate volunteer working for several organizations, but her heart lies with the Redford Theatre. Currently, she serves on several committees and is the voice of the Redford Theatre’s social media. Lisa is a proud graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of NonProfit Management. She is inspired daily by her husband, their children and grandchildren who say she is a great cook, an avid reader, and a subpar poker player. 

Margaret Kowal - Financial Capability Educator and Advocate

Margaret Kowal is a graduate student in the School of Social Work at Wayne State University (WSU). Her concentration is Innovation in Community, Policy and Leadership (ICPL). Her most recent field work was at the WSU Mike Ilitch School of Business where she helped to design a financial capability pilot program for WSU. Margaret believes strongly in helping others access financial knowledge and gain capability for long-term financial wellness. Margaret holds a Certificate in Financial Social Work from the Reeta Wolfson Center for Financial Social Work. Prior to entering the field of Social Work, Margaret’s professional experience spans business, education, and journalism.  Margaret provided relocation services to Japanese ex-patriot families in greater metro-Detroit. Margaret worked in sales and marketing at an automotive supplier in a Japanese Transplant Group. She worked for the Japanese Ministry of Education in international exchange and teaching in Japan.  She received two Associated Press Association Awards for her work in journalism. Margaret has a BA from the University of Vermont and completed the Japanese Immersion program at Middlebury College.

Marquise Adeleye - Special Projects and Operations Manager

Marquise has come to Build Institute as the Special Projects and Operations Manage through the Venture for America program. Venture for America helped Marquise to grow their skills while providing them with the tools needed to thrive in the entrepreneurial world. Marquise has an artistic background that they believe is beneficial in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Dance and a focus on Production and Technology. During their time in undergrad, Marquise worked in various student organizations to support diversity and inclusivity in the Middlebury College community. Marquise will help Build Institute continue to nurture a diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial community in Detroit. When Marquise is not on the clock you can find them skateboarding through the streets of Detroit or baking from fresh focaccia at home.

Onni Stone - Capital Access Manager

Onni Stone is passionate about empowering marginalized people, specifically economically and through financial literacy. She is a lifelong Michigan native, now resident of Detroit. She has worked for and started a number of small businesses over the years and understands the micro and macro impact of providing resources for entrepreneurs. She works for the Build Institute in the capacity of Kiva capital access manager. In her free time, she is a reader, learner, woodworker, and explorer.

Regina Ann Campbell- President and CEO

Regina Ann Campbell is the President and CEO of Build Institute, the nonprofit idea incubator for the Detroit Region. Before joining Build Institute, Regina was the Chief Program Officer for Epicenter Memphis. Regina was responsible for national strategic partnerships and a portfolio of programs, initiatives, and systems that ensured inclusive access and vibrancy of the entrepreneurial community in the Greater Memphis region. 

To date, Regina has led teams and initiatives that provided access to $21.4M+ in funding and resources for minority small business owners. As an economic development thought leader Regina has a successful track record of creating economic growth by scaling place-based acceleration and incubation, working with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and assisting in the launch of multiple startups. 

As a culture advocate, Regina champions entrepreneurship to drive economic empowerment for women and minorities; leverages shared cultural experiences to serve the “whole entrepreneur”; understands the ripple effect of entrepreneurship in urban/local communities; provides access to resources; revitalizes neighborhoods to create vibrant and thriving communities. 

Regina is also a social entrepreneur as co-founder and president of 901 ROC Development, LLC.

Torrance Campbell – Program Assistant

Torrance is a creative that values diversity, innovation and quality service . Torrance supports the program team with Build Classes, Build Alumni, engagement, social media and technical things. Torrance has lived in Detroit, Michigan most of his life with the exception of three years in Memphis, TN where he attended the first accredited TSTEM High School. Torrance returned to Detroit Michigan and is a freshman at the College for Creative Studies aspiring to become an animator.  Along with animation, Torrance has been coding for a lifetime and has a CompTIA certification.

Yolanda R. Milner - Programs Director

Yolanda is an experienced, enthusiastic leader and entrepreneur who leads Build Institute’s programs. Yolanda is responsible for programs, business partnerships, as well as Build’s entrepreneurs and alumni network. Yolanda also manages the Empower by GoDaddy Project Revival program. Yolanda has a diverse background and exceptional skillset as an MBA (International & Global Business concentration, Cornerstone University). Yolanda has international experience and brings many years of expertise in strategic branding, marketing, information technology, market development, project & territory management, training, facilitation, large-scale in-person/ virtual event planning, and relationship building with key stakeholders. Yolanda holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University. Yolanda has managed Skillman grant projects for Grow Detroit’s Young Talent and CFE – Cities for Financial Empowerment of New York, NY. Yolanda is also a 2016 Build Alumni; a “Detroit Girl” who loves her hometown and who’s passionate about entrepreneurship and serving the community at large.

Jennyfer Crawford – Ask Jennyfer, Social Media and Content Specialist
Our Impact
+ aspiring entrepreneurs graduated from BUILD
BUILD grads represent + zipcodes across metro Detroit
% of BUILD participants are people of color
% of BUILD students are female
Our Partners

Downtown Detroit Partnership

Adcraft

Detroit Development Fund

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

Fifth Third Bank

Google

Hatch Detroit

Invest Detroit

MSU Product Center

Opportunity Detroit

Patronicity

ProsperUS

Rock Ventures

TechTown

Wayne State Law Clinic

WEDGE Marketing

& countless other community professionals.