News

    Woodbridge Bikes and Coffee: The story of partnership through Build

    For many of our graduates, Build Institute is a place to toss around a business idea, find support in an entrepreneurial environment, and get connected to a network of doers that welcome collaboration. For some, Build becomes the place where they found exactly what they needed to launch their idea – a business partner. Jonathon Colo and Benjamin Kehoe applied for the same Build Basics class in Spring 2015 with similar business concepts, but with no knowledge of one another. Neither of them went into the Build class with the sole intention of finding a partner, but knew it was...

    Kiva Zip’s Impact: Three borrowers share their experience, growth, and success

    Kiva Zip, a 0% interest, crowdfunded micro-loan program, has been in Detroit for 3 years and has had tremendous positive impact on small business owners. This program, now powered by Build Institute,  fills a gap in Detroit for entrepreneurs trying to access capital to take their business to the next level, and creates community where individuals from Southeast Michigan and all over the world can have an active role in creating opportunity and rebuilding Detroit for as little as a $25 loan. In only a few years there has been more $106,200 over 27 loans funded in Detroit and that number is growing every month....

    Embracing Human Nature: Entrepreneurship

    It’s a funny thing about humans, our propensity to be natural-born problem solvers. We constantly want to fix things, to improve and make them better. This past year I’ve learned that’s why so many of the people moving to or staying in Detroit have intentionally done so. Detroit is a place full of problems that need solutions and, for the determined problem-solvers, it has become their home. Over the course of the last year, I’ve also embraced a new word for these innate problem-solvers-- entrepreneurs. Think about it. At their core, entrepreneurs...

    Forward Cities Featured Post from Build’s Executive Director April Boyle

    "When I first heard of Forward Cities and their goals of advancing minority ownership and commercial corridor redevelopment I was over the moon with excitement, as these are the key tenants of our work at Build Institute.  I was able to attend the very first convening in New Orleans in December 2014 and was taken with the parallels in the stories of the natural disaster, which many argue was manmade due to faulty levies, and the unquestionably manmade disaster in Detroit after 50 years of disinvestment, structural and institutional racism, the housing...

    Sidewalk Ventures: Are you ready to start raising community-based investment for your business?

    "Seeking community-based investment is exciting. With the right team in place, it can be relatively user-friendly and easy to understand, but it still involves asking people to take real financial risk with you. There will be some serious issues to address and information to provide. You're an entrepreneur, so you're probably a doer and you like to get things moving, but it's important to make sure you're prepared before you start looking to the community for investment. Want to know if you're ready?  Start by answering these questions.." Read more at Sidewalk Ventures here.

    Lapel Bar: From running a family business to opening my own

    Think about it, it’s pretty safe to say that we as people have encountered someone that has said the words “I hate my job.” But typically, these same individuals that create these harsh statements rarely find themselves leaving this particular job of theirs until something pushes them over the boiling point. No, this is not an article about how I reached my boiling point. We can save that great story for another date and time. Today is about how I knew I’d become a business owner. Growing up with parents that were successful business owners themselves, it was difficult to...

    It Takes a Village: A case study of collaborative entrepreneurship in Detroit

      On the eastside of Detroit, minutes past the buzz of the city’s freshly developing urban sprawl, sits the quaint neighborhood of West Village. The streets are quieter – the loudest sounds those of saws grinding from renovation sites screeching, “The revitalization is here. It has taken root.” In the last few years, new storefronts have popped up in the neighborhood with increasing frequency among the community gardens and turn-of-the-century homes. With a handful of established shops in the neighborhood, doors all ready open, and several more set to open this year and next, it...

    Build hosts Duke Engage Fellowship interns

    We're so fortunate to work with Duke University hosting 2 summer interns, Liz and Ryan, as part of the Duke Engage Fellowship program. You can read about their experience living, working, and playing in Detroit here. Check out the interview Liz did with our executive director April Boyle here. Check out the interview Ryan did with our director of programs Jessica Meyer here.

    Build Institute Welcomes New Alumni Coordinator

    Build Institute, a program of Downtown Detroit Partnership, is proud to announce and welcome Nikki Pardo as alumni coordinator. Pardo will oversee the Build Next program, which is exclusively dedicated to Build graduates and provides support and resources they need to launch and grow. Build Next is a very important component to the success of the graduates as they continue to network, collaborate, learn, inspire and serve as catalysts to ensure their businesses flourish and thrive. “The Build community continues to grow with over 600 graduates in just 3 short years and we need to make sure our alumni feel...

    Three helpful tools for getting your business to the next level

    As an urbanist, I see entrepreneurs as the lifeblood of cities. They are what give cities their own unique identity and sense of vitality. And as an entrepreneur myself, I know how hard it can be to get your business going. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tricks that have helped take my work to the next level.  There’s a lot of advice out there for entrepreneurs, most of it bad, but I’ve found the tools below to be incredibly helpful.   1. Get Stuff Done Like a Boss This is my daily productivity system. It’s premised on the notion that...