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South African Entrepreneurs Get Up-Close Immersion in Detroit’s Startup Ecosystem

The Detroit region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem was on full display last week during a delegation visit with 15 manufacturing entrepreneurs from South Africa. Representing a wide range of industries — from agribusiness to automotive — the goal of the delegation’s visit was to better gain insight from manufacturing innovation centers across the United States and bring these lessons back to South Africa. Delegates were particularly interested in how the Detroit region has maintained its position as a global hub for manufacturing following the 2009 economic recession.

As part of the tour, delegates met with representatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber to learn about Southeast Michigan’s vast network of support services for entrepreneurs and startup businesses. The delegation also met with representatives from Automation Alley, College for Creative Studies, Detroit Creative Corridor, Detroit Venture Partners, Ford Motor Co.’s Innovation Department, General Motors Co., Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), MICHauto, the New Economy Initiative, Techstars Mobility and the University of Detroit Mercy.

Following the visit, three South African companies that are considering expansion into the U.S. market and Michigan have been in contact with the Chamber.