Detroit's D:hive Splits into 2 New Organizations


DETROIT — D:hive announced today that it will be evolving into two distinct organizations — the Detroit Experience Factory and Build Institute — to carry the company’s mission forward beginning in 2015.

D:hive, with primary funding from the Hudson-Weber Foundation, launched in 2012 as a three-year project of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. From helping people live, work, and engage in the city, to serving as a resource hub and small business activator, D:hive has launched a number of successful programs that engage both Detroit residents and newcomers to the city. Its popular “Build” class for aspiring entrepreneurs as well as its fast growing tours program will continue to operate under new organizational structures.

D:hive’s tours program, under the leadership of Jeanette Pierce, was rebranded as the Detroit Experience Factory, know as DXF, and offers public walking, bus and bar tours, and customized experiences such as scavenger hunts, strolling suppers, and more. Pierce says DXF will become an even more prominent program of the partnership, continuing to serve as a tour provider, physical welcome center, and resource hub designed to help people live, work and discover the city.

“Continuing to evolve DXF fits in perfectly within the future of the DDP,” says Eric Larson, CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. “The opportunity to engage with the community through an expanded public welcome center and resource hub for the city strengthens our mission. DXF is the go-to resource for people looking to discover everything Detroit has to offer.”

D:hive’s existing DXF resources, including its maps, restaurant checklists, and live and work services will continue to be available online at and at DXF’s downtown location, which will continue to operate as a public welcome center.

D:hive’s Build classes are now a program of Build Institute, an organization that formed out of D:hive and whose mission is to empower people to turn their business ideas into reality by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and support network in Detroit. Build Institute has graduated almost 400 aspiring entrepreneurs from its classes to date.

“We realized we had so many unique programs falling under the Build umbrella,” says April Boyle, executive director of Build Institute. “We’re excited to expand our offerings and create more opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to grow, test the market and collaborate with each other.”

The Build Institute operates a number of small business programs including Build Social, a nine-week class focused on social entrepreneurship, Build Bazaar, a rotating pop-up marketplace featuring emerging entrepreneurs, and Open City, a monthly networking event with panel discussions featuring small business leaders. Open City is now in its eight season and will hold its first event of the season on Oct. 20 at Cliff Bell’s. Individuals can learn more about Build Institute at its and Open City at:

 D:hive will be hosting a series of community conversations at several coffee shops around the city to collect stories and input from community members about their interactions with D:hive. The series will kick off at Motor City Java on Tuesday. More details and a full schedule are available at