With next year marking the fifth anniversary of Build Institute's inception, Keiley and I have been tasked with the job of creating an economic impact report that investigates the impact Build has had on the greater Detroit area. Specifically, we are drawing on past alumni survey data to investigate total jobs created/retained by Build graduates, total businesses generated, and the intrinsic value versus retail price of Build Institute courses. Furthermore, we are also mapping out a more holistic scene of entrepreneurs in Detroit by tracing the paths of successful Build graduates. In looking at both the tangible and intangible data, we are then able to determine the scope of Build's impact.
However, with this summary of what we are doing now, it is quite interesting to see how our project has taken shape by adapting to the limited time, resources, and data we have at our disposal. I see our project as having started out as a slab of marble. Looking back on our first week at Build, the only end-game we could envision was some form of an economic impact report, which we had no clue what that meant or entailed. But as we slowly chipped away at the marble, whether it was through talking with co-workers and getting access to Build's alumni survey data or reaching out to organizations that specialized in certain aspects of an economic impact report like data collection, our project has slowly started to resemble something of a sculpture.
Despite still having a long ways to go, in looking at this project as a whole, this economic impact study is an excellent way of not only quantifying the significance Build has had in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Detroit, it is also a benchmark for what the future of Build holds in terms of a more well defined road map to bigger impact. On a larger scale, however, it is important to note that Build is one of many accelerators, which include ProsperUS, TechTown, etc. Therefore, in taking this one step further, although we are creating a tool that will help Build Institute evaluate its impact, there is this sense that I am contributing to something greater than Build itself. It is essential for me to put into perspective that despite Build having graduated 750 entrepreneurs, there are still thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs in Detroit that need to be connected to resources that Build has yet to have the carrying capacity for.