The TechTown Business Incubator Center (TBIC) offers an intensive business support program that accelerates the successful development of Greater Detroit-based technology-focused startups/early-stage companies by providing an array of resources and services. The TBIC supports companies working in most industries, including, but not limited to: advanced manufacturing, information technology, automotive, clean-tech, agriculture, medical, transportation, and consumer products.
To be considered for acceptance into the TBIC, an applicant business must be legally registered with the State of Michigan and should meet at least one of the following criteria:
- A tech-based startup focused on commercial application that has been in operation for less than three years.
- A tech-based company that has undergone substantial change in ownership or business model within one year of application date.
- A home-based, tech-based business that is ready to transition to a professional environment
The process for becoming a TBIC client is as follows:
- Complete this application and pay the non-refundable $40 application fee.
- Meet with the TechTown LABS team to assess your incubation and business support needs TechTown
- If the TechTown LABS teams decides to admit you to the program, an Incubator Client Services Agreement is issued and signed. Note that admission to the program is conditional.
- You are expected to exit the TBIC within 39 months of your admission into the program.
Launch Detroit is a program of the Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX), a partnership between TechTown Detroit, Grand Circus, Invest Detroit, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, Henry Ford Innovation Institute, and NextEnergy. The program is supported by the General Motors, Bank of America, Michigan Economic Development Corp’s Michigan Strategic Fund, and the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan.
DTX Launch Detroit is a highly intensive, 10-week accelerator program designed to help college students and recent graduates explore their entrepreneurial potential, while attracting and retaining talent in the city of Detroit. Launch Detroit runs from May 21 through Aug 2, 2017.
We are seeking applications from teams of college students or recent graduates aspiring to launch a technology-based or -enabled business. Applications will be taken through Friday, 6 April 2017 and will be reviewed on a first-come/first-reviewed basis - so do not delay - apply now!
Accepted participants will receive a stipend of $2,500 per person (up to $7,500 per team).
Launch Detroit follows the Lean Startup approach, a step-by-step business development method popularized by famed serial entrepreneurs Steve Blank and Bob Dorf (SteveBlank.com).
Teams will develop their businesses by:
- Identifying potential customers
- Conducting customer discovery interviews
- Exploring markets
- Developing business models
- Formulating a robust value proposition
- Assessing go-to market approaches
- Meeting community partners, including potential investors
- Perfecting investor pitches ... and more
It’s a lot to accomplish in just 10 weeks! That’s why you must make it a full-time commitment and operate out of TechTown for the duration of the program.
To be eligible, your team must be made up of:
- Current students from a Michigan college or university; and/or
- Michigan residents attending an out-of-state college or university; and/or
- Michigan residents who graduated from a college or university within the last two years (no earlier than 2016).
- At least two, but no more than five, team members who will participate in the program full time.
- Friday, 6 April 2018 at 11:59 pm EDT: Application submission deadline
- Friday, 4 May 2018: Final announcement of accepted teams
- Tuesday, 22 May 2018: Mandatory orientation meeting
- Tuesday, 29 May 2018: Program starts
- Thursday, 2 August 2018: Showcase
The application process consists of two phases.
Phase One: online application
All of the steps below must be completed prior to the submission deadline - there will be no exceptions.
- Submit only one application per team.
- Applications must be submitted online.
- Each team must create a three-minute video (max.) about you and your business idea. We want to get to know you. A glorified selfie that demonstrates why you are passionate about this idea, your commitment to the program, and what you expect to gain from being a participant works. Have some fun with it. The video should be uploaded to YouTube (we suggest setting the privacy level to unlisted.). Please dedicate some time to having each of your team members describe her/his role in the venture.
Phase Two: Interview
Within three business days of submitting your application, you will be sent notification if you are to move on to the second phase. Teams that go to next phase will be expected to review the materials listed below which we will discuss with you during your scheduled interview either in person or via Skype. The materials we are asking you to review will give you a very good feel and sense of the work you will be doing if accepted into the program. Again, this is another opportunity for us to get to know each other. We recognize that many of you will be in the ideation stage – that’s why you are applying to the program. If you have questions, this will give you the opportunity to ask them.
Study materials for the interview
All teams selected to move to the second phase of the selection process are expected to read/view the following materials prior to the interview. These materials form the basis upon which the class materials are based.
Materials to be read prior to the interview
- Blank S. Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything. Harvard Business Review. May 2013; Available from: http://hbr.org/2013/05/why-the-lean-start-up-changes-everything
Videos to be watched prior to the interview
The following are all available from https://classroom.udacity.com/courses/ep245. Note that you will have to create an account to access these materials.
- Lesson 0: As much as you want
- Lesson 1: All
- Lesson 1.5A: First four segments (What Is A Company, Business Model, Business Model Canvas Value Prop., Bus. Model Canvas Customer Segments)
- Lesson 1.5B: First four segments (Hypotheses Or Guesses, Customer Development Process, Customer Development Done By Founders, Hypothesis Testing)
Selection of teams for the program will be based on:
- Passion and commitment of the team to build a start-up in Detroit
- Quality of the submitted application and video
- Preparation for screening interview
- Potential of the tech-based or -enabled business idea to become a sustainable business
Teams with members that demonstrate complementary skill sets or have a mix of majors are likely to receive more favorable consideration.
To Get Started
To apply, simply click the 'Submit" button below, create (or log into) your Submittable.com account, then fill out the form. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting, but you will have to log into your Submittable account each time (so be sure to save your account login info).
Please read the following two resource documents carefully, so that you have a good understanding of the program’s format and expectations. Bring a signed copy of the agreement, or be prepared to sign it at the Orientation Meeting.
- 2017 DTX Launch Detroit Information and Expectations
- 2017 DTX Launch Detroit Agreement to Participate
Questions: If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Betsy Creedon at firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-404-0031.