Build Institute continues growth

leaving DDP to become its own autonomous 501c3

DETROIT – Continuing a year of monumental growth, Build Institute, an incubator for small Detroit businesses, will separate from the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and becoming an autonomous 501c3 starting January 1. Build Institute helps individuals turn business ideas into reality by providing tools, resources and a support network made up of small and aspiring business owners in Detroit.

In a little over five years, Build has made a strong economic impact in Detroit, helping over 450 businesses, which have created and/or retained 1,000 jobs in Michigan. Since its inception in January 2012, Build has graduated over 1,300 entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs from across the city, state and the Midwest.

“The success of the Institute is possible only because of the dedication and drive of the entrepreneurs and creators in our city,” said April Boyle, director, Build Institute. “As we take this next step, we have the opportunity to offer more support to the community and align all our efforts to continued economic growth in Detroit, by Detroiters.”

Earlier this year, Build Institute made another big step as it adopted Detroit SOUP, the Institute’s ninth program and the third program that the Institute has adopted, sustained and grown since 2012, including Kiva – a funding source for small business – and Open City – the longest running networking program for Detroit entrepreneurs. Detroit SOUP is a micro-granting dinner funding project that aligns with the Institute’s mission to launch ideas and grow businesses. Detroit SOUP’s next event will take place on Sunday, November 19 at the Jam Handy, located at 2900 E. Grand Blvd.

Expansion into Oakland County

Beyond the Institute’s milestone year, Build is also expanding its services beyond Detroit’s borders.  Through 2018 the organization will provide programming to the city of Ferndale, including the first-ever Ferndale SOUP, which will be held in the Rust Belt Market, Open City events and GROW peer roundtables.

In addition, Build Institute is working with the city of Pontiac to bring Build programs to the city to help support recipients of the Big Idea Grant Program and help build Pontiac’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Pontiac’s Big Idea grant program will provide several awards to businesses in Pontiac that have ideas to grow or businesses to expand.

“We see Build Institute’s expansion and growth as a true testament to the program’s sustainability,” said Eric Larson, CEO, DDP. “The DDP takes great pride is watching Build branch out and become its own independent non-profit and we wish the entire Build team luck as they continue their meaningful work throughout the city.”

Build Institute evolved from D:Hive  Detroit, a three year project launched in 2012 that helped Detroiters and visitors alike get the information they needed to live, work, engage or build a business in the city. In 2015, Build Institute was born, and in January, five short years later, the organization will celebrate becoming its own independent non-profit, shedding its affiliate status from the DDP.


About Build Institute

Build Institute is an idea activator and small business accelerator that helps people turn their business ideas into reality by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support network in Detroit. Build Institute has graduated over 1,200 aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs from classes based on national standards for entrepreneurship excellence. With support from the New Economy Initiative and Rock Venture, Build strives to be a nurturing organization that advances the culture and sustainability of community entrepreneurship.

PDF Copy: Build Institute – 501c3 Announcement