Detroit’s OpenCo Open for Collaboration This WeekBy Amanda Lewan on September 9th, 2013 /
In a world where many of us are glued to a screen, we sometimes forget what’s happening right next door to our own office. OpenCo aims to change that by fostering a collaborative, open, and very different type of business conference.
John Battelle who is the Founder of Federated Media (a media company boasting clients like Upworthy and AMEX Open Forum) and also one of the founding writers of Wired Magazine, was getting bored attending the usual tech and business conferences. He decided to change it up with OpenCo.
OpenCo fosters a day of exploration and collaboration for innovators and business professionals. Instead of sitting in a dark room with a PowerPoint, companies open their doors to attendees and show them around. Attendees get to see behind the scenes of a city’s leading companies and innovators.
The event started in San Francisco and has traveled to New York, London, and is now arriving to Detroit this Wednesday and Thursday.
“The goal really is to inspire people who are considering starting a business in Detroit,” says Liz Boone, Co-Chair of OpenCo Detroit. “We want them to look at Detroit and see it’s a great place to work.”
Liz is an advocate of the Detroit entrepreneurial community. She is the owner of Nora in Midtown, a boutique retail design store. Liz really wanted to inspire others to start a business and collaborate in Detroit.
“We also want to promote business to business collaboration,” says Liz, who points out that often a company may not realize they have a great app company like Detroit Labs just next door. “We want businesses to see the talent here in Detroit.”
Where exactly can you visit during the conference? Quicken Loans, Bamboo Detroit, Apigee, and Atomic Object are a few of the innovative places opening their doors to the public next week. Check out their map of participants. Each company will provide their own tours, programming, and “behind-the-scenes” scoop of business in Detroit.
Liz says people really appreciate the experience and the collaboration that exists from learning inside other successful companies. For startups, it could be a great way to learn from growing companies in your neighborhood. It can also be a great way to learn about company culture, something that many companies find valuable to their growth.
The conference is free to attend on Thursday, though attendees must register in advance to create their own schedule. Liz stresses reserving the spots you’d like to see in advance, so make sure you register today.
If you could explore inside any company in the world, which would you see?