If you’ve been following this web site for the past few months, you probably noticed that there hasn’t been much new content since the beginning of 2017. At UEI, we have been consumed with internal matters and with plotting our future course. While these activities will continue in the coming months, we are starting, as of today, to place new content on the site. So check in with us regularly, because…
Here’s hoping that you’re basking in a joyous holiday season and looking forward to a happy, healthy, and productive 2017. We at the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative sincerely appreciate your interest and involvement in creating innovative businesses that improve the quality of life in urban communities. We look forward to continuing our ground-breaking work with you during 2017.
Board of Directors:
W. David Tarver – President
Fred Hall – Vice-President
Reggie Barnett – Treasurer
Karen Lopez – Secretary
Maria Woodruff-Wright – Director
#UES2016 is history. Now the real work begins.
We have posted the recap of the 2016 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium on the UEI web site, and we will continue to add more information in the coming weeks. Please take the time to review the pictures (there are hundreds!), the attendee survey results, the TV, radio, and print media associated with the event, and much more. We were heartened to see that 95% of attendees got all or part of what they came to the symposium for, and that many people made valuable connections at the event. Now it’s time to leverage the information and inspiration received to create what Flint and so many other cities badly need: innovative, profitable business solutions that improve the quality of life in urban communities.
Let’s continue our quest to change the (urban) world, and let’s have FUN while we do it. We are long overdue for an URBAN REVIVAL.
Click here to see the #UES2016 summary.
Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016 wraps up with record attendance, new level of community engagement
Detroit –Nov. 8, 2016 –The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI) is pleased to announce the successful completion of its third annual Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium (#UES2016). Held in Flint, Mich., from Oct. 19 to 21, the symposium had 495 registrants over the course of the three day event. The 2016 Symposium followed sold-out events in Detroit in 2015 and Ann Arbor in 2014 and convened entrepreneurs and thought leaders in business, academia, community organizations and government to facilitate business solutions that bring economic opportunity and quality of life improvements to Flint and other urban communities.
Coming from Detroit? Don’t stress, decompress. Take the FREE bus from TechTown Detroit to #UES2016!
This year’s Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium is taking place in Flint, but we still want our friends and colleagues throughout Southeast Michigan to attend. To that end, we are providing free bus transportation from TechTown Detroit to University of Michigan – Flint Northbank Center, courtesy of our sponsors. Come to Flint and enjoy the full Conference Program on October 20, as well as “The Matrix” networking reception that evening. Register for the free bus ride at the same time you register for the symposium. Come to Flint, relax, and enjoy the entire day. Don’t you worry ’bout a thing!
The bus will leave TechTown Detroit on October 20 at 7:30 a.m. SHARP, and will leave Flint at 8:30 p.m. This schedule will allow bus riders to attend the full Conference Program on October 20, and to attend “The Matrix” networking reception that evening.
Sign up for the free bus ride to Flint, and encourage your friends to do the same. It’s the safe, easy way to take advantage of all that #UES2016 has to offer.
Keynote speakers for Oct. 19-21 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium focus on economic revival in Flint; registration is underway.
Detroit –Oct. 11, 2016 – W. David Tarver, founder and president of The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI) and chief organizer of the third annual Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium, to be held in Flint from Oct. 19 to 21, announced keynote speakers for the event. They are Andrew R. Highsmith, Ph.D., author of Demolition Means Progress, and Jeffery Robinson, Ph.D., an urban economic development expert from Rutgers University. Registration for the event is underway at www.urbanei.org.
The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium is a one-of-a-kind conference that assembles entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and their allies from academia, government, and community organizations. We explore ways to apply community engagement, design thinking, technology, and business formation to create amazing new companies that produce healthy profits and positive social impact. The ultimate objective is to promote for-profit business innovation that improves the quality of life in urban communities. Here’s what we’ll be doing at the symposium this year…
Wednesday, October 19, 6-9 p.m.
Flint Community Program and Reception – Mott Community College Event Center
This session will be a celebration of the resilience of the Flint community, as well as the power and potential of urban entrepreneurship. We will:
- hear a welcome message from Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
- discuss what we learned from Flint citizens in the “Give Us What You Got” community pitches campaign.
- hear from urban entrepreneurs who are applying skill, determination, and innovation to make a real difference.
- hear David Tarver, Flint native, tech entrepreneur, and UEI founder talk about the transformative power of entrepreneurship, and what it means for Flint.
- witness the finals of the Urban Infrastructure Challenge business model competition.
- enjoy good food and beverages, meet and network with the Flint community.
Cost: free, but registration is required.
Thursday, October 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Conference Program – U-M Flint Northbank Center
This session is where we really get down to business, with expert speakers and panelists, as well as meaningful problem-solving discussions. During this session:
- A panel of local and regional experts will discuss their experiences engaging and assessing an urban community.
- Andrew Highsmith, author of “Demolition Means Progress,” the powerful and insightful book about Flint’s perennial quest for urban renewal, will give an interview about his book and its implications for Flint’s future development.
- As Flint strives to develop an effective entrepreneurship ecosystem, a panel of local, regional, and national experts will share their experiences and advice on the subject.
- A panel of university student entrepreneurs will share their experiences engaging with urban communities.
- Jeffrey Robinson, Academic Director and Senior Fellow at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at the Rutgers University Business School, returns to Michigan to talk about his department’s pioneering work in urban entrepreneurship.
- Rishi Moudgill, Executive Director of the U-M Center for Social Impact, will lead a distinguished panel in a debate over the merits of different approaches – for-profit, not-for-profit, government, philanthropic, faith-based – of achieving social impact. We call this segment the “Social Impact Sector Smackdown.”
- Finalist teams will present their entries in the Urban Jobs Challenge business model competition.
Whew! That’s quite a day, and it’s not over yet!
Thursday, October 20, 6-9 p.m.
“The Matrix” Business Networking Reception @ the beautiful new Flint Farmers Market
This reception will bring together entrepreneurs from Flint, the region, and the state with individuals and organizations that support entrepreneurs. This promises to be a fun and electrically charged evening, and will provide the opportunity for participants to make strong and lasting connections. Most of all, this will be another great party that will include:
- great music by a surprise artist.
- outstanding food and beverages.
- unprecedented opportunities to network with local, regional, and national entrepreneurs and their allies.
Cost: $25.00 for entire day, includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Friday, October 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Seminars Program – Mott Community College Regional Technology Center
We will present four non-overlapping seminars on topics that are timely and useful for urban entrepreneurs. These seminars will be presented in the stunning and very functional Regional Technology Center lecture hall. Seminar subjects will include:
- Getting off the Dime – Starting an Urban-Focused Business
- Billions of People, Trillions of Dollars – The Basics and Promise of E-Commerce
- Who’s Backin’ You? – Financing Your Urban Startup
- Presenting YOU and Protecting What You Do – Personal and Business Branding and Intellectual Property
For the full agenda, go to urbanei.org/ues2016-program.
To see questions and answers about the event, go to urbanei.org/2016/09/27/qanda/.
You have questions about Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016 (#UES2016). We have answers.
Q: What is the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium?
A: The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium is a one-of-a-kind conference that assembles entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and their allies from academia, government, and community organizations. We explore ways to apply community engagement, design thinking, technology, and business formation to create amazing new companies that produce healthy profits and positive social impact. The ultimate objective is to promote for-profit business innovation that improves the quality of life in urban communities.
Flint’s revival begins with you!
As part of the 2016 Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative activities, we want to hear your idea – your “pitch” – for making life better in Flint, Michigan. Whether your pitch is an idea for a new business, or a community improvement suggestion, or a gripe about a problem you want to see solved, we want to hear it! Let us make a short video of you presenting your pitch. You could be eligible for a cash prize, community recognition, and professional advice.
Beginning on September 29, UEI staff will appear at several locations in Flint to record brief 1-2 minute videos of pitches by community members. The first session will take place at the Flint Public Library on Thursday, September 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The dates and times of the remaining recording sessions will be posted here on our web site urbanei.org, and will be distributed via social media and other outlets.
We will share the recorded pitches with the community, and we’ll summarize and discuss the pitches at the 2016 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium Community Program to be held at the Mott Community College Event Center on October 19. Note that admission to the Community Program is free, but advance registration is required.
We will select the clearest, most compelling, most interesting pitches for special recognition and a cash prize, as follows:
- 1st prize: $500
- 2nd prize: $250
- 3rd prize: $100
In addition to the recognition and cash, we will connect you with local resources that can help you further develop your idea.
So Flint people, don’t just meditate, participate! Come out and GIVE US WHAT YOU GOT!
In preparation for #UES2016, the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative wants to hear directly from Flint citizens regarding their business ideas, community improvement suggestions, and gripes, and will give recognition and prizes to the best presentations.
Detroit –Sept. 26, 2016 –The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI) is pleased to announce the new community pitches sessions organized in conjunction with the third annual Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium, to be held Oct. 19 to 21 in Flint, Mich. The 2016 Symposium (#UES2016) follows sold-out events in Detroit in 2015 and Ann Arbor in 2014 and convenes entrepreneurs and thought leaders in business, academia, community organizations and government to facilitate business solutions that bring economic opportunity and quality of life improvements to urban communities. The community pitches announcement was made by tech entrepreneur W. David Tarver, founder and president of the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative and the chief event organizer.