The Conference In Detroit


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.

5 thoughts on “The Conference In Detroit

  1. Ashley says:

    Thank you Michael! We are thrilled that you are going to be joining us in Detroit. We are still finalizing both speakers and sponsors. People can contact me at if they are interested in participating or to get additional information.

  2. Azhar McNeal says:

    I believe sincerely that the ticket cost to attend this conference is cost-prohibitive for most people. We should create a conference that allows greater diversity and should be representative of the ethnic and socio-economicaly diverse make-up of this beautiful city. The rebuilding of Detroit should be a more inclusive endeavor with sensitivity toward those who can least afford to participate , but can bring creativity, talent, and value to the table.

    • Ashley says:

      Hi Azhar,
      We hear you and you are absolutely right about Detroit. As a city, our strength is our diversity and we simply cannot afford to leave anyone out. Inclusivity is top of mind for us every day. While, taken at face value, the ticket prices are in line with—and oftentimes much less—than you’d expect to pay elsewhere, we are focused on ensuring access for everybody. We are offering free tickets for teams who complete a hackathon project, discounted tickets for students, free business and technology workshops on May 16th and 17th, free meet ups leading up to the conference, not to mention lots of ticket giveaways. Is it perfect? No. But we’re doing everything we can to keep our doors both open and open to everyone. Going forward, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on these opportunities via Twitter, Facebook and our website. So keep watching, spread the word and please keep the dialog coming. As a community focused project, community input means everything.

  3. Messaged an entrepreneur friend looking to locate an awesome music playlist from HK to USA. Added a note: One bedroom apt in SF costs $3500. Three bed apt in Mototown $1350 (via quick Craigslist search). Both SF and Detroit have nonstop flights to Asia/ Europe.

  4. John Galt says:

    You can’t begin anew when you still have in place the corrupt system that destroyed the city in the first place. Now that corruption is being spread nationally, with the nationalization of health care and soon, it looks like, college education (as if totally ruining lower levels of education wasn’t enough.)

    Rand was right, the only thing to do is to boycott until these regimes are toppled.

    We should be looking to offshore silicon valley to a better jurisdiction. If you think there isn’t a better jurisdiction you’re making the same error that the north koreans citizens do when they think NK is the best country in the world– they lack perspective.

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