NEI Story Quick Facts
Grant: College for Creative Studies Accelerator, Creative Corridor Center Studio, Creative Corridor Incentive Fund
Grant Amount Total: $1,049,000
- Support the Detroit Creative Corridor Center to provide expanded business acceleration programming for creative sector start-up companies.
Prior to DC3, we were jumping around from coffee shop to coffee shop. DC3 has helped us establish our business model.
- Jaeson Brown, Root4Creative
Detroit Creative Corridor Center
Detroit has the 6th largest creative class in the country. While this may be news to some, it’s not so surprising when one considers the city’s rich traditions in automotive design and advertising, its community of artists and creative professionals, and its world class institutions like the College for Creative Studies.
But the city and region lacked a central place where creative could go to build legitimate, sustainable businesses around their talents. In order to advance and grow Detroit’s creative economy, NEI partnered with the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in 2010 to create the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood.DC3 strives to connect Detroit’s creative assets and grow the creative economy—one entrepreneur at a time.
DC3’s Creative Venture Program is one example of how the Center does this work. A competitive, year-long business development program, the Creative Ventures Program helps creative entrepreneurs launch their businesses in Detroit by providing them with coaching, mentoring, office space, and other resources.
Jaeson Brown and some friends were collaborating on freelance projects in Detroit when a client asked him if he had a company. A lightbulb went off in his head. “Yeah...I’ve got a company,” he responded.
Realizing that he could put together all the raw materials to form a company, Jaeson approached his freelance partners with the idea. They founded Root4Creative, a company focusing on creative branding, marketing, data, and design.
Like many creative startups, finding office space was an issue for Root4Creative. The team jumped from coffee shop to coffee shop and Wi-Fi hotspot to Wi-Fi hotspot as it worked on projects for clients. That changed when Jaeson and Co. were accepted into DC3’s Creative Ventures Program, which provided them with dedicated space to meet and work, access to office equipment, mentorship that helped them solidify their business plan, and the confidence and sense of legitimacy they needed to grow.
Patrick Thompson Design
In 2008 Patrick Thompson launched his interior design consulting company out of a spare room in his house. After a year and a half in business, Patrick was eager to move his company out of the bedroom and into a dedicated brick and mortar location. But getting the funding was a struggle, even though business was growing steadily.
Exploring his alternatives, Patrick applied to DC3’s newly launched Creative Ventures Program, and his company, Patric Thompson Design, was selected as one of its inaugural companies. The benefits were many. Patrick learned a lot from the mentors and coaches at DC3 and his company gained legitimacy by being there. Since completing the program, Patrick Thompson Design has opened its own office in the Auburn Building in Midtown Detroit.