TechTown Detroit, in partnership with Bizdom, Invest Detroit, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, NextEnergy, and Techstars Mobility - driven by Detroit, is currently running the 2015 DTX Launch Detroit program, a 10-week summer accelerator for college students and recent graduates aspiring to launch a technology startup. This year’s cohort comprises 11 teams, with 26 participants from 10 Michigan universities.
Launch Detroit’s curriculum is based on The Startup Owner’s Manual, a step-by-step business development guide written by famed serial entrepreneurs Steve Blank and Bob Dorf. The key focus of the program is for the teams to speak with potentials customers for their products to discover if there is a real market need, as opposed to be a cool idea about which those outside the team do not care. This is a proven process, one used by the National Science Foundation (NSF) iCorps program as it has been shown to dramatically increase the likelihood that the business will become successful.
NEF’s involvement with the program is significant. Viktor Brandtneris and Gerry Roston, NEF board members, are respectively the lead and assistant facilitators. Betsy Creedon, another NEF board member, is the program manager. Helen Ewing and Ian Charles, current NEF board members, and Sheu-Jane Gallagher, a former NEF board member, are team coaches. In addition, a half dozen NEF board members and program committee members have agreed to coach the teams prior to their presentation at the final showcase.
Those interested in seeing the results of the teams’ efforts are invited to the showcase event, to be held on Thu, 30 July, from 4:00-7:00 pm, at TechTown; see http://www.eventbrite.com/e/dtx-launch-detroit-showcase-2015-tickets-17505583672 for more details.