Over the last few years, Detroit evolved from the birthplace of music and auto-manufacturing to an emerging leader of technology and innovation. The city has also been host to a few heavy hitters in the tech arena, such as AfroTech Detroit, TechTown Detroit and, Backstage Capital Detroit startup accelerator, to name a few.
Even better, a 2019 Detroit Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Report revealed an increasing network of resources for founders, creative entrepreneurs, and investors.
“As entrepreneurs are growing their businesses, they have access to a network of resources including mentors, research institutions for product development and funding to reach their next critical company milestone,” according to the report.
Now, you might be asking, “How do I connect and build relationships with who’s who in the city?” Whether you’re a Detroit native, new to the city, or planning a visit, here are a few ways to find your tech tribe in Detroit:
Join the Online Conversation
Trying to use Google to find people or tech events, may lead you down the Internet’s black hole. Use social media to your advantage. If you search hashtags #BlackTechTwitter, #DetroitBlackTech, #detroitblackbusiness, #Blacktechevents, it reveals everyone from tech enthusiasts, and investors, to tech founders and journalists for press coverage.
Attend Events in and Around Detroit
Search for upcoming events on Facebook using the words “Detroit Technology.” Eventbrite is another powerful resource for finding events such as Hacking with the Homies, Job Fairs, Beers With Engineers, Wings and Tech, and more.
Listen to Podcasts
As podcast creation continues to grow, hosts are finding ways to spotlight hot topics, events, and local news happening in their cities. Listening to podcasts is not only a great way to find your tribe, but it’s also an opportunity to pitch yourself to boost your own visibility. To find and listen to a podcast related to technology in Detroit, you can browse podcasts on Google Play Music and use the search words “Technology and Detroit.”
Search for People on LinkedIn
When you search LinkedIn using the words “Innovation Detroit,” the professional networking platform returns over 30,000 professionals working in areas related to innovation. Searching “Digital Innovation Detroit” is another search term you could use to find a tech tribe of professionals. LinkedIn, according to the University of Massachusetts’ Dartmouth Centre is also considered home to thought leadership for Fortune 500 companies.
Spend Time Working at a Co-working Space
Beyond the ability to rent a desk or a room for a day, week or month, co-working spaces like Femology — Detroit, and SpaceLab Detroit allow you to meet a community of entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, and more. Plus, many co-working spaces have monthly networking events and offer retails services like printing for your proposals or presentations.
Create Your Own Buzz in Detroit
Have you ever heard the quote, “It’s not who you know but who knows you?” Sometimes the best way to attract and find likeminded people is to create an opportunity to share your thoughts, experiences, and frustrations related to things happening in your industry.
From podcasting and writing articles to vlogging or mentoring others, it comes down to taking initiative. No matter what stage of your career you’re at, working hard will never be enough to advance to the next level. Relationships are currency. One of the best ways to grow your relationships is to create value for others. Start by asking yourself: How can I transform my lessons into opportunities for others?