Press Release: BUILD Institute and City of Ferndale Hosted First-Ever Ferndale SOUP

BUILD Institute and City of Ferndale Hosted First-Ever Ferndale SOUP

Micro-Granting Dinner Brought Crowdfunding, Democracy and Community Development to Ferndale LAW FIRM 2 GO Won Support from Level One Bank, BUILD Institute and Extended Ferndale Community


(FERNDALE, MI) – On Thursday, June 27, Detroit-based small business incubator BUILD Institute partnered with the City of Ferndale to host the first-ever SOUP event in suburban Detroit. For years, the City of Detroit has been host to a multitude of SOUP events, raising more than $140,000 via crowdfunding for new local nonprofits, businesses and initiatives.

“We were thrilled to partner with the City of Ferndale to bring this exciting, inclusive, community-driven opportunity to new entrepreneurs,” said April Boyle, Executive Director, BUILD Institute. “All across this region we see makers, creators and visionaries taking bold steps to start new businesses and invest in their communities. Ferndale SOUP gave us a chance to celebrate the activity that makes Metro Detroit so unique and a great place to live.”

SOUP is a micro-granting dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in Detroit. For a donation of $5-

$10 attendees receive soup, salad, bread and a vote and hear four presentations ranging from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and more. Each presenter has four minutes to share their idea and answer four questions from the audience. At the end of the night, BUILD Institute counts the ballots and the winner goes home with all of the money raised to carry out their project. Winners come back to a future SOUP dinner to report their project’s progress.

This Ferndale SOUP was extra special because it was a “triple play.” Level One Bank and BUILD Institute both made matching donations to add to funds collected at the door. The event also broke records for attendance – more than 100 people attended. Presenters at the inaugural Ferndale SOUP included:

Forever Fosters: Companion cats for people in need.

El Tontos Cocina and Cerveceria: Authentic Mexican Pop-up benefiting local charities and causes.

Law Firm 2 Go: A mobile law firm to host free legal advice events in the local community.

Spacecat Vstro: An inclusive space for the vegetarians and veg-curious to dine together and be part of the community.

Law Firm 2 Go was voted the winner, and took home $1,664 from attendees, Level One Bank and BUILD Institute. Law Firm 2 Go describes itself as “a resource for members of the community and people who come to visit Ferndale. Ferndale is a destination-city, and people travel from around the tri-county area to spend time shopping, eating and attending the many events. Our goal is to be an addition to the already amazing community of movers and shakers.”

With key partnerships and community leaders, SOUPs are created to change the way people engage with the democratic process. Together we are strengthening community, fostering critical dialogue, instilling neighborhood pride, providing a space for citizens to establish new relationships and networks, promoting community-driven action and change, and helping create jobs.

As of 2010 in Detroit alone, SOUP events have raised more than $140,000 that has gone directly into community projects. Past SOUP winners have started nonprofits, local businesses, after-school programs and park clean-ups. In SOUP’s 150+ dinners over time, our diners have helped fund 45 projects, 39 nonprofits and 25 for-profit enterprises. At least 31 of these projects would not have moved forward without support from SOUP and BUILD Institute is excited to bring SOUP to Ferndale.

About BUILD Institute

BUILD Institute serves as an incubator of small businesses and a champion of native Detroit talent, where we harness and encourage the entrepreneurial drive that is so unique to the region, and provide tools, resources and support for small business development that would not exist otherwise. BUILDInstitute helps turn unique and in-demand business ideas into reality, with a particular focus on micro entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit and