GES 2016, President Obama has Detroit in focus

The 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama and attended by more than 1,500 global delegates on Stanford Universityâ€s campus

The 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama and attended by more than 1,500 global delegates on Stanford University’s campus, June 22-24, will include special events designed to highlight entrepreneurship and innovation in Detroit.

The White House Detroit Federal Working Group is partnering with the New Economy Initiative (NEI), a philanthropic initiative that funds a network of support for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Detroit and southeast Michigan, to host The Detroit Story, an official side event of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit taking place on Thursday, June 23 at HanaHaus at the New Varsity Theater in downtown Palo Alto.


Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

The event will focus on Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and feature a series of panels in which Detroit entrepreneurs themselves will discuss the city’s social, food, and mobility sectors. Following the main event, an evening reception will be held at the Shinola (Detroit) store in Palo Alto. The Detroit Story will conclude on Saturday, June 25 with a film screening and discussion of the documentary GENERATION STARTUP.

Detroit will be represented by five official delegates to GES, the most of any city in the nation, to include: Amy Kaherl (Detroit Soup), Pashon Murray (Detroit Dirt), Jerry Paffendorf (Loveland Technologies), James Sayer (UMTRI), and Pam Lewis (NEI).

The focus on Detroit, a city in which entrepreneurship is helping pave the way for a more inclusive, sustainable economy reflects the Obama Administration’s dedication to finding innovative and transformative solutions to key global problems.

President Obama named a point person on Detroit in 2014, Cliff Kellogg from the Department of Treasury, and a team of advisers, including Julie Egan, his deputy director from the U.S. Department of State, along with advisers from other federal agencies.


Detroit, a global city with a product history and people

The White House Detroit Federal Working Group ensures that the federal government remains a strong partner for Detroit as it charts its historic economic recovery. This includes working to connect Detroit to international opportunities and attracting global entrepreneurs.

Detroit is a global city with a proud history and people. Its full recovery depends on the strategic leveraging of all assets including its legacy as one of the nation’s original centers for innovation and entrepreneurship, and its position on one of the richest trade crossings in the nation, says Julie Egan, deputy director of the

White House Detroit Federal Working Group. It is time to tell the Detroit story, to put Detroit back on the global map, and to encourage innovators from around the world to come join the entrepreneurial movement in Detroit led by Detroiters. As the Mayor of Detroit said recently, entrepreneurs are rebels, and entrepreneurs from Detroit are extreme rebels.

GES is a reflection of the President’s commitment to utilize entrepreneurship as a foundational tool to build more economically prosperous, secure, and globally connected communities around the world. The White House Detroit Federal Working Group is proud to support that work in Detroit and lift up The Detroit Story to the world.

“The city of Detroit has come a long way in recent years, and we think a lot of that has to do with philanthropy taking an inclusive approach to investing in support for entrepreneurs,” says Pam Lewis, director of NEI. “Though we still have a long way to go, the regional economy, which for a century relied on the fortunes of a single industry, is diversifying, and people across communities are beginning to view entrepreneurship as an engine of opportunity. There’s a lot the nation and the world can learn from what’s happening in Detroit today.


17,000 jobs in the past decade

In the past decade, NEI’s investments in the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem have leveraged almost $1 billion in additional investment to service providers and their small business clients in Detroit, in addition to contributing nearly $2 billion to regional GDP and creating over 17,000 jobs.

The Detroit Story at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit will showcase the opportunity in Detroit on the ground today. Through a series of panel discussions on Thursday, June 23, at 6 :30 p.m. PT, entrepreneurs engaged directly in Detroit’s social, food, and mobility sectors will speak about their experiences. During the event’s culminating session, a group of entrepreneurs including Jacques Panis (Shinola), Carla Walker-Miller (Walker-Miller Energy Services) and Lorron James (James Group International), will answer the question “Why Detroit?”