Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project

February 27, 2018 0:02:45
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Learn more about the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project.


00:00:05: My name is Javona Watson and I am the owner of Detroit Sip, which is a soon-to-be-open coffee shop, in Detroit, but also a community gathering space.
00:00:18: The goal of this project is not to bring in new entrepreneurs necessarily; its citizens of Detroit that want to grow their business --- and we wanna give them a helping hand.
00:00:30: It had better access to capital, they need better access to skills, and they needed access to networks for business opportunities. And I thought well: the University of Michigan has extraordinary skills, and our faculty, and our students --- could we bring those together across disciplinary lines?
00:00:46: We applied for the M cubed. It was uh really an easy straightforward process, we were funded right away and that helped us launch the new center, so we’ve got: Law, Business, Computer Science, and the Stamp School of Art and Design all involved.
00:01:04: You’ve got students with all these great ideas, and energy, and a desire to go out and apply those ideas --- entrepreneurs that could really potentially benefit from connecting with these students.
00:01:15: And they came with their backpacks, and their manuals, and --- at my request --- some quick book cheat sheets.
00:01:20: Students are primary counsel, the they’re the frontline lawyers---  
00:01:26: ---And they got down there, they were like: “Wow these are families... in coffee shops... and people are coming, and they need this, and they want this---”
00:01:35: Students come away with an appreciation number one, that problems are not just housing their discipline, number two, they need uh their counterparts from across the University. 
00:01:47: I wish to do my part as a native and current Detroiter, to change the mindsets. There are good things happening here and there are good people here. I take that as my my mission, my responsibility to show you and and all that happens over a cup of coffee.