Detroit's New Economy Initiative Awards $11.5M in Grants

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DETROIT  —  The New Economy Initiative, a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, has awarded nearly $11.5 million in grants during the first half of 2014 to 22 different organizations across the region.

“Through NEI’s investment in these grantees and their projects, we are helping to grow and expand the infrastructure and ecosystem that supports our region’s entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said David O. Egner, NEI executive director.  “Our overarching goal is to establish a more diverse economy in our region where opportunity, wealth and prosperity are available for all.”

Among those getting grants:

AutoHarvest Foundation: $50,000

  • Support for the development of a web-based tool to connect entrepreneurs to intellectual property developed by the automotive and advanced manufacturing industries.

Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS): $400,000

  • Support for the Growth Center that provides training and technical assistance for immigrant and non-English speaking populations to develop and grow businesses.

Bizdom: $250,000

  • Support to fund operational expenses for entrepreneurial training programs and inclusion driven marketing campaigns.

Detroit Economic Growth Association: $430,000

  • Support to launch, NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth, a citywide contest in partnership with NEI to energize and expand the culture of entrepreneurship and drive economic growth in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.

Detroit Economic Growth Association: $607,740

  •  Support over 14-months for the D2D program to strengthen a sustainable citywide system for increasing local business-to-business procurement opportunities within Detroit.

Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation Inc.: $100,000

  •  Support to pilot Startgrid, a technology platform to create connections within the Southeast Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem and across national investors and mentors.

Downtown Detroit Partnership: $40,000

  • Support to the D:hive for design assistance for entrepreneurs.

Eastern Market Corporation: $500,000

  • Support of a Community Kitchen to provide assistance for food entrepreneurs and businesses in metropolitan Detroit.

Edison Welding Institute: $1 million

  • Support to fund the capital expenditures related to the launch of the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), a federally funded Detroit-based lightweight materials innovation institute.

Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation: $75,000

  • Support operations, business development and training for a newly opened business incubator and co-working space.

Henry Ford Health System: $800,000

  • Continued support for the Innovation Institute at Henry Ford to increase commercialization of health care technology and leverage intellectual assets to solidify an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Detroit.

Inforum Center for Leadership: $300,000

  • Support over two years to provide comprehensive training programs and mentorship to high tech and high growth women entrepreneurs.

Invest Detroit Foundation: $400,000

  • Support for the 2014 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition to encourage entrepreneur business development and venture capital investment in southeast Michigan.

Invest Detroit Foundation: $4 million

  • Support to the Detroit Innovate Fund, a venture capital and venture development organization supporting high growth businesses within Detroit.

Michigan Community Resources: $50,000

  •  Support for data analysis and program planning for neighborhood entrepreneur and business development programming.


Michigan Corps: $15,000

  •   Support for the Social Entrepreneurial Challenge to advance sustainable business ventures throughout Michigan that are addressing pressing social challenges.


Society of Manufacturing Engineers: $40,000

  • Support to launch a technology interchange forum to make accessible NASA intellectual property to the Southeast Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Southwest Housing Solutions: $350,000

  •  Continued support for the ProsperUs entrepreneurial training and technical assistance program to assist underserved populations to develop and grow businesses in neighborhoods.

Southwest Solutions: $50,000

  • Support for Ponyride Detroit for tenant mentorship program, and facilities enhancements for co-working and other entrepreneurial spaces to increase capacity, efficiency and offerings.

University of Michigan: $5,000

  •  Support to implement an interactive workshop and summit for university students across the region interested in entrepreneurship.

Venture for America: $375,000

  • Support to provide programmatic structure to the Venture for America Fellows program in Detroit.

Walsh College: $150,000

  • Continued support for entrepreneurial education and training to Walsh College students.

Wayne State University: $150,000

  • Continued support for entrepreneurial education and training to Wayne State University students.

Wayne State University: $325,000

  • Support for phase 2 of The Front Door, a business engagement center that improves university connections to industry for greater market-driven technology commercialization results.

WSU TechTown: $1 million

  • Support to build a high tech business incubator and accelerator, and a neighborhood business support and entrepreneur program to develop and grow businesses in Detroit.


Since 2009, NEI has awarded $85 million in grants, while exposing more than 50,000 individuals to entrepreneurial services, and helping to create more than 1,000 new companies and 9,500 new jobs in the Southeast Michigan economy. In addition, more than $575 million was leveraged into the entrepreneurial ecosystem through not only entrepreneurs themselves, but also through the grantees and service providers.

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