Monday, October 7, 2013

Open City Detroit - New Season!

The 2013-2014 season of Open City Detroit kicks off Monday, October 21, 6-8pm at Cliff Bell's, 2030 Park Avenue in downtown Detroit. Join us for another great season of learning & exchange about small business and retail opportunities in the city!

2013-4 Season Schedule:

Oct 21, 2013 - Detroit BizGrid: A Resource Map for Entrepreneurs
Nov 18, 2013 - Loca-vesting: Exploring Alternative Funding Models
Jan 20, 2014 - Who's the Boss? Considering Alternative Ownership Models
Feb 17, 2014 - The Leap: Take Your Business to the Next Level
March 17, 2014 - PopUp Detroit: Starting Slow and Small
April 21, 2014 - Rock the Red Tape: Tips for Navigating City Hall

Monthly meetings are free & open to all. No RSVP required. Cash bar.

Open City is presented by D:hive in partnership with Detroit Creative Corridor Center and Model D. Thanks to Cliff Bell's for hosting.

For the latest news & updates, follow Open City Detroit on Facebook.

For inquiries, email

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Open City Detroit - Winter/Spring 2013

Jan 21, 2013 (6-8pm)

What are the best ways to fund your small business or micro-enterprise? This month's event will emphasize the importance of creativity and bootstrapping to fund your business. Whether you are just getting your business off the ground or are looking for funding alternatives, we will explore the range of possibilities here in Detroit.

Panelists include:
  • Elizabeth Garlow, Kiva Detroit/Kiva Zip
  • Kory Scheiber, Detroit Micro-Loan Fund
  • Brian Boyle, Issue Media Group
  • Delphia Simmons, Thrive Detroit (moderator)

February 18, 2013 (6-8pm)

Who's your mentor? Mentorship is a crucial element of every entrepreneur's journey in building a successful business. This Open City event will highlight the different ways you can grow both personally and professionally from a reciprocal mentor/mentee relationship. Bring your stories, tips and questions. We'll see you there!

Panelists include:
  • Bethany Betzler, Detroit Creative Corridor Center
  • Chandra Moore, Cog Design Studio
  • Arthur Mitchell, DC3 mentor

March 18, 2013 (6-8pm)

As an entrepreneur, chances are you will encounter failure more than once when starting your business. At this Open City event, we hope to share lessons learned and encourage a positive culture surrounding failure in entrepreneurship. Because the more you fail, the more room there is for innovation and growth.

Have you ever failed in a business venture or project? Do you have lessons you want to share? Join us March 18 and bring your tips, tales & insights!

Panelists include:
  • Jacob Smith, UpTo
  • Leslie Smith, TechTown
  • Andy Didorosi, Detroit Bus Company
  • Brandon Helderop, Fail Detroit (moderator)

April 15, 2013 (6-8pm)

Curious about how your business can make a positive impact in your community? At this event, we will discuss the role entrepreneurs can play in community development and growth. From grassroots community-building to retail development and neighborhood revitalization, we'll talk to a diverse group of entrepreneurs who help create stronger, more vibrant communitities through their work.

Panelists include:
  • Jordi Carbonell, Cafe Con Leche
  • Kirk Mayes, Brightmoor Alliance
  • Amy Kaherl, Detroit SOUP
  • Vittoria Katanski, Hatch Detroit (moderator)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dec 17: Thank You, Come Again

The word "open" is in our name for a reason. It means opening up opportunities for small business in the city - but it also means creating an open and welcoming environment where people want to be. 

Offering a positive experience through great service, warm hospitality and professional presentation is essential to building customer loyalty. If people leave happy, they'll come again - and tell others! It's just good business.

This month, we'll hear from a few Detroit proprietors who are known for their stellar customer rapport and inviting spaces:

- Janet Jones, Source Booksellers
- Karen Brown, Savvy Chic
- Rachel Lutz, The Peacock Room and Emerald
- Michael Solaka, Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe

What are their secrets? Why does service matter? How can we all do better?

Join us Mon, Dec 17, 6-8pm at Cliff Bells, 2030 Park Avenue in downtown Detroit. Bring your stories, tips & questions!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Beyond the Bottom Line: How to Build a Sustainable Business

We are excited to announce the next Open City event!

Beyond the Bottom Line: How to Build a Sustainable Business will take place on Monday, November 19th, 6-8pm at Cliff Bell'sSee you all on Nov 19th!

We present businesses and individuals that emphasize Triple Bottom Line (people, planet and profit) principles and sustainable business growth. Each of these businesses are doing things a little differently, making a positive impact in the community in addition to making a profit. We hope this discussion will inspire you to think more deliberately about your business ideas and challenge the status quo.

Panelists will include:

• Sandra Yu, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (moderator)
• Kirsten Ussery, Detroit Vegan Soul
• Matthew Naimi, Recycle Here

Stay tuned and check the Facebook for updates...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Season Six Drops Oct 22

Welcome back! Open City is excited to announce a new partnership with D:hive to bring you another exciting season of events!

Do it in Detroit: Hear the Stories of Local Business Owners
Monday, October 22, 2012
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: Cliff Bell’s
Free, no RSVP required

Panelists include:
Join us for the first event of Open City’s 2012-13 season. Do it in Detroit will present the stories of business owners in Detroit and how they made it happen. Each business has a unique story, and we hope this discussion will give participants an idea of the possibilities available to them in Detroit and the spark to get their projects off the ground.

D:hive, a hub for resources to live, work, engage or start a business in Detroit, has newly  joined the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and Model D Media to present this season of Open City. For more info on D:hive visit their website and Facebook.

Don’t forget to join Open City’s Facebook Group to stay up to date on the latest news and events.

Hope to see you October 22!
-The Open City Team

Friday, April 27, 2012

Until We Return

Photo credit:  Meaghan Patricia

The Open City Team would like to thank everyone who made the 2011-12 season such a success! To all of our attendees, panelists, moderators, and partners, thank you and enjoy your summer. Stay tuned for the 2013-14 season schedule to be posted in the Fall.

Here are some photos from the Open City Season Finale Detroit Creative Corridor Center & TechTown Present: The Art of the Pitch.

View the rest of the album and join the Open City Facebook Group here.

Photo credit:  Meaghan Patricia

Photo credit:  Meaghan Patricia

Photo credit:  Meaghan Patricia

Photo credit:  Meaghan Patricia 

Photo credit:  Meaghan Patricia

Photo credit:  Meaghan Patricia

We will return in September, with a new season of conversation, ideas, and support to aspiring and current business owners! 


- The Open City Team

Monday, March 19, 2012

Season Finale: The Art of the Pitch

Monday, April 16th, 2012
6:00pm - 8:00pm
(Panel begins at 6:30)

The DC3 & TechTown Present: The Art of the Pitch

For our season finale of Open City we are passing the microphone to our attendees. We want to learn more about your business. We want to hear your pitch!

All are welcome to attend, but for those who want to "pitch" registration is required, and is currently full. We may have a few last minute spots left. If you are still interested, please inquire during the event with our door staff.

Our Moderator and Master of Ceremonies, Gary Anglebrant, who is currently the Web Editor at Crain's Detroit Business.

Our panelists will include:

Jake Cohen, Vice President at Detroit Venture Partners
Herb Drayton, TechTown Entrepreneurial Champion
Jan Genscheimer, President at Seracon Consulting
Hajj Flemings, CEO & Founder at Brand Camp U

Rules of Engagement:

You have 60 seconds to “pitch”
Each panelist will have around 30 seconds to provide constructive feedback.

Some ideas to consider:

What is your idea?
Is it relevant?
How is your delivery?
What is the return on investment?
Is it feasible?
Who is your audience?

- The Open City Team

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Green & Sustainable Business

Monday, March 19th, 2012

6:00pm - 8:00pm

(Panel begins at 6:30)

Our topic for March's Open City is Green & Sustainable Business.

From using recycled & sustainable materials, riding a bicycle to work, to

installing geo-thermal & solar systems to reduce energy output, there are

many ways business owners can manage their footprint on the earth.

Join us as we take a look at what is means to be an eco-friendly,

sustainable business.

Our Moderator is Matt Naimi - Director of Operations at Recycle Here!

Our Panelists will include:

Peg Upmeyer - Director at Arts & Scraps

Chad Dickinson - President at DbDesign

Todd Scott - Coordinator at Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance Detroit

Diane Van Buren - Managing Partner Zachary & Associates, Co-owner of Sugar

Hill Clay & SocraTea - located in the 71 Garfield Building

Please Note: Open City has changed to the Third Monday of the month!

Save the date for our Season Finale on April 16th, where TechTown joins us

to evaluate "The Art of the Pitch".

See you there!

- The Open City Team

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Long Term Commitment

Please Note: Open City has changed to the Third Monday of the month! Our topic for February's Open City is Long Term Commitment.

Monday, February 20th, 2012
6-8pm (panel begins at 6:30pm)

We will celebrate businesses that have been operating for 10-20 + years in the city of Detroit.

Not only do we want to honor our panel, but also pass on some wisdom, experience and encouragement to those in the audience.

Panelists include:

  • Tara Q. Brown - Manager of Terry's Enchanted Garden & owner of Tara's Unique Boutique
  • Cornelius Harris - Label Manager for Underground Resistance Records and Founder of Alter Ego Management
  • Crhis Jaszczak - Owner of 1515 Broadway
Our moderator is Kathy Wendler, President of the Southwest Business Association.

See you there!

- The Open City Team

Monday, January 9, 2012

Small Businesses & Local Media

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
6:00pm - 8:00pm
(Panel begins at 6:30)

Our first Open City of 2012 focuses on an important factor in building a successful small business, getting your story out to the community you hope to serve.

Sure, people might drive by and see your sign in the window, but what would encourage them to park and stop in?

Ideally, your community and future customers should be celebrating your existence before you've even officially opened your doors. And if you're an existing business, how do you ensure that you stay at the front of people's minds?

In addition to word-of-mouth methods, you're going to want the press to cover your story.
The path from pitch to print isn't always straight-forward, so we've invited some of our local media to come share tips with you.
We hope you'll walk away with the confidence and know-how on approaching these writers and making it easy for them to write about you and your business/project.

Our panelists will include:

Jessica Star, Fox 2 News "Made in Michigan" Program
Nancy Kaffer, Reporter for Crain's Detroit Business
Jon Zemke, Southeast Michigan Start-up News
Louis Aguillar, The Detroit News

See you there!

- The Open City Team

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Localism: Ways to Support & Cultivate Local Business

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
6:30pm - 8:00pm

In Detroit, we're no stranger to the concept of localism. Whether we're debating over an incoming multinational grocery store or cheering on our favorite Hatch Detroit contestant (congrats Hugh!), there's always something to be said about Detroit's local movement. And certainly, it's the backbone of our Open City community.

This month's Open City panel will discuss localism in a "what's next?" type of context. We will hear from panelists who have been active in local movements here about what they see as being needed now. We will also hear from those who are just starting to get new initiatives off the ground, and finally we hope that you will share ideas you have for supporting & cultivating local business.

In addition, we'll discuss why this matters, and hope to generate renewed support of our existing (and soon to be existing) local businesses just as the holiday season approaches.

Our panelists will include:

Jess Daniel - Metro Detroit Good Food Entrepreneurs
Rachel Lutz - The Peacock Room
Larry John - Live in Woodbridge
Rufus Bartell - Founder/Brand Manager of RBI Group
and others

Hope to see you there!

-The Open City Team

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Real Spaces for Local Businesses

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
6:30pm - 8:00pm

So you've got a business plan and some backing, but you need to find the right spot for your new cafe/bookstore/yoga studio/market. Wouldn't it be nice to learn about what some of your options are, straight from the people who are offering them?

Please join us next Tuesday for a discussion of existing, new, and soon-to-be available and affordable retail spaces for local businesses, featuring panelists:

Ryan Cooley, O'Connor Realty
Scott Griffin, Ramscale Inc. (2051 Rosa Parks Blvd)
Kim Tandy, University Commons
James Van Dyke, The Roxbury Group
Randall Fogelman, Eastern Market Corporation

Our panelists will discuss real viable options that they have developed or are developing.

See you there!

- Open City Team