New Economy Initiative Now Accepting Submissions for Third Annual Startup Story Night on March 21

Submissions are due Feb. 15. Four local entrepreneurs will be selected to take center stage with the help from Shannon Cason, Moth MainStage Storyteller and GrandSlam Champion


Detroit, Mich. (24 January 2019) – The New Economy Initiative (NEI) and Model D are seeking submissions for the Third Annual Startup Story Night, a storytelling event for metro Detroit entrepreneurs. Four lucky storytellers will receive one-on-one training with host Shannon Cason, a Moth MainStage storyteller and GrandSlam champion. This year’s theme, “Don’t Call It a Comeback!” focuses on taking your business from the brink to triumph over startup woes. Submissions are being accepted now through Friday, February 15, at 11:59 p.m. Interested entrepreneurs can submit a brief overview of their startup story here.


“I’m excited to host and work with the storytellers for the upcoming Startup Story Night,” said Cason. “I host two podcasts – Homemade Stories and The Trouble. Both of the shows follow my brutally honest storytelling style. And with the ‘Comeback’ theme for Startup Story Night, I’m expecting some stories that really get to the heart of what entrepreneurship really is. I think a lot of people have the notion of the glitz and the glam, but the reality of entrepreneurship is picking everything up after it’s been knocked out of your hands. And doing that over and over again. So I’m looking forward to working on the stories with each storyteller.”


All southeast Michigan-based entrepreneurs, new and experienced, are encouraged to apply. Four storytellers will be selected to workshop their stories with Cason before performing them in front of a live audience at the Marble Bar on Thursday, March 21, 2019.  For more information, please visit


“We are excited to host another startup story night, shining the spotlight on local entrepreneurs,” said Pam Lewis, director of the New Economy Initiative. “Through this program, we learned that entrepreneurs need a platform to share their stories, and aspiring entrepreneurs need a place to be inspired to make that leap into entrepreneurship. We are excited to put on this event once again and provide that space for both audiences.”


Last year, four local entrepreneurs shared their stories on the lengths they go for the love of their businesses in front of a packed audience at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History. The Second Annual Startup Story Night was emceed by Satori Shakoor, founder and executive producer of the Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers®. Performances can be found here and photos are available here.



About Shannon Cason

Shannon has shared his stories all over the country. Shannon is a host, MainStage storyteller and GrandSlam champion with The Moth. He is a regular on NPR’s Snap Judgment; awarded their Best Performance of 2013. Shannon has appeared on countless podcasts and storytelling stages, including TEDx, RISK!, Third Coast Festival, Podcast Movement, and an upcoming television pilot. He also hosts his own storytelling podcast, Shannon Cason’s Homemade Stories. Shannon recently launched a new podcast with WBEZ Chicago called The Trouble with Shannon Cason. His storytelling is featured in the anthology, The Moth Presents: All These Wonders. Shannon serves as the chief educator for the Brutally Honest Storytelling workshop series, where he has helped companies, pro athletes, and celebrities tell their stories more honestly. Shannon is originally from Detroit. For more information about Shannon Cason, please visit Shannon’s headshots and bio are available here.


About Model D

Model D is a weekly online magazine dedicated to covering the people driving the city’s transformation with a focus on solutions and innovations that are authentic, inclusive, and honor the city’s people and history with an eye on what’s next. (


About the New Economy Initiative

The New Economy Initiative (NEI) is a philanthropic collaboration that is building an inclusive network of support for entrepreneurs in Detroit and southeast Michigan. Since 2007, NEI’s funders have contributed a total of $159 million to the effort, which is housed within the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. For more information, visit






Matthew Lewis, New Economy Initiative



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