This past week, David and I have continued working at TechTown and learning more about Detroit. TechTown is more than just an incubator for new business ventures. It offers various lab-based programs for entrepreneurs and new businesses in Detroit. One of these is Detroit Technology Exchange (DTX) Launch, a 10-week summer startup accelerator for students and recent graduates from the state of Michigan. This summer, David and I are focusing on creating a marketing strategy and evaluation system for the program. DTX Launch helps Detroit by increasing entrepreneurial activities in the area and stimulating the city's economy.
Unlike other startup accelerator, DTX Launch places an emphasis on education and knows many of the students' ventures will fail. However, entrepreneurship education is critical for creating a better society. Whether graduates of the DTX program continue to start their own business or not, they will leave the problem better prepared to serve the community in a variety of ways.
Duke Engage's stimulating enrichment activities and TechTown's DTX Launch program have both shown me how entrepreneurial skills can be applied outside of starting a new business venture. The ability to innovate and think outside the box is useful for any job. Customer discovery, startups' crucial process of interviewing many potential consumers, increases individuals' ability to network and forge lasting relationships. Pitching to potential investors helps public speaking skills, and working with a team makes aspiring entrepreneurs more collaborative and adaptable. Perhaps the most important skill gained from entrepreneurship programs is determination and drive to succeed in the face of adversity.
I am proud to be working with TechTown to teach young people these important skills. Hopefully by the end of my time in Detroit, I will have created an effective marketing video in order to attract more people to the program. I am also excited to get to know the current DTX Launch participants and listen to their own unique stories. To learn more about the program, see TechTown's description here.