Detroit. It was once the factory of America.
No more. For most of us, Detroit has been a city in decline for much or all of our lives. The population has declined rapidly, and everyone has seen the images of abandoned buildings, drug violence and abject poverty.
In other words, Detroit is the perfect place to begin anew. There is an energy there as people begin to rebuild. A willingness to experiment. A stubbornness to succeed.
Tech startups can play a pivotal role in rebuilding, but infrastructure is needed. We are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of Detroit based startups looking for venture capital, and there are more venture funds looking to invest there (as well as a few Detroit-based funds looking to make most of their investments in the area).
But there’s more to do. People (like me) who don’t live there need to spend more time there getting to know the community. People in Detroit need to have more places to exchange ideas, and meet outsiders.
That is why I am so happy to be a part of the new reBOOT Detroit tech conference later this year (May 16-19). Other early speakers who have committed to attend include Robert Scoble, Catherine Bracy and Dave McClure. Many more will be added.
This will be a grande conference, complete with hackathon, modeled after TechCrunch Disrupt.
I hope to see you there. Buy tickets here. And I’ll be giving out a handful of free tickets soon as well.