Awaking an economy through animating the potential of individuals that embody the entrepreneurial spirit is no small task.  If it takes a village to raise a child, the same can be said about entrepreneurs.  The lives of individuals seeking to take ideas to action are often filled with frustrations and barriers to entry.  Our job at the D:hive is to make the first few steps of those pursuits just a little bit easier.  Located at 1253 Woodward Avenue in Detroit’s historic downtown retail corridor, the D:hive is a physical hub of information, connections and tools for living, working and engaging in the city.  Recognizing that accelerating the pace of innovation in Detroit requires easy entry for newcomers to the city, the Downtown Detroit Partnership along with the support of a host of partners, helped lay the groundwork for the D:hive in late 2011.  Building on the success of the Hudson Webber Foundation’s 15×15 initiative, the Live Downtown and Live Midtown initiatives, and Inside Detroit’s history of exploratory city tours, the D:hive is being constructed as a single resource of connectivity for newcomers to the city and for others wishing to connect and engage in new ways.

The D:hive Welcome Center serves as a one-stop shop for those who are beginning the process of living, working and/or engaging in the city.  Visitors to the space will soon have access to resources including:

  1. A trained staff fully knowledgeable about living, working and engaging in the city ready to answer immediate questions.
  2. Tours of the city ranging from places to play to history to new pockets of innovation and commerce.
  3. Detroit-specific retail from over sixty independent artists and artisans.
  4. Sample properties and maps for individuals seeking residential real estate information.
  5. Pertinent information about safety, schools, and other quality of life issues.
  6. Unique Detroit job opportunities.
  7. Connections to individual Detroit urban innovators working on complimentary projects.
  8. Introductions to programs and projects based on individual needs and interests.
  9. Classes for taking ideas to a fully implementable plan.
  10. Roundtables for growing emerging projects and programs.

The InsYght Program, another member of the NEI family, recently catalogued over 25,000 small business resources in the state of Michigan.  At the D:hive we recognize that navigating such a wealth of resources isn’t easy, especially when you are not quite sure what you are doing or looking for yet.  Our team of seasoned “air traffic controllers” have a history of helping individuals clarify their interests and make sound connections in the city.  We know from experience that innovation roots in connectivity and we’re here to help assist emerging innovators in their formative moments.  Many start-ups are made during a job change, a layoff, or a move.  We know that time is of the essence in those situations and that every step that we can save prospective entrepreneurs and innovators is a win for the city.  From connecting tech start-ups to Bizdom just down the street to clarifying the pursuits of a start-up retailer and sending them to Techtown, we are a hub for turning ideas into action.  Our simple tools, including our 8-week project planning class called BUILD, help refine the purpose and intent of the individuals we come in contact with so that they are ready to plug into the incredible network of services waiting for them throughout the NEI family.

If you know someone that’s thinking about making the move to Detroit, just arrived or is working on charting a new course, please send them to 1253 Woodward Avenue from 10-6 Monday-Saturday, have them call (313) 962-4590 or e-mail us