National Eye Asks: Where’s the Diversity in Detroit’s Startup Scene?

By Amanda Lewan on July 11th, 2014 / Comments

Detroit was given a national spotlight again, but this time with an in-depth overview of startups in the city.

The Motor City was a feature episode of a new media project called Ventured Life. Inside it looks at everything from Billionaire Dan Gilbert’s latest and greatest moves to grow entrepreneurship in the city, to the important topic of diversity in a primarily African American city.  From the article:

Three years later, it is evident that DVP catalyzed the tech scene in downtown Detroit where most of the city’s start-ups are based. The downtown occupancy rate is reported to be a whopping 99.4 percent as of late 2013. The approximately 30 start-ups under DVP, several of which are housed in the M@dison building, have received millions of dollars in seed, Series A, and Series B funding, including Stik and Chalkfly, both of which spoke with The Ventured Life.

We think it’s a great overview of some startups we love like our home Bamboo Detroit and ecommerce startup Chalkfly.

After covering a few of the unique startup stories in the city, Ventured Life then discusses one of the main challenges in Detroit’s startup fueled comeback:

Start-up communities everywhere, from San Francisco to New York City, are overwhelmingly white and male — that much is widely acknowledged. But the demographics of Detroit’s start-up community are more sharply at odds with the demographics of the overall metropolitan area than almost any other other start-up hub.

While founders and investors who spearhead start-ups in motor city are overwhelmingly white and male, Detroit is 84 percent black, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. That puts Detroit as number one on a list of American cities with the largest proportion of a black people.

“The stories that come out of this city are mostly what white males are doing, which is not to take away from what they’re doing,” said Rayford.”

Read the entire story now at the Ventured Life. 

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.