Entrepreneurs Trying To Revive A City

by Kaschimer 25. June 2010 00:20

According to The New York Times, Bizdom U is an intense boot camp for aspiring entrepreneurs who aim to start high-growth businesses in Detroit. It is the brainchild of Dan Gilbert, a Motor City native who is founder and chairman of the online mortgage lender Quicken Loans.

Bizdom U, however, is unique in its focus on a single city. “Detroit is completely missing an entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Bo Fishback, who is vice president for entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which gave Bizdom U a $500,000 grant in 2008.

Founded in 2006, Bizdom U operates on the principle that entrepreneurs are born, not made. Its program leaders do not necessarily believe entrepreneurship can be taught. Instead, an essential part of Bizdom U’s job is to unearth candidates with a distinct combination of vision, ambition, drive and risk tolerance, and then mold them into business owners.

“We dig deep by reviewing their past activities and behaviors to see if they were often drawn toward entrepreneurial pursuits,” Gilbert wrote in an e-mail message. “Was this the 6-year-old kid who had the most successful lemonade stand on the block?”

In exchange for focused work — often at night and on weekends — they receive laptops, BlackBerrys, a $1,500 a month living stipend and hands-on training from Bizdom U’s five dedicated staff members.

Bizdom U has been likened to NBC’s hit show “The Apprentice” because students are expected to prove themselves in real-world situations. To teach sales and marketing, Bizdom U entrepreneurs must sell memberships to the Detroit Zoo. They engage in “painstorming” exercises, identifying daily hardships that might be alleviated by a new product or service.

“We wanted people to be living and breathing their businesses,” said Ross Sanders, executive director of Bizdom U. “They learn by doing.”

Photo by The New York Times.


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General | Michigan

Announcing Microsoft Web Camps - a Free Opportunity to Learn From the Experts

by Kaschimer 8. May 2010 01:05

From the MSDN Newsletter:

Microsoft Web Camps are free, two-day events where you can learn about the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform, work with hands-on labs, build solutions in teams and have direct interaction with Microsoft experts. Technologies covered include ASP.NET, Visual Studio, IIS, and more.

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.NET | Programming

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