As we settle into our new home at TechOne, Model D’s recent interview with TechTown CEO and President Leslie Smith has given us insight on the impact the New Center’s business incubator is having on Detroit’s small business world. According to the business accelerator’s website, TechTown’s office, research, and technology space collectively spans forty-three acres. It began in the 1990’s when Wayne State’s then-president, Irvin D. Reid, envisioned an economic catalyst that would turn around the decaying area. The original concept was to cover a twelve-block area that intertwined schools, new and renovated housing and shops, and an entertainment center with the startups and small businesses housed or supported by TechTown. As the idea grew, a generous facility donation from GM became TechOne, the first TechTown building. Through TechOne’s first year, Henry Ford Health Systems donated supplies and office space to TechTown employees while the building was renovated. Since its opening in 2004, TechTown has a second location in New Center.
As Model D has noted, TechTown also provides programs that help grow businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs’ dreams of making their business strategies a reality. According to an internal study, TechTown helped grow 647 businesses and create 1085 jobs between 2007 and 2011. D3 is extremely pleased to be apart of this diverse and encouraging environment, and we hope that we will be able to contribute to the culture of melting pot of small businesses and startups.
More about TechTown [D2020]