Take a look at these snapshots from our last Live.Work.Detroit event captured by Jason Keen and Nick Hagen! Do you want to network with local employers and get a first-hand look at the best places to live, work and play in Detroit? Our next event will take place March 28th at The Garden Theater.
Oliver was first introduced to Detroit while interning with the Eastern Market Corporation during the Summer of his junior year at The University of Michigan. Beyond his work creating profiles for local vendors and farmers, Oliver toured Detroit with his coworkers and attended an event about Detroit’s opportunities similar to D:hive’s LiveWorkDetroit!. “Jeanette (D:hive’s Director of Community Relations) was actually on a panel there, and she sold the city really well. After that Summer I knew I was going to live in Detroit,” he says.
After graduating from U of M in 2011, Oliver participated in City Year Detroit, and decided to stay in Detroit after completing the program. He also worked as a line cook at Slow’s, and began thinking about using his culinary skills to start his own business. He participated in D:hive’s BUILD class during the Summer of 2013 to hone his business plan and get connected to entrepreneurial resources in the city. By August, Oliver passion for entrepreneurship made him the perfect candidate to be our next BUILD resident.
Oliver’s favorite part about working at D:hive is the fun work atmosphere. “Our culture is not strictly professional, but everyone is serious about their work and wants to help contribute to get stuff done,” he says. He appreciates how the residents bring a young energy and fresh perspective, which complements the seasoned expertise of the directors. And we love what he brings to the table, too. As the Build resident, Oliver does back end management for BUILD and Pilot, working closely with April Boyle, our Director of Small Business Initiatives, to put on events like BUILD Institute and Open City. He also reaches out to BUILD alumni, offering extended programming, resources and follow-up.
With all the work that he does for us, we’re sad to say Oliver will be leaving the D:hive team next month to move to Boston, where he hopes to continue to gain experience in the restaurant industry and further develop his culinary skills. Oliver currently operates a pop-up restaurant called Resto Change O!, which offers inventive farm-to-table cuisine, sourcing the majority of its seasonal ingredients from farms within the city. While he’s still in town, be sure to check out his pop-up for an à la carte dinner at St. Cece’s Pub on Tuesday, March 18th or a four course meal at Hamtramck’s Revolver on Saturday, March 22nd!
Our tours program is expanding and has a new name: Detroit Experience Factory. We’re celebrating with a week of special events kicking off March 1st. All events are half off normal rates.
Check out the schedule of events below!
March 1 - 7, 2014
Saturday, March 1
Bus Tour 11am-1pm
From the stunning natural landscape of Belle Isle Park, the largest island city park in the United States, to the bustling melting pot of food vendors at Eastern Market, we’ll explore some of this city’s most awe-inspiring and enduring destinations. The route will pass through Detroit’s central neighborhoods, including Downtown, East Riverfront, Midtown, New Center, and Eastern Market.
Walking Tour 2pm-4pm
Billions of dollars in development have happened along the Woodward Corridor in recent years and Downtown is at the epicenter of it all. On this tour you’ll see all the major highlights, including unique shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants and recently renovated residential options.
Highlights include: Campus Martius Park, Guardian Building, Theater District, Second Baptist Church/Greektown, The New Paradise Valley District, Lofts at Merchants Row Development
Sunday, March 2
Family Fun Bus Tour 2pm-4pm
Join us as we take a tour around some of the great, fun, family-friendly sights Detroit has to offer! Highlights will include riding on the People Mover, taking in the Belle Isle Conservatory and more! As part of DXF week we are offering this tour at half-price!
Monday, March 3
Public Scavenger Hunt 5:30pm-8pm
Teams of 3 or 4 will be given clues, and they’ll have 2 hours to scour downtown to find the answers. Participants will not only have a great time, but they’ll learn about what Detroit has to offer too. The top 2 teams will win some amazing Detroit-themed prizes. Only one ticket is required per team. Maximum team size is 4.
Tuesday, March 4
Lunchtime People Mover Tour 12:30pm-1:30pm
If you work Downtown that means that you have access to over 150 restaurants & bars and over 200 shops & services within blocks of your office. Whether you’re new to downtown or have been here for years this tour will give you the inside scoop on where to go for a great haircut, an amazing lunch or the best happy hour.
Wednesday, March 5
Happy Hour Bar Tour 5:30pm-8:30pm
Downtown Detroit has more than it’s share of places to grab a drink. Join us as we attend three of our favorite happy hour spots downtown. Each guest will receive discounted drinks, complimentary appetizers and even a free community shot! All guests must be 21 years of age. Sign up soon because space is limited!
Thursday, March 6
Public Strolling Supper 6pm-9pm
On this strolling supper you’ll get food from different ethnic restaurants as well as a tour and introduction to the Detroit community. Come hungry, leave full of good food and good information! Tickets Include all food and non alcoholic beverages. Space is limited so get your tickets soon!
Friday, March 7
DXF Launch Party 5:30pm-9pm
Come join us at one of Detroit’s hidden gems as we celebrate the launch of the Detroit Experience Factory. There will be drinks, food, free swag, great people, good conversation and plenty of Detroit trivia and fun! See you there!
Above: U of M’s Detroit Center located on Woodward
For the first twenty years of the school’s existence, the University of Michigan campus was located here in Detroit. In 1837, however, U of M moved to Ann Arbor, a city that was only 13 years old at the time. Ann Arbor had a population of 2,000, a courthouse and jail, a bank, four churches and two mills.
Now, Ann Arbor boasts a population of 116,000 people, 35,000 of which are employed by the University, plus over 40,000 University of Michigan students. Both Ann Arbor and Detroit have changed insurmountably since the University’s change of location, and Detroit and U of M’s relationship has been limited ever since. It was practically nonexistent, in fact, until 2005, when the U of M Detroit Center opened it’s doors to accommodate research projects and outreach initiatives, U of M faculty offices, an art gallery, and various programming spaces.
This past Fall, the University of Michigan started the Detroit Connector, a free shuttle for faculty, students, and guests, between Detroit and Ann Arbor. Also new this year are two additions to the U of M curriculum; Urban Farming and Detroit Connections (a class through the U-M Stamps School of Art and Design), which are classes that meet in Detroit, but are filled mostly with students commuting to class via the Connector from Ann Arbor.
Above: Semester in Detroit participants at Eastern Market
The Semester in Detroit program, now in it’s sixth year, is U of M’s strongest link to the city. Semester in Detroit was originally just an undergraduate student’s idea, but became a reality after she spent a semester planning a proposal for a program that now has over 150 alumni, many of whom have since moved to the city. I am a part of this year’s Semester in Detroit cohort, which consists of a mix of native Detroiters eager to return to their city, out of staters from Minneapolis and Boston, students from the suburbs and throughout Michigan, and two of us from Ann Arbor. As we take classes about Detroit and it’s history with University of Michigan-Ann Arbor professors Lolita Hernandez, June Thomas, Stephen Ward, and Craig Regester, we are each interning at a different non-profit organization, from Clark Park and Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit, to Inside Out and D:hive.
Students coming to Detroit for 4 short months and urban farming or going into schools to teach poetry before returning to Ann Arbor may seem like a recipe for gentrification. However, Detroiters familiar with the program know Semester in Detroit is a comprehensive program that combines living, studying and engaging in the city. The U of M professors, all of whom live in Metro Detroit, introduce us to their city not through the lens of elite professors showing what is wrong and how students and faculty can fix it, but rather look at Detroit’s history through it’s rise and fall, and the communities that color the city, recognizing Detroit’s population decline as a multifaceted issue.
As a member of the growing community that combines Detroit with the University of Michigan, it’s surprising to me that there aren’t more students regularly visiting from Ann Arbor. However, with the growing number of classes offered in Detroit, coupled with the free bus here and the emergence of Club 313, a student organization devoted solely to Detroit, I believe that the relationship between The University of Michigan and Detroit will continue to grow.
About the Author: Elena Marenghi is D:hive’s Semester in Detroit Intern. She is a sophomore at The University of Michigan, studying Communications and Political Science. She lives and works in Detroit as part of the Semester in Detroit program and in her free time enjoys running, rowing, and speaking Spanish.
On February 9th Detroit SOUP, D:hive’s BUILD Program, and Kiva Detroit partnered to throw a birthday bash at the Jam Handy celebrating BUILD’s two-year and Detroit SOUP’s four-year anniversary. The party—Celebration SOUP—featured a community potluck, a BUILD Bazaar of 10 vendors, and, of course, a SOUP-style pitch contest featuring 4 BUILD businesses: Fresh Cut Detroit, Flash Delivery, Yum Village, and Detroit is the New Black.
Looking for something fun to do in Detroit this month? We’ve got you covered! Below are our top five happenings this month. And don’t forget to browse our Event Calendar to stay up to date on what’s going on in the city. Have a suggestion for a cool event you want us to put on our calendar? Submit it here.
Do Something February Features:
February 7th-9th: Motown Winter Blast | Event
Music, food and outdoor activities at Campus Martius Park
February 7th-15th: Dirty Show | Art
International Erotic Art Exhibition
February 13th: Drinks x Design | Event
Network with creative professionals at AIREA Studio
February 22nd: Yoga Rocks Ford Field | Community
Help set the world record for the largest single indoor yoga session. Live music, giveaways, and more.
Tatiana and Ericka both took our Build class for entrepreneurs at separate times but with the same idea to bring a food + grocery delivery service downtown. Their paths had yet to cross until Tatiana reached out to a partner at 24 Grille who had been approached by Ericka to form a similar partnership a month before. He arranged a meeting between them and Flash Delivery was born.
“We met and realized we liked each other a lot. Our strengths and backgrounds are really complementary and so instead of being competitors we decided to join forces,” says Tatiana. “Our story is all about collaboration.”
Ericka, who was an accountant in her previous career, oversees the bookkeeping and day-to-day operations of the business. Tatiana, who came from a marketing and PR background, manages the sales and outreach aspects. Their past experiences have helped them form a solid foundation for their business.
Now that they’re ready to launch, they’ve found that while starting a business is all about drive and perseverance, it’s as much about coming together and forming partnerships, even if it’s with your competition.
“Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at the bigger picture,” says Ericka. “We’re not sure we could have been at the place we are today without setting our egos aside and deciding to work together.”
Above: Thanh Tran in Kidpreneur’s pop-up at 1249 Woodward
Last week Kidpreneur launched its two month pop-up at 1249 Woodward as part of our Pilot program. Kidpreneur provides hands-on training and workshops to youth interested in tech, entrepreneurship, web design, coding, and the latest technology. Their mission is to empower youth to become future innovators and job creators.
"We’re not only teaching kids to have their own business and be their own boss, but to have the confidence to sell and present their own ideas," says Thanh Tran, founder of Kidpreneur.
By partnering with local corporate sponsors and organizations, Kidpreneur provided 10+ youth with scholarships to participate in their classes in Detroit. Classes began this past Saturday, although there is still time to register online.
Tran is also excited to offer a regular schedule of weekend and evening workshops, the first of which is a three day series on the popular video game Minecraft. Kids will learn to build, maintain and update their own Minecraft server. “Minecraft is one of our most popular classes. Kids love it and don’t even realize they are learning to code,” says Tran.
Interested in testing out your own business idea downtown? Applications for our next Pilot pop-up open on February 9th!
Paige at a DEC Event. Photo by: Jeff Kowalsky
Like many recent college graduates, Paige Narins wasn’t sure what her career path would be after college, but she knew she wanted to be in Detroit. After hearing about LiveWorkDetroit! from a mentor at Albion College, she attended her first event in 2013. It was her first time in Detroit, although her family had lived and worked in the city for generations before moving out-of-state.
“It was an amazing experience,” Paige says. “I have always been someone who loves to volunteer and take on leadership roles. If you’re someone with that mindset you want to be somewhere you can make a difference. LWD helped me realize Detroit was that place for me.“
After months of networking and applying for jobs in the city, the perfect job seemingly came to her: A contact at Digerati connected her to the Detroit Economic Club (DEC), one of their partners. “I actually didn’t even apply to the job. It just happened to be exactly what I was looking for,” she explains. As Member Services Coordinator for the DEC, Paige manages relationships with all of the DEC’s new and current members, helps coordinate the Club’s membership events, and gets to play a role in Detroit’s business community.
After starting her job on October 1st, Paige knew it was time to make the move to Detroit. She found an online listing for the Parkstone Apartments in West Village and decided to check it out. She immediately connected with the quaint neighborhood feel and close-knit community.
“A lot of people don’t think of West Village as a place for younger people, but the Parkstone is an awesome little niche where there is a great dynamic between longtime residents and young professionals. And the neighborhood is buzzing with new businesses.”
Now that she lives and works in Detroit, Paige continues to be an ambassador for LWD, where her journey to Detroit began. She hopes to help change the dialogue about the city, starting with her friends and family. “If you share your positive experiences in the city and start a dialogue with people, they will slowly start to do the same,” she says.
Have questions or want to hear the story from Paige herself? She’ll be a panelist at the next LiveWorkDetroit! on February 7th at the Westin Book Cadillac. Learn more and register here.
Above: The Nordin brothers’ designed ‘D Burst’
We know New Years Eve doesn’t always live up to the hype, but if you’re in Detroit there are plenty of amazing events to check out. We’ve compiled a list of 5 New Years Eve highlights to get you started. So grab a friend, get your sparkle on, and bring in the New Year with a bang. What are you looking forward to?
- The Drop – Watch ‘The D’ drop in the heart of downtown Detroit at midnight. It’s free and there will be food trucks, live entertainment, and ice-skating all night. For a special VIP experience, don’t miss ‘Rockin the D' at the Hard Rock Cafe.
- Nothing Elegant at The Old Miami – Grab your dancing shoes for a night of dance floor shenanigans and live hip-hop with the classy ladies of the DJ duo Nothing Elegant.
- Thornetta Davis at Cliff Bells – Experience one of Detroit’s most talented blues legends live at this one-of-a-kind Art Deco jazz bar downtown.
- Winter Festival + Legends Game at Comerica Park – Hockey fans will rejoice at this five-day festival leading up to the Winter Classic on New Years Day.
- Sugar House Cocktail Bar – If you like getting fancy for NYE stop by Sugar House in Corktown for an evening of specialty craft cocktails and live jazz.