No matter what some pictures show, Detroit isn’t a scene out of a post-apocalyptic story. It is a leader in technology and innovation, with healthcare, IT, start-ups,incubators and, of course the auto industry, pushing it forward.
That’s why at this year’s event May 2-8, Techweek Detroit will honor 100 Detroit innovators, cultivators and ambassadors who played key roles in creating the city’s robust, flourishing innovation ecosystem.
Twenty-five individuals will receive Ambassadors awards including Marry Barra, CEO of General Motors; Jill Ford, special advisor to Mayor, City of Detroit; Mark Fields, CEO of Ford; Beth Niblock, CIO of Detroit; Hunter Rosenblume, founder of Lunar, and Veronika Scott, CEO, The Empowerment Plan. Ambassadors are the spokesmen for the industry … the ones who keep communication flowing.
Fifty companies have been chosen for the Innovators award including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Crowdwise, Ford, GM, Henry Ford Health System, Quadmetrics, Quicken Loans, Rocket Fiber and Shinola. Innovators are those who know what is needed to push the whole ecosystem forward, and open new doors to future possibilities.
Among the 25 companies receiving the Cultivators award are Ann Arbor Spark, Detroit Regional Chamber, Girl Develop It, Grand Circus, IncWell and TechTown. Cultivators are those that provide resources for the innovators who make the future possible, whether it is through capital or education, they make sure all the tools needed are present and easy to access.
“The diverse set of industries represented by these Innovators speaks to the growing vitality of innovation in the city, which has garnered national as well as local attention in recent months,” said Amanda Signorelli, CEO of Techweek.
For a complete list of honorees please click here.
Techweek, now in its third year will occur across multiple iconic Detroit locations, including, TechTown, Grand Circus, The Madison Building, Bamboo Detroit, Hatch Batch and the Detroit Brewing Company.
There is much more to Techweek than the awards. There will also be panels and speakers focusing on some of the biggest and most sensitive issues in the city today, such as diversity in tech, the evolution of automotive tech and the intersection of sports and technology.
- Diversity in Tech Panel, featuring Amanda Lewan (Bamboo Detroit), Monica Wheat (Digerati Girls), Niles Heron (Crowdfund Ventures), and Alisyn Malek (GM Ventures): Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Bamboo Detroit
- LAUNCH Startup Competition, with startups competing for potential investment and to be crowned LAUNCH National Champion: Tuesday at 4 p.m. at TechTown
- “An Insider’s View – The Reporters Perspective”, panel discussion featuring Robert Huschka (Editor, Detroit Free Press), Dan Duggan (Editor Special Projects, Crain’s Detroit Business) and Alexandra Bahou (Reporter, WXYZ-TV): Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Grand Circus
- Hiring Fair, where candidates gain face-to-face access with companies looking to hire: Thursday at 11 a.m. at TechTown
- “Hack the Streets” Civic Hackathon, creating value for citizens through open source infrastructure: Saturday and Sunday
“Recent innovation from the automotive industry has jumpstarted the Detroit tech scene,” says Signorelli. “The Motor City is seeing resurgence in growth and investment in the tech field. If we can help raise awareness of all the great companies, influencers and entrepreneurs here in Detroit, then we know we have done our job.”
Too often Detroit is viewed as a broken down reminder of the old world, this is proof the region is essential to the rising parts of the technology economy and is a major enabler of innovation and development.
For more details about Techweek Detroit or other events throughout the country, visit www.techweek.com.