Weekly Resource #37 Junction 440

getlogoWe’ve covered incubators before, specifically, the University of Michigan’s Incubator in Flint. I always enjoy hearing about new incubators, which seems to be happening more and more regularly as of late. Incubators are popping up left and right to cater to all of the different business areas that you may find yourself entering as an entrepreneur. One Incubator that caught my eye was Junction 440, Techtown’s most recent addition to their collection of business resources.  Junction 440 is new, exciting, and most importantly, extremely valuable to those of you who need to rent office space to conduct your business.

Sporting an awesome looking, Google-Esq.  open floor-plan, plenty of rooms to invite your clients to, and in-office bike racks, this incubation space will satisfy the needs of many entrepreneurs. This is a fully equipped office space so you can expect the basic amenities that the modern office worker enjoys; freshly brewed coffee, printers, scanners, and Wi-Fi just to name a few. All of this is brought to you at pricing designed to fit into a small business’ limited budget. Multiple pricing plans are available based on your resource needs and your planned frequency of use. You can purchase day passes if you need to wow some clients for a meeting or, if like me, you find it hard concentrating at home and you need a more regular place to conduct business, monthly plans are available.


Weekly Resource #31 Food Lab Detroit

foodlab logoFoodlab is a Detroit organization that aims to accomplish many food-centric goals. Primarily, their aim is to create an environment among the food entrepreneurs of Detroit that facilitates cooperation in order to streamline the city’s growing good food movement. They accomplish this in many ways and since their establishment in 2011, they have continued to regularly introduce new ways for the community to interact and for new food entrepreneurs to develop their business.

Foodlab had a hand in establishing Kitchen connect, which we’ve already covered in a previous weekly resource, but they also own multiple resources designed to support Detroit’s food entrepreneurs.  Monthly meetings take place every second Monday to discuss topics related to owning a food business in Detroit. Childcare and snacks are provided at these meetings making them accessible to many different lifestyles and personal schedules. Check out their calendar for a full list of events and meeting locations. Weekly office hours are another scheduled resource. Every Friday from 8:00am-10:00am staff and leaders in the Detroit food industry are available at these office hours to answer questions, give advice, and to discuss industry relevant topics.

Another resource provided by Food Lab is their annual “Building your Good Food Business Bootcamp”. This camp focuses on educating food entrepreneurs on how to become a “good food business”. Entrepreneurs who care about community and environmental impact are encouraged to interact and form a broader network of food business experts to strengthen their vision for a thriving enterprise.

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:, 313-799-3280.

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: 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 #6 – Inner City Capital Connections

ICIC logo - Copy

Is your small business in an economically distressed city?

Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is a free, national program designed to help you access the capital necessary to achieve sustainable growth & provide employment opportunities for residents.

Brought to you by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), ICCC provides financial education and peer-to-peer mentoring for investment-ready companies and facilitates relationships with debt & equity providers and business strategy experts.  Participants gain practice and a thorough understanding of how to successfully pitch their business to capital investors.

Companies in 133 cities and 35 states have already leveraged this training with successful results.  Eighty-nine percent of them raised capital within 2 years of participation and 55% did so within a year.  Could you be next?  ICIC is now accepting applications for upcoming executive education seminars in the following cities:

Cleveland     –     Detroit

Designed for company owners and taught by respected experts, this interactive program explores  a variety of business finance options and teaches the importance of building your capacity to successful prepare for and manage the subsequent growth.  Select participants will earn the opportunity to showcase their learning and market their companies at the ICCC Conference at Fortune Magazine in New York City.  Past participants have been featured in such esteemed publications as:  The Wall Street JournalReutersInc.PortfolioPE HubMSN Money, and Small Business Television.

Successful applicants have represented diverse industries & backgrounds, but all are of sufficient size and strength to attract the growth capital needed to increase revenues and jobs in their inner cities.  If this sounds like you, click here for application information:  ClevelandDetroit.