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Endeavor’s unparalleled global network will equip the city’s best entrepreneurs with the resources they need to aid with ushering in a new era for Detroit.
Detroit, MI – February 9, 2015 – Endeavor is officially announcing the launch of its second U.S.-based affiliate in Detroit, MI. Endeavor Detroit has identified some of the region’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs to join its local board of directors. Antonio Lück has also been selected as Managing Director. As Endeavor’s second entry in the U.S. market following its 2013 launch in Miami, Endeavor Detroit will help usher in a new era of local growth and economic development driven by high-impact entrepreneurship.
The economic challenges faced by Detroit since the financial crisis of 2007-08 have made headlines across the world. With a population of about 700,000, the city has seen a sharp rise in unemployment coupled with economic decline and a dwindling talent pool. Following its landmark municipal bankruptcy filing in 2013, the city has been beleaguered by unemployment rates hovering around 14% – nearly double the national average. The region of Southeast Michigan as a whole has not fully recovered from the financial crisis either, with unemployment rates at nearly 1% above 2007 levels.
Endeavor Insight, the organization’s research team, found that Southeast Michigan suffers from a scaleup gap, with the number of high-growth firms (companies older than three years with at least 20% annual employment growth over the last three years) declining by 50% between 2007 and 2012. Scaleups, however, can be the key engines of sustainable job growth that the city needs. The average high-growth company employs 25 times as many people as the average lower-growth firm, and 76 times as many as the average startup. To return the area’s unemployment rate to 2007 levels, Southeast Michigan will need to fill the job gap by empowering entrepreneurs and ventures that have the potential to create the most high-quality employment opportunities. Learn more about Endeavor Insight’s findings on Detroit’s scaleup ecosystem by clicking here.
Now at a critical crossroads, Detroit is primed for the sort of high-impact entrepreneurship that Endeavor has successfully fostered all around the world. By providing access to a global network of industry leaders, investors and talent, Endeavor’s support can help the best entrepreneurs in the city turn their ventures into businesses that will move the local economy. Endeavor works to take the magic of networks like Silicon Valley and bring it to regions with great ideas and potential, but not necessarily the resources to help founders expand their visions. Once selected into the network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are connected with strategic mentors and given access to an array of tools that can catapult them to success. Since its founding in 1997, Endeavor has selected and supported over a thousand entrepreneurs representing more than 650 companies in the 22 markets where it operates.
“Detroit right now is in an exciting period of reinvention and growth, driven by a rise in entrepreneurship,” said Board Chairman Cindy Pasky, Founder & CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. “Endeavor’s unparalleled global network will equip the city’s best entrepreneurs with the resources they need to aid with ushering in a new era for Detroit.”
“The entrepreneurial talent in Detroit and the broader region is impressive,” echoed Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “We’re excited to support these companies to scale, stay and multiply their impact by investing, mentoring and inspiring the next generation of local high-impact entrepreneurs.”
All Endeavor affiliates are guided by a local board of business leaders, each of whom believes that high-impact entrepreneurship can transform entire economies. The Endeavor Detroit founding board will be chaired by Cindy Pasky, Founder, President, & CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. She will be joined by Gerard M. Anderson, Chairman & CEO of DTE Energy; Dave Egner, Executive Director of the New Economy Initiative and President & CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation; Thomas Groos, Partner of City Light Capital; Nate Lowery, Co-founder & CEO of TM3 Systems; Raj Vattikuti, Founder of Altimetrik; and Steven A. White, Chairman & CEO of Detroit Renewable Energy. The launch of Endeavor Detroit was made possible by the commitment and passion of these local board members as well as the support of some of the region’s top institutions and foundations.
“The DeVos Family first met Endeavor a couple years ago and was impressed by a proven track record to catalyze entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world,” expressed Nate Lowery, Co-founder and CEO of TM3 Systems Inc, and Board Member of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation and Endeavor Detroit. “While the family has traditionally focused much of its philanthropy in Grand Rapids, taking Michigan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to the next level will require cooperation from both sides of the state. Our Foundation is thrilled to be a driving force behind Endeavor coming to Detroit and Michigan.”
“From grassroots to high-growth, the New Economy Initiative supports programs that enable entrepreneurs to start, innovate and scale their businesses in SE Michigan,” said David Egner, President of the New Economy Initiative and Board Member of Endeavor Detroit. “The team identified a gap that Endeavor’s model could fill to support entrepreneurs to scale.”
The board has selected Antonio Lück as Managing Director of the office, overseeing the successful launch of Endeavor Detroit. Mr. Lück was previously the Director of Business Acceleration, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Venture Capital at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, where he directed all of the state’s early stage financial programs and the portfolio management team. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the office in Detroit and will be involved in screening entrepreneur candidates for consideration.
For entrepreneurs interested in learning more about Endeavor in Detroit, please contact Detroit@endeavor.org.
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