As 2018 comes to a close, we would like to reflect on a great year! This year was incredibly busy, exciting and productive. From attending industry conferences like Intermitten and VentureOhio’s VentureDinner and releasing our first EntryPoint research report, the 2018 Detroit Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report, it’s been a whirlwind of a year! Following the company launch in May 2018, we have expanded our team and partnered with companies in the Midwest entrepreneurial ecosystem to build connections and shine a light on the talent and innovation happening in our region.

We are extremely thankful to work with such inspiring leaders in the Midwest entrepreneurial ecosystem and our advisory board who have helped make the company’s first seven months a success. None of this would have been possible without their support.

A few highlights from 2018:

  • Launching the Company in May: Founded by Emily Heintz, the company officially launched in May to address gaps in the entrepreneurial landscape and announced its advisory board members: Shane Bliemaster of Marketing Supply Co., Trey Boynton of Duo Security, Patti Glaza of Invest Detroit, Jennifer Owens of Lakeshore Advantage, Amy Peterson of Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, Jeff Rinvelt of Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, Ted Serbinski of Techstars Mobility and Monica Wheat of Venture Catalyst.
  • Partnering with Michigan Venture Capital Association and Invest Detroit to host two amazing industry events: Both the 2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner and the 2018 Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition had record-attendance of entrepreneurs, investors and community leaders! For MVCA, EntryPoint aided in the event management, speaker coordination and media outreach. For Accelerate Michigan, EntryPoint evolved the long-standing event to make it more founder-focused by carefully curating 240 one-on-one meetings between the startup companies and local investors, business acceleration resources and industry experts based on sector and current needs.
  • Releasing the 2018 Detroit Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report: EntryPoint released its first company research report on Detroit’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem! Detroit is becoming a top location to launch and grow a business. According to our research, there has been a 54% increase in the number of venture-backed startups in the last four years. Additionally, more than a quarter of Michigan’s venture-backed startups are located in Detroit.
  • Welcoming new members to the EntryPoint team, Amber Pineda & Justin Tapp: We are thrilled to welcome Amber Pineda and Justin Tapp to the EntryPoint team!
    • Amber is managing the marketing and communications at EntryPoint. She is currently an associate lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and was formerly the marketing and communications manager at MVCA.
    • Justin is the diversity and inclusion intern at EntryPoint! He is currently a student at the University of Toledo (UT) double majoring in disability studies and political science. While interning at EntryPoint, Justin focuses on diversity and inclusion initiatives in addition to assisting with administrative responsibilities.

There’s still much that can be done to strengthen the Midwest entrepreneurial ecosystem and we look forward to continuing our work next year through innovative research and community engagement projects. This is only the beginning, and we are ready to work hard, and get more things accomplished in 2019!

Check out some of our favorite moments from this year!

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