The first class of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center's Creative Ventures is graduating from the year-long program this month. The numbers include 17 creatively inclined businesses that have created 41 new jobs over the last year.
"We can't complain," says Matt Clayson, director of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center
. "My team and the ventures really delivered. We made the best of the opportunity."
The Detroit Creative Corridor Center launched last summer in the College for Creative Studies
' A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education in New Center. It serves as a small business incubator focused on helping build businesses that employ creatives, such as design companies or marketing firms, and will stay in the greater downtown Detroit area. Creative Ventures is its lead program, which is a year-long business development program for creative sector entrepreneurs.
The initial class welcomed 17 entrepreneurs that include interior designers, fashion designers and filmmakers. All 17 of those entrepreneurs graduated from the program. Clayson estimates each business created 2-3 jobs and contributed to more than $300,000 in economic impact for Detroit. He adds the creative economy employs 30,000 people in Metro Detroit, who make more than 50 percent of the 2006 U.S. average wage, citing the AngelouEconomics
' Creative Cluster Regional Assessment.
The second year of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center's Creative Ventures program is set to begin on July 9. Seven creative entrepreneurs made the cut from a application pool of 32. The winning selections were based on their businesses' concepts, opportunities for growth, the experience of the owners, and their dedication to growing their businesses in Detroit. Clayson is optimistic about the prospects of the up-coming class after the success of the last class.
"We have faith that with the support our team will offer (the new class) will be able to reach and exceed (last year's) numbers," Clayson says. "With that said, a lot can go wrong. This is still business."
Source: Matt Clayson, director of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.