6:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Attendee Arrival into Detroit

2:00 - 5:00 PM

Day 1 Guided Experiences

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12:45 - 5:00 PM · Shinola Factory (Session Full)

Style (Early Start Time)

Experience firsthand the innerworkings of the fashion and retail companies that are putting Detroit on the style map. Visit Stock-x’s authentication center, where dozens of merchandise authenticators inspect thousands of products daily, followed by a tour of Shinola’s 80,000 square foot state-of-the-art watch factory and design studios in-side the College for Creative Studies. Finish the day with a private factory tour of Detroit Denim, a vertically-integrated apparel and accessories manufacturer on Detroit’s river-front, with founder Eric Yelsma.

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2:00 - 5:00 PM · Detroit Salt Mines

Natural Resources (Session Full)

Detroit’s salt mines contain over 100 miles of roads directly beneath the City of Detroit. It is one of the largest salt mines in the world, and one of Michigan’s most unique natural wonders. This guided experience will take attendees down into the mines to learn about the history and importance of this truly unique place. Attendees limited.

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2:00 - 5:00 PM · Little Caesars Arena


Detroit is one of the world’s great sports cities, and its iconic professional franchises are playing a large role in the city’s comeback. This guided experience will take attendees on a behind-the-scenes tour of one of America’s newest sports complexes, Little Caesars Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. The ‘LCA’ was recently voted the 2018 ‘Sports Facility of the Year’ by the industry’s leading trade journal, Sports Business Journal.

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2:00 - 5:00 PM · Third Man Records


This guided experience will take attendees through Jack White’s Third Man Records in Midtown. Third Man was originally founded by Jack in Detroit in 2001 and made its return in 2015. This current location contains a record store, novelties lounge, in-store performance stage, record booth, and vinyl record pressing plant. Other stops are also being planned.

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2:00 - 5:00 PM · UNESCO Tour


In 2015, Detroit became the first American city to be named a UNESCO City of Design. This guided experience will take attendees on a tour of the buildings, corridors, and inspirations that earned the city this prestigious honor.

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6:30 PM · Wright & Company (1500 Woodward Ave floor 2, Detroit, MI 48226)

Welcome Reception

Gather with other attendees and Detroit influencers to socialize and connect.

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7:45 - 8:45 AM · Waterview Lofts

Breakfast at Waterview Lofts

8:45 AM

Start MI Up: Detroit Morning Session Begins

This morning session will feature a series of candid conversations with leading founders, entrepreneurs and investors about doing business in Detroit.

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9:00 AM

Conversation with Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman, Dan Gilbert, on Detroit’s Comeback Story.

Dan Gilbert · Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures

Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman, Dan Gilbert in conversation Musa Tariq, former Chief Brand Officer, Ford Motor Company

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9:45 AM

Starting Up Detroit, Part One

Josh Luber · StockX

10:20 AM


10:30 AM

Starting Up Detroit, Part Two

Kyle Hoff · Floyd, Ari Heckman · ASH NYC, Nia Batts · Detroit Blows, and Justin Mast · Bloomscape

11:05 AM

The Shinola Story

Tom Lewand · Shinola

Hear about the history and future of Detroit-based Shinola from the company’s CEO Tom Lewand.

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11:05 AM

Being a VC in Detroit

Jacob Cohen · Detroit Venture Partners

11:35 AM

Detroit x Mobility

Chris Thomas · Detroit Mobility Lab

Hear about how the future of transportation will have direct impact on the future of Michigan and Detroit.

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11:40 AM

The Future of Mobility (and Michigan’s Role in the Revolution)

Jacyln Trop · Fortune Magazine , Jessica Robinson · City Solutions, Ford, Chris Thomas · Detroit Mobility Lab, and Steve Vozar · May Mobility

12:25 PM

Catered Lunch

1:35 PM

Closing Keynote, Unlocking Opportunity and Talent in Detroit

Hill Harper

2:10 - 5:30 PM

Day 2 Guided Experiences

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2:10 - 5:30 PM

Food Culture

Experience the cuisine and meet the entrepreneurs behind some of the city's leading restaurants on an exclusive Taste of Detroit tour. Featured restaurants and bars include Takoi, Slow’s BBQ, IMA and Bad Luck Bar.

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2:10 - 5:30 PM

Available Real Estate

Engage in a real estate tour led by local developers, and see what available opportunities exist in the City of Detroit. This tour will include Bedrock properties, Quicken Headquarters and Command Center, District Detroit properties and the Ford’s newly-acquired Corktown Train Station.

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2:10 - 5:30 PM


Meet two NYC-based developers who have relocated to Detroit to pursue their big visions of transforming entire neighborhoods in the city. Start the experience with a site tour of the Herman Kiefer complex, one of the most ambitious redevelopment projects in Detroit, with the project’s lead developer, Ron Castalleno, who is known for being a key architect of New York City’s Lower East Side. Next, visit True North, a new mixed-use development anchored by a cluster of residential Quonset Huts, which was recently named one of six finalists for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize 2018, a prestigious honor recognizing the “the best built work in the Americas.

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6:00 - 10:00 PM

Eastern Market Reception, Dinner & Afterglow

The Michigan Venture Capital Association is excited to host the 2018 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner with Governor Rick Snyder on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at Eastern Market in Detroit. Celebrate with us as we shine a light on leaders who are sparking innovation and powering the growth of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community at the state’s largest investor networking event.

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6:30 - 10:15 AM

Free Time, Breakfast at Attendee’s Leisure, Hotel Check-Out

10:15 AM

Attendee Transfer to Ann Arbor

11:00 AM

Strolling Lunch and Networking Session at University of Michigan

11:45 AM

Afternoon Session: Driving Innovation in Michigan, Hosted by the University of Michigan, Renaissance Venture Capital Partners and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Chris Rizik · Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, Denise Graves · Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Kelly Sexton · Technology and Innovation Partnerships, University of Michigan, Richard Chylla · MSU Technologies, Michigan State University, Joan Dunbar · Wayne State University, and Jim Baker · Michigan Technological University

Welcome By: Chris Rizik, CEO and Fund Manager, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. The Panel Discussion will be on Transferring Innovative Technologies to Commercial Markets.

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1:15 - 5:00 PM · The American Center for Mobility

The Future of Transportation

Come and experience the American Center for Mobility (ACM), a world-class autonomous vehicle product development facility opened in 2018. ACM is built on the former 500-acre site of the Willow Run World War II Bomber Plant near Detroit Metro Airport. ACM contains multiple urban, suburban, high-speed, tunnel and rural environments to test next generation vehicles and smart infrastructure.

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1:15 - 5:00 PM · UnDemo Day

Investor-Startup Matchmaking & Pitch Sessions (FULL)

Renaissance Venture Capital Fund hosts an annual event called UnDemo Day that brings together investors, startups and corporates from all over the country, and all over Michigan. Start MI Up has integrated itself into UnDemo Day and offers attendees an opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings during this time with either investors and/or startups. The deadline for scheduling one-on-one meetings is early September. Attendees will also have an opportunity to connect with investors from around the country, promising entrepreneurs and dynamic technologies. Selected startups will be featured at tables throughout the room for open networking with interested investors.

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6:30 - 10:00 PM

Closing Dinner and Last Call at the Black Pearl in Ann Arbor

Hosted by MEDC’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Team

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