10 Qualities Of The Detroitpreneur

Lots has been written about the entrepreneurs in Detroit. Join us as we take a deep dive into the unique qualities that makes up the Detroit entrepreneur. We believe we may have also coined the term, "Detroitpreneur."


Detroit’s entrepreneurs are the kings and queens of the 1&0s. They are the lions, tigers and pistons of the accelerators.
— Anya Babbitt, Founder & CEO at SPLT

You will not meet a Detroitpreneur who is not bold. This is something they all innately have in common. From the Dan Gilberts to the Veronika Scotts to the Hajj Flemmings, none are reticent. They all know how to make a splash, an impact, and that's what makes them...


Not being afraid of rejection, being able to persevere and find the solution, the right person, the most effective plans.
— Anya Babbitt, Founder & CEO at SPLT

Against all odds, Detroiters fight through countless obstacles to persist, build, and growth their ventures. Detroitpreneurs don't let snow, lack of technical talent, or a fully developed entrepreneurial ecosystem get in their way. This makes way for Detroitpreneur's next quality..


Doing business in Detroit requires a special type of resourcefulness. The city doesn’t always have the infrastructure you need to do what you want, so “making it work no matter what” is intrinsic to the Detroit spirit.
— Eric Thomas, Senior Partner at Saga MKTG

Detroitpreneurs utilize everyone and everything around them to achieve success. We have amazing community hubs offering resources such as TechTown, Bamboo Detroit, Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, Built Institute, and others but without the techy comfort of a Silicon Valley or a VC playground of NYC, Detroitpreneurs have learned to capitalize on the resources available, trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents. This could not be possible without our next quality..


The startup scene in Detroit has a particular camaraderie. Entrepreneurs in the city feel the chip on the community’s shoulder that comes with being from Detroit. It makes us more collaborative than competitive.
— Tim Dingman, Co-Founder at Castle

This goes for all Detroiters, really. We lean on each other in a way that is healthy and sustains our overall growth. Unlike other tech havens across the world, Detroit is non-competitive for the most part. We know that the further our neighbor goes, the further we all go. This need to support one another is born out of how Detroiters band together in the face of economic despair. We're always looking out for each other. With that, we know that Detroitpreneurs are also...


It’s much easier to stick with a job that has answers and security, then to launch a business in a city that is basically an uphill battle with almost every obstacle possible in your way. Detroitpreneurs are, and have classically been, phenomenally brave to take on those challenges for the love of family, friends, and city.
— Eric Thomas, Senior Partner at Saga MKTG

Detroit is not an easy place to live, let alone start a business. For years, Detroit was not a destination but entrepreneurs are doing their part to change that. An economically depressed area, Detroit has been known for it's shocking murder rates, barren food desert, and high unemployment. Because none of this phases the Detroitrpreneur, that's why they are...


Detroit’s entrepreneurs are not just mentors, not just backers, but advisers of an unparalled character who will go the extra mile no matter what your need.
— Anya Babbitt, Founder & CEO at SPLT

They see the value in Detroit that others don't - the rich entrepreneurial spirit, grit, and history. They recognize the affordable office space, talent, and ultimately, the fertile ground that acts as a playground for entrepreneurs. So much so, there is actually an organization called Playground Detroit. Because Detroitpreneurs have this vision to create a new Detroit that also brings back it's tradition of value creation, they really are...


From organizations like Venture for America sending recent graduates to revitalize Detroit, to the Empowerment Plan, which hires homeless parents to sew jackets that convert into sleeping bags for the homeless, Detroit is sure to amaze with selflessness at every corner. The selfless nature of entrepreneurial ventures and their missions stems from the basic struggles that everyday Detroiters face. Businesses don't come here to make a whole bunch of money and leave. They come here to build something of meaning and impact. That's why the are...


Detroitpreneurs are tackling problems that entrepreneurs in other cities won’t. They see a much different segment of the country, with its own set of problems and opportunities.
— Tim Dingman, Co-Founder at Castle

The early adopters. Detroitpreneurs whether from Detroit or from elsewhere, want to be in Detroit. They see the opportunity, they are daring enough to take the plunge, and they see the possibility that's ahead for Detroit. Nima Adelhkani, Chief Innovation Evangelist came to Detroit in recent months to lead a transportation challenge. Detroit screams "opportunity" but the evangelists do something about it.

Social Responsibility

Coming from Detroit you see a lot of people struggling, suffering, and so you feel like you gotta do something, anything, to help out. Whether it’s issues addressing hunger, the environment, education, crime, Detroit is a city with tremendous opportunity for social entrepreneurs.
— Justin Cook, Co-Founder at Pro:Up

From struggle and toil come incredible solutions that respond to societal problems. Restaurants and serving their food farm to table. Co-working spaces emphasize diversity. Social responsibility is at the core of many businesses values. With social responsibility comes a..

Sense of Urgency

People feel like this is our time. We collaborate because we feel like we have to show and prove. It’s like other cities are watching us. We have to show why our city deserves to be mentioned along with other big cities in America. It’s the DVE mantra. But we need each other to pull it off. To pull off this resurgence, to revitalize, it’s gonna take a collective effort. I think people know that.
— Justin Cook - Co-Founder of Pro:Up

Have some qualities of your own? Use the comment section below!