UM Releases Updated Economic Outlook

Substantial economic disruption has occurred since the University of Michigan’s RSQE released economic outlooks for the U.S. and Michigan economies in February 2020. Today, they released an updated set of interim forecasts has been released, which includes two scenarios – a short-lived contraction in economic activity or an “effective mitigation scenario” and a “prolonged fallout scenario”.  The analysis is based on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) 2005 study “A Potential Influenza Pandemic: Possible Macroeconomic Effects and Policy Issues.”

View the full analysis or read a summary below:

RSQE expects an official recession to be declared in both scenarios considered. It remains possible for events to unfold in a more positive direction than the two scenarios.


On an annual basis, the United States real GDP growth in 2020 registers approximately  0.5  percent in the effective mitigation scenario and negative  1.8  percent in the prolonged fallout scenario, or roughly four percentage points lower than in the February outlook.  The level of real  GDP  in the effective mitigation scenario catches up to the previous forecast level by mid-2021, but in the prolonged fallout scenario, it runs substantially below the previous forecast level throughout the forecast horizon.


In the effective mitigation scenario, Michigan’s payroll employment count declines by approximately 155,000 jobs from the first to third quarters of 2020. In the prolonged fallout scenario, the decline is 400,000 jobs. Although in the former scenario, the state’s job count returns to its forecast path from the previous forecast by early 2022, it remains well below the previous expectations in the latter scenario.

Unemployment Rate

In the effective mitigation scenario, Michigan’s unemployment rate rises from 4.1 percent in 2019 to 5.8 percent in 2020, before declining back to  4.5  percent in  2021.  In the prolonged fallout scenario,  the state’s unemployment rate jumps to 8.1 percent in 2020 and 8.8 percent in 2021 before beginning to decline; it reaches a peak quarterly rate of 10.0 percent in the third quarter of 2020.

Key Points

  • There is limited economic information available, and the situation is evolving quickly.
  • Protecting people’s lives at the expense of short-term economic pain is justified on public health grounds and by long-term economic logic.
  • It is imperative for the federal and state governments to mitigate the pandemic’s economic damage to vulnerable people’s livelihoods.

View the full analysis.

Butzel Long’s Robin Luce Herrmann elected to Board of Directors of The Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center

Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Robin Luce Herrmann has been elected to the Executive Committee of The Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center (MLRC). The MLRC Executive Committee oversees activities of MLRC’s law firm members.

The MLRC, founded in 1980, is the leading professional association for media organizations and their lawyers. It provides its members with a wide-range of resources, including: daily updates on legal, regulatory and legislative developments; numerous publications; legal and policy analysis; media litigation practice guides; and national and international media law conferences. MLRC has more than 110 media company members. The MLRC Defense Counsel Section includes over 200 law firms which represent media clients.

Herrmann leads Butzel Long’s media team and concentrates her practice in the areas of media law, particularly defamation and access issues; commercial litigation; and civil rights.

At the same time, Herrmann serves as General Counsel to the Michigan Press Association, the official trade association for the newspapers of Michigan, with more than 300 members throughout the State.

She previously taught Law of the Press in the Journalism Department at Oakland University. Herrmann has been a guest speaker on Law of the Press at Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, and Oakland University.

Herrmann earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than
160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing and Shanghai. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting or follow Butzel Long on Twitter:

$450,000 Kresge Foundation Grant will Support Programs to Improve College Readiness, Access and Success

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber received a $450,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to launch a comprehensive plan and campaign to increase postsecondary education attainment in Southeast Michigan.

The three-year grant supports the Chamber’s Forward Detroit strategy to create and sustain an educated, employed and healthy workforce in the 11-county Detroit region. Increasing the number of adults with postsecondary degrees is a goal of Detroit Drives Degrees, a Forward Detroit initiative.

In a joint release, Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson said, “We want to help Detroit fulfill its workforce needs using its own homegrown talent. Detroiters are hungry for the opportunity to get to work, and this initiative will help ensure they’re equipped with the skills, education and credentials required to do just that. We know a postsecondary education is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to move into the economic mainstream, and we’re proud to partner with the Chamber to help more Detroiters and people from across the region get that education.”

The Chamber will work with the Detroit Drives Degrees Leadership Council, led by Co-chairs Daniel Little, chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Richard Rassel, chairman of Butzel Long, to designate regionwide improvement goals on key attainment metrics. The plan will address each stage of the talent development pipeline including: college readiness, college access, college success and transition to the workforce.

The Chamber thanks The Kresge Foundation for its confidence and support in Forward Detroit’s mission. This grant is a big step in helping the Chamber achieve its goal of increasing the number of individuals with postsecondary degrees from 43 to 60 percent by 2025.

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Harris at or 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

Detroit Drives Degrees Kicks off Annual Challenge to Connect More Students with College Financial Aid

By Tiffany Jones

In an effort to put more of the $90 million in federal aid that went unclaimed in Michigan last year into the hands of students, Detroit Drives Degrees kicked off its second annual “Race to the FAFSA Line” Challenge, which promotes the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Challenge offers incentives to students, counselors and high schools to complete the form and runs through Feb. 28, 2018. Detroit Drives Degrees, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Forward Detroit strategy, works to strengthen the talent pipeline by increasing the number of adults with postsecondary degrees in the region.

The goal of the Challenge is to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to 65 percent. In its inaugural year, the Challenge and a variety of other efforts boosted the completion rate to 59 percent in 2016, up from 55.6 percent.

The National College Access Network states that high school graduates who complete the FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in college and by 2025, 70 percent of jobs will require a postsecondary credential.

In order to participate, high schools must register at More than 85 schools participated in the 2016 competition. The school with the highest completion rate will win a senior all-night party, courtesy of Emagine Entertainment. Additional prizes from Emagine and the Detroit Pistons will be awarded to participating schools and student teams across the region.

The Challenge is sponsored by Chemical Bank, DTE Energy, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office, Independent Bank, Kerkstra Precast and University of Michigan-Dearborn. In addition to Emagine Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, other Challenge partners include: Detroit College Access Network, Frank FAFSA, Macomb Intermediate School District, Michigan College Access Network, Oakland Community College, Oakland Schools, University of Michigan, Wayne County Regional Education Service Agency, and numerous local college access networks.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Awards $3.5 Million Grant to Detroit Promise to Help Students Pursue Higher Education

By Tiffany Jones

The Detroit Regional Chamber joined Gov. Rick Snyder and Mayor Mike Duggan to announce a $3.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in support of the Detroit Promise, a last-dollar scholarship program administered by the Chamber Foundation.

The grant will support thousands of Detroit high school graduates with tuition and services as they pursue a college education at participating institutions over the next three years. The grant is part of a $30 million campaign led by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF), which seeks to shepherd the program through a critical time of transition and development. The grant will support the two-year and four-year scholarship program to meet anticipated growth. It also will support efforts to enhance retention rates so that more students successfully obtain degrees and certificates.

Under the leadership of the governor, MEEF has raised nearly $10 million in seed money to initiate the scholarship program, established in 2013, formerly known as the Detroit Scholarship Fund. The grant will ensure that the scholarship and supportive programs are fully developed and available to Detroit youth as public funding becomes available during the next couple of years under the Detroit Promise Zone, a tax capture program initiated by the mayor.


“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation investment will assure that more Detroit youth will enter college and successfully earn postsecondary degrees,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Thousands of young Detroit residents will be better prepared for and able to succeed in the 21st century global economy.”

The announcement attracted media from major local outlets including Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, WWJ and WXYZ-TV7.

Tiffany Jones is the director of communications at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Read more about The Detroit Promise:

Detroit Promise Expands Tuition-Free Program to Four-Year Universities


Lawn Academy Students Explore Exciting Careers During Chamber’s Youth Day

By Daniel A. Washington

For the first time ever, the Detroit Regional Chamber welcomed 20 students from The Lawn Academy along with more than 10 local professionals for a day of learning and career exploration, on April 27.

“We decided this year to do things differently,” said Jennifer Stark, human resources specialist for the Chamber. “In addition to having Chamber employees bring in their children for the day, we dedicated some time and resources to a special group of students to come learn about the Chamber and experience what it is we have to offer.”

Founded in 2009 by Eric Miller and his wife, The Lawn Academy, a nonprofit organization, provides African-American male youth, ages 12 to 18, a chance to serve their community through lawn care service while partaking in a college immersion program. Students serviced more than 500 lawns last year while helping more than 140 seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities across Detroit.

“We aim to help these young men take the next step by giving back to their community while staying focused on their individualistic paths to higher education and success,” Miller said.


Students spent the better part of the day touring the Chamber offices while stopping and talking to employees about their job functions, engaging with several small groups of professionals about career opportunities, and playing a trivia game about the Chamber and best practices for social media.

Visiting professionals and Chamber staff led meaningful conversations about careers in law, finance and information technology. Other companies and organizations that were represented included Develop Detroit, University of Michigan, Henry Ford College, Century Partners and Wayne County Community College District.

“We are really appreciative of the Chamber and how it opened its doors to our young men,” said Miller. “The day was just flat-out awesome.”

For more information or to support the The Lawn Academy click here.

Daniel A. Washington is an integrated marketing specialist at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

More from Daniel. A. Washington:

Cracking the Millennial Code

Millennial Truth: A Closer Look at How Gen-Y Work in Today’s Workforce

Mitten State: Michigan’s World-Class Testing Facilities are Magnet for Tech Startups

By Rachelle Damico

Michigan is on the cusp of innovation for automated vehicle technologies, and startups are capitalizing on opportunity.

Testing facilities, such as University of Michigan’s Mcity, the American Center for Mobility and the recently announced GM Mobility Research Center at Kettering University, provide an opportunity to attract startups to the state.

Leading this trend is Mcity, UM’s 32-acre connected and autonomous vehicle testing facility. In February, UM’s Center for Entrepreneurship and the Mobility Transformation Center partnered on a collaboration at Mcity called TechLab, which provides transportation technology startups access to university resources.

This September, three startup companies from the West Coast joined TechLab — Civil Maps, PolySync and Zendrive.

“I think these companies are coming from the West Coast because they see a tremendous value here,” said Carrie Morton, deputy director of the Mobility Transformation Center. “Southeast Michigan and the state in general bring a lot to bear.”

Zendrive, based in San Francisco, was the first startup to join TechLab. The company uses technology aimed at improving safety for drivers by using a driver’s smartphone to measure actions such as breaking, accelerating, swerving and smartphone use. The company was established by former Google and Facebook employees, and secured $13.5 million in funding this year from venture capitalists and other firms to improve their technology and hire additional team members.

Civil Maps, based in Albany, Calif., also secured funding. The company develops 3-D maps using artificial-intelligence software to direct autonomous vehicles. In July, Civil Maps raised $6.6 million in seed funding led by five investors that include Ford Motor Co.

PolySync, based in Portland, Ore., is developing an operating system built for the high-bandwidth requirements of autonomous driving.

“These companies are finding really interesting partnerships and talent that we hope will lead them to become permanent fixtures in Southeast Michigan,” Morton said.

There has been so much interest from both startups and students that TechLab is looking to expand, Morton said, adding that UM hopes to add another three startups to the program in the near future.

“…It’s a great opportunity for the state to make sure that this technology is developed here,” Morton said.

In the coming years, the region is likely to attract other startups with the addition of the American Center for Mobility.

The 335-acre Willow Run site will become an advanced automotive testing and product development center that can test vehicles at various weather conditions, including ice and snow, at highway speeds.

“Both as an attractor and retainer of talent, I think this offers a much wider array of opportunities, particularly for our young people who are getting educated at our universities,” said Steve Arwood, CEO for the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

The state contributed $20 million to the Ypsilanti Township-based site, which is expected to open at the end of next year.

“I think this certainly is our opportunity to advance our thinking in how we situate ourselves for economic development given where this is going,” Arwood said. “We’re in a position where within two to five years we may see the rise of one or two new automakers or OEMs.”

Ann Arbor SPARK initiated the project and will play a key role in economic development tied to the Center.

“We see a great deal of potential for lots of different companies to start up and grow to scale,” said Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK’s president and CEO.

Krutko said an adjacent property on the project’s site may be used as a devoted space for early stage technology companies to collaborate with bigger players in the industry. He also said the Center has been in touch with companies from Silicon Valley that are interested in its capabilities.

“I think it will be really important not only in retaining talent, but attracting talent here, because there’s going to be great opportunities to be a part of,” Krutko said.

Glenn Stevens, executive director of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto initiative, said Michigan’s testing sites are a selling point for not just established technology companies, OEMs and suppliers, but also puts Michigan on the map among national and international companies looking to expand their prescence in the United States.

“The entire ecosystem for the development of automotive and next-generation mobility exists here in Southeast Michigan,” Stevens said.

Stevens, who sits on the American Center for Mobility’s Land Services Board, has been instrumental in helping establish the legal and financial operating parameters for the testing site.

MICHauto has also been a key voice in strengthening the state’s global leadership in mobility development for connected and autonomous vehicles through its partnership with the Michigan Mobility Initiative.

“It’s extremely critical for Michigan to use its presence in leadership and automotive as a platform for diversification into next-generation mobility because the economic opportunity for new companies, new technologies and new deployment of technologies is extremely immense,” Stevens said. “Our future depends on it.”

Rachelle Damico is a metro Detroit freelance writer.

Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016 wraps up with record attendance, new level of community engagement

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.

W. David Tarver, founder and president of the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, a Flint native and the chief event organizer, proclaimed the event an unqualified success.

“We engaged the Flint community at all levels this year, and that proved to be a key contributor to the event’s success,” Tarver said. “We were pleased to provide a forum for conversation, ideas and strategy, and to help Flint reimagine and rewrite its story to one of renewed spirit and business and entrepreneurial opportunity.”

Highlights of #UES2016 include:

• A series of pre-event “community pitches” gatherings that engaged residents where they live — at the library, churches, the bus station, downtown and many other locations — in a grass roots call for ideas that focused on making life better in Flint. Residents were encouraged to offer business ideas, community improvement suggestions, and even gripes.
• The Community Reception, an event kick-off that drew more than 100 residents, aspiring business entrepreneurs and community leaders to mingle, network and understand the importance of changing the city’s business culture to reignite sustainable growth.
• The 2016 Urban Infrastructure Challenge and the 2016 Urban Jobs Challenge, which provided young adults and college students with an opportunity to win award money and entrepreneurial guidance for business solutions to pressing jobs and infrastructure issues in Flint.
• A panel composed of local, state, and national experts, which addressed strategies for creating an “ecosystem” that supports sustainable growth by further developing existing businesses and growing startups.
• A compelling interview conducted by Tarver with Andrew R. Highsmith, author of Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American Metropolis.
• The Business Matrix reception at the Flint Farmers Market, which drew approximately 80 entrepreneurs and students – and the organizations that support them.
• A day-long series of workshops at the Mott Community College Regional Technology Center focused on essential knowledge for urban entrepreneurs, including business creation methods, creative finance strategies, e-commerce opportunities and techniques, and personal and business branding.

A post-#UES2016 survey of attendees elicited the following responses:

• “Valuable information for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those with limited resources. Great inspiration for a city that is struggling so much.”

• “I loved the 1:1 conversation with the author on day 2 and found the kick-off event to be an inspiring way to set the tone for the full event.”

• “Friday was a very good ‘nuts & bolts’ day filled with practical advice and models. Thursday was also good in highlighting opportunities in various categories.”

“Urban entrepreneurship is business innovation that produces products, services, and jobs that improve the quality of life in urban communities,” Tarver said. “#UES2016 accomplished our primary goal of highlighting the importance of urban innovation in the context of a community that is at the “ground zero” of today’s urban crisis. Now, an inspired group of attendees are ready to put the knowledge, inspiration, and connections they received into action. This will be exciting to watch!”

Leading sponsors of #UES2016 were Mott Community College, University of Michigan – Flint School of Management, University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan Innovate Blue, SkyPoint Ventures, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

A Flint native, Tarver holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and also lectures in the U-M Center for Entrepreneurship. In 1983, at age 30, he launched Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc., a telecommunications instrumentation business, and sold it in 1995 for $30 million. Working as group president for the company’s buyer, Tarver then spearheaded development of a telecommunications group with a market value of more than $2 billion. He left that business in 1999 to devote more time to family and community service, ultimately returning to Southeast Michigan in 2007.

About the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative
The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, founded by W. David Tarver, a technology entrepreneur, Michigan native and author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation offering programming and resources that encourage, facilitate and enable the development of for-profit businesses that explicitly and intentionally address the needs of urban communities.

Jeff DeGraff: Don’t Wait for the Next Best Thing to Pass You By, Innovate

By Daniel Lai 

“Innovation is a key ingredient for leaders to scale their business and sustain growth,” Jeff DeGraff, professor of business administration at the University of Michigan, said during his keynote address at the annual Middle Market CEO Summit.

“If you seek growth, innovation isn’t your best friend … it’s your only friend,” DeGraff said.

Drawing on examples from his past clients, such as Coca-Cola and Microsoft, the self-professed “dean of innovation,” said successful leaders are ones who understand the importance of:

  • Finding, developing and connecting the best people
  • Establishing a sustainable high-performing culture
  • Engaging a wide array of expertise and capability
  • Creating a collaborative learning environment

In order to accomplish those goals, oftentimes leaders must adopt a “prismatic” way of thinking, DeGraff said. The prismatic model divides innovation into four areas: collaborate, create, control and compete. Watch DeGraff’s presentation on prismatic thinking and how it can spark innovation.

Following the keynote, panelists John Fikany of Quicken Loans, Wright Lassiter III of Henry Ford Health System, and Paul Rogers, director of the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) discussed how culture is driving innovation in their respective organizations.

“Two of the biggest issues in health care right now are preventable medical errors and the overall expense of care. Innovation is a way to solve both of these issues,” Lassiter said. “At Henry Ford we celebrate those who not only have the forethought for an idea, but also help to bring it to market.”

Pointing to the success of Henry Ford Health System’s patented Model G patient gown, Lassiter said innovation is often spawned by collaboration, adding that the hospital is currently working with a tech startup to redesign the traditional hospital bed.

Fikany said innovation is such a critical component of Quicken Loans’ success that the company gives employees a half-day weekly to follow their passion, which has led to the creation of numerous product ideas such as the high-speed internet service, Rocket Fiber, serving Detroit.

Additional coverage from the Middle Market CEO Summit:

Regional CEOs Tackle Innovation, Cybersecurity and Challenges for the Middle Market

Cybersecurity Starts at the Top: Why Middle Market CEOs Must Lead

Business Leaders are Called On to Help Heal the Country When the Election is Over

Keynote speakers for Oct. 19-21 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium focus on economic revival in Flint; registration is underway

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

Dr. Robinson is an award-winning business school professor, international speaker, and entrepreneur. Since 2008, he has been a leading faculty member at Rutgers University Business School where he is academic director and senior fellow at the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development. The Center is a unique interdisciplinary venue for innovative thinking and research on entrepreneurial activity and economic development in urban environments.

Dr. Robinson’s research explores how business practices and entrepreneurship can be used to impact societal issues. He is particularly concerned about community and economic development issues for urban metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad. In 2007, he was selected as the recipient of the Aspen Institute’s Social Impact Faculty Pioneer Award for his research, service and teaching activities at the intersection of business and society. In 2011, his course, Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, was recognized as a model of Innovative Entrepreneurship Education by the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Highsmith is the author of Demolition Means Progress: Flint, Michigan, and the Fate of the American Metropolis, one of the most comprehensive works yet written on the history of inequality and metropolitan development in modern America. The book was published in July 2015 by the University of Chicago Press and won the 2016 American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch Book Award. Demolition Means Progress uses the case of Flint to explain how the perennial quest for urban renewal contributed to mass suburbanization, racial and economic division, deindustrialization, and political fragmentation. Dr. Highsmith is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. A former Flint resident, he received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 2009. His doctoral dissertation won the 2009 John Reps Prize for Best Dissertation in American Planning History from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History and the Urban History Association’s Best Dissertation Award for 2009-10. He is a specialist in modern American history, urban history and public policy.

UEI founder David Tarver will present the keynote address at the Flint Community Program and Reception, which will take place on Wed. Oct. 19 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Mott Community College Event Center. A Flint native, Tarver holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and also lectures in U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship. In 1983, at age 30, he launched Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc., a telecommunications instrumentation business, and sold it in 1995 for $30 million. Working as group president for the company’s buyer, Tarver then spearheaded development of a telecommunications group with a market value of more than $2 billion. He left that business in 1999 to devote more time to family and community service, ultimately returning to Southeast Michigan in 2007. He is the author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” chronicling his childhood in Flint, his educational pursuits and his entrepreneurial journey.

The Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium convenes entrepreneurs and thought leaders in business, academia, community organizations and government to facilitate innovative business solutions that bring economic opportunity and quality of life improvements to urban communities. Major sponsors for #UES2016 include University of Michigan-Flint School of Management, Mott Community College, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship, U-M Innovate Blue, Skypoint Ventures, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The complete list of sponsors can be found at

New to this year’s symposium are the “Give Us What You Got” community pitch sessions that elicit business ideas, community improvement suggestions, and gripes from everyday Flint residents. This year’s event will also showcase the finals of two business model competitions – the Urban Infrastructure Challenge and the Urban Jobs Challenge. Winners will be selected and prizes awarded during the event.

Details on Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium 2016
 When: #UES2016 begins on Wednesday Oct. 19 with an evening Community Program and Reception. Thursday is the Conference Program, which will consist of speakers and panel discussions, and will be followed by a “Business Matrix” networking reception at the Flint Farmers Market. Friday’s “Accelerate U” Seminars Program will include compelling presentations on topics of great interest to actual and aspiring entrepreneurs.
 Where: The Wednesday Community Program will take place at the Mott Community College Event Center. The Thursday Conference Program will be held at the U-M Northbank Center in downtown Flint, followed by the “Business Matrix” reception at the Flint Farmers Market. The Friday “Accelerate U” Seminars Program will take place at the Mott Community College Regional Technology Center. See the UEI web site for details.
 Cost: The Wednesday night community reception is free, but pre-registration required. Registration cost for the Thursday programs, including the Conference and Business Matrix Reception, is $25.00. Registration for the Friday Seminars Program is $25.00.
 Registration: advance registration is required; purchase tickets online at
 Event questions: for general questions about the event, please email

About the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative
The Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative, founded by W. David Tarver, a technology entrepreneur, Michigan native and author of “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation offering programming and resources that encourage, facilitate and enable the development of for-profit businesses that explicitly and intentionally address the needs of urban communities.