Weekly Resource #19 – Detroit Kitchen Connect

detroit-kitchen-connect1As you are well aware of, opening a business is risky. The amount of overhead required to open a brick and mortar store-front is immense to say the least. This is especially true for those of you who are opening a food business. The additional equipment needed to run a successful food business that meets the customer’s needs and the state’s health regulations, adds a lot to the cost of opening. Kitchen Connect aims to reduce this overhead by making commercial kitchens available for food entrepreneurs to prepare their product in and to establish a community of kitchens across Detroit.

The benefits of being able to rent out a fully fledged commercial kitchen opposed to buying all new (or even used) equipment is obvious. Kitchen Connect knows this and offers their services at a reasonable cost. An application process is required and can be started here. Located in the Osborn community of Detroit, the Matrix Human Services kitchen is available during the organization’s normal business hours: Sun: 9a-5p, Mon & Tue: 9a-7pm, Wed & Thurs: 9a-10p, Fri & Sat: 9am-5. Peter & Paul kitchen, located in Southwest Detroit,  is available Monday – Friday 24 hours per day.

Each entrepreneur must meet the requirements posed by the state and Kitchen Connect in order to be considered during the application process. a “ServSafe Food Certificate” is required and can be obtained by attending a day of instructor-led training and taking the provided test. Insurance and a $200 deposit to Kitchen Connect are also required to use their sponsored facilities. Visit Their website for contact information and be sure to reach out to kitchen connect and their partners with questions and concerns. The best way to get advice is to attend Friday office hours, 8-10am at the Green Garage, 4444 Second Ave., Detroit 48201. Email or call them in advance to confirm: info@foodlabdetroit.com, 313-799-3280.

Weekly Resource #16 – ProsperUS Entrepreneur Training

m-logoRevitalizing low-income neighborhoods has a continued to be a complex issue with no simple solution. ProsperUS Detroit is one of the organizations in the Detroit area that is at the forefront of empowering entrepreneurs and community partners to rebuild their blighted communities from within. Offering many different resources including lending, consulting, and instructional classes, ProsperUS has many ways to meet its goal.

ProsperUS is returning to Focus: HOPE this September for a new session of it’s Entrepreneur training class. Focusing mainly on the central Woodward/North End, Southeast and Cody-Rouge neighborhoods, the class requires an application and interview to take place before a seat will be reserved and attendance permitted. Attending entrepreneurs can be in any stage of development from the early idea stage to owning an established business. The cost of the class will vary depending on the participant’s income level and household size. The training consists of 11 class sessions, 10 hours of 1-on-1 coaching, ongoing technical assistance, and will be wrapped up with a graduation ceremony. Graduates will also become eligible to apply for character-based lending.

The deadline to apply is Friday August 23rd, 2013. Swing by Focus:HOPE to pick up an application or download it here. Once filled out, mail it to 1355 Oakman Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48238, Email it to brittany.sanders@focushope.edu, or Fax it to 313.494.4574. For more information, Check out the ProsperUS Detroit website and this detailed description of the training course.


Weekly Resource #14 – Detroit BizGrid

48109_281138838694543_1423782555_nImagine a single document that lists the business resources and their providers that exist in Detroit. Sounds pretty awesome right? Well imagining such a document is no longer required. The Detroit BizGrid is exactly that and more.

Combine the aggregate knowledge of 5 local entrepreneurial support organizations, (including ourselves, Techtown, Bizdom, D:Hive, and the DEGC) with the demand for an easy to use list of resource provider contact information and their offered resources, and you get the BizGrid.

54 Detroit organizations are categorized based on the resources they have to offer and the stages of business they specialize in. This was done to ensure that entrepreneurs are aware of what is available to help them as well as to streamline the process of contacting said organizations and getting the information needed to pursue their resources.   These organizations offer services ranging from business planning and strategy to real estate assistance, funding, co-working space, and beyond.

A free to use tool, The BizGrid exists in both a downloadable digital version as well as a printed hard copy. Unless you have a printer that is able to print an 8 1/2 X 17 piece of paper, your best bet of getting your hands on a hard copy would be to visit one of the partner organizations and picking one up in person. Otherwise, be sure to download the PDF at the BizGrid website and don’t forget to share it with your fellow entrepreneurs and “Like” the BizGrid on Facebook!

Entrepreneur Video Spotlight: Depot Town Tattoo

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Dawn Cooke tells her story of opening up her own tattoo shop, Depot Town Tattoo, in Ypsilanti Michigan.

Weekly Resource #11 MI-SBTDC Business Counseling

MI-SBTDC LogoWhen starting or operating a small business, entrepreneurs must wear many hats. They must serve the role of the accountant, the human resource manager, and the buyer,  as well as dealing with many other issues that arise in normal (and abnormal) business. In order to help out with the daunting task of running a business, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center offers free counseling that is accessible to all entrepreneurs.

No matter the industry, these professionals are here to help with many different problems you may encounter. They can assist with topics ranging from preparing a loan and analyzing a company’s financials to creating a strategic plan for operating a business.

Requesting the free counseling is as easy as following the 5 steps listed here.


Weekly Resource #7 – National Small Business Week

topright-headerSince 1963, Entrepreneurs and Small businesses have been honored with a week dedicated to their success and critical contributions to America’s economy. The Small Business Association (SBA) celebrates this week by offering a collection of educational presentations, networking events, and business workshops in five different cities around the country. Don’t fret if you do not live near one of the five cities! SBA is also offering multiple Google+ hangouts that will be streamed at their website and on YouTube as the week progresses.

Starting June 17th in Seattle, Dallas on the 18th, St. Louis on the 19th, Pittsburgh on the 20th, and ending in D.C. on the 21st, these five days of seminars and workshops will cover topics ranging from exporting to social media marketing. The SBA has packed the week with all things small business and will be bringing many prominent speakers to the stage to spread their expertise and to answer questions.

Check out the Schedule for a detailed breakdown of events in each city and don’t forget to Register for your respective city.

Entrepreneur Video Spotlight: Detroit Surf Co.

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Dave Tuzinowski tells his story of how the idea for a Detroit based surf company was formed and what he did to make it into the business it is today.

Be sure to visit Detroit Surf Co. at their website to check out their gear!

Weekly Resource #4 – NewME Detroit Popup

NewmeAre you in the beginning stages of forming a Startup?

NewME is bringing their San Francisco based Startup Accelerator to Detroit for 3 nights of pitch development classes and one-on-one coaching at TechTown.

Each of the three nights, starting May 29th, will consist of one-on-one coaching where participants will have their business plans critiqued by experienced business coaches. Following this, entrepreneurs will attend a series of hands-on classes that will teach them the art of the business pitch. The program will wrap up with a demo day which will give participants the chance to network with the people of Detroit’s tech scene as well as special guests from Silicon Valley. Participant’s could also receive the opportunity to pitch their business plan to a panel of judges for a chance to become one of the few to be selected for a slot in the 2013 NewME Accelerator class and a prize pack from the product sponsors.

Click here for more information and to register.