Many people believe that Detroit is “on par” with Silicon Valley when it comes to jobs and opportunities in tech: with more than 170,000 tech jobs in in 2013, Detroit had just a few thousand fewer than Silicon Valley’s 180,000 tech startup jobs. That Detroit News article is more than two years old – but the startups, they continue to arrive: Detroit may outpace the number of Silicon Valley startups as early as 2021!
Starting a tech business? You’ve gotta consider Detroit. Here’s why:
The Detroit metro area’s low cost of living is much lower than San Francisco’s. The Bay Area’s cost of living is 93% higher!
Eight of the nation’s top entrepreneurial colleges are located within the Midwestern “Diamond:” Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh (think Carnegie Mellon, Michigan’s own University of Michigan and Michigan State University).
15% of Fortune 500 companies are located within the aforementioned “Diamond.”
- Energetic and highly tech-savvy young people are arriving in droves, and not just for the low-cost of living and the the chance to make a difference immediately within the startups. They are moving here also for the trendy restaurants and shops, great culture, tons of history (think Motown and the automotive industry), outdoor activities, and – news articles of the past few years declaring the city dead notwithstanding – the fact that Detroit is beautiful!
What’s more, Detroit-area residents tend to be hardworking (they have that Midwestern work ethic, after all), easily accessible (the chance to rub elbows with tech CEOs is MUCH easier in Detroit than in Silicon Valley), and humble.
Let’s talk about some real-life Detroit startups.
Fantelope has created a sports fan competition and engagement platform/app that encourages fans to engage with their favorite teams – and each other – through fan competitions, game day promotions and events, sharing on social media, etc. So far Fantelope has worked with the University of Detroit, and is launching a new version of its fan engagement app in early July 2017. Fantelope is located in Ann Arbor and is part of the Detroit/Ann Arbor connection.
LevelEleven started in 2012 and is a sales activity management platform that works to reinforce the “fundamental behaviors that lead to closing business.” The company now has more than 200 clients, 40-plus employees and boasts investors such as Salesforce, The Ascent Group and Detroit Venture Partners. It’s also won several awards in the app, startup and tech arenas.
FarmLogs is a local startup focused on helping farmers manage their crops and have more successful yields. With Farmlogs, farmers can organize their farming from a mobile app, all for the reasonable fee of $2.50 per acre. That’s not bad. And it’s innovation like this that has netted Farmlogs $37 Million in VC money so far. Ann Arbor based, but connected to Detroit – just like Fantelope.
One drawback to Detroit’s emergence? Competition.
With all of the wonderful tech startups vying for attention, startup marketing in Detroit is ever more critical so that your venture can cut through the noise and grab some attention. Creating a powerful pitch deck, a bold and mobile responsive website, and persuasive marketing can make all the difference in gaining VC funding and growing your customer base.
This is where a digital marketing agency can help. We are looking to connect and work with tech startups in metro Detroit, providing them with creative and cost-effective marketing so that they can make their mark on the world – and a nice profit!
Are you a startup in Detroit, Michigan or beyond? Ingenex is a digital marketing agency that specializes in lead generation and inbound marketing for tech startups. We’d love to connect with you, to see if we can help you hit a moonshot for your tech startup.