Mar 25

Oxfam America Takes Social Venture Approach

Oxfam America takes a long view.  COO Jim Daniell says the non-government organization (NGO) offers solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice focused on empowerment – not solving problems. “The big change is power. You don’t end poverty by giving somebody stuff,” Daniell says. “You give them opportunities. Usually, the opportunities have been denied to them […]

Mar 23

Gimlet’s Radical Transparency

The best podcasts are based on personal, highly vulnerable stories, and Gimlet Media, a bellwether podcasting company, has taken that insight to an extreme. As its grown to 45 employees in less than two years, the company has been basically naked from the start. After all, the company’s first hit was the ongoing StartUp podcast, a self-referential show about […]

Mar 21

Shinola Builds Brand and Jobs in Detroit

Shinola isn’t just a startup. It’s a Detroit-based startup. Like the city, Shinola is a bit of an underdog. As disposable, mass-produced goods from China flood the market, Shinola is betting on high-quality products produced with American labor. But as it expands its manufacturing footprint in Detroit while opening retail stores across the country and […]

Mar 18

Freight Farms Puts Agriculture in a Box

We want to know where our food comes from. The evidence is seen on foods labeled organic, in the rise of farmer’s markets, and even in Ikea products. Our shifting attitudes are reshaping the business of growing food. Freight Farms is one company rethinking the way we produce our produce. Founder Brad McNamara and Jon […]

Mar 11

Best Bees Conducts Research While Harvesting Honey

When Noah Wilson-Rich started graduate school at Tufts University in 2005, he wasn’t thinking about launching a small business, disrupting a scientific funding model, or becoming an advocate for bees. But by 2010, he had co-founded Best Bees, a full-service beekeeping operation headquartered in Boston, as a way to fund scientific research and advocate for […]

Mar 7

Detroit Venture Partners Has Already Committed $30M to Entrepreneurs

The capital of the Am›erican car industry is now attracting investors, entrepreneurs, and young professionals with the promise of cheap real estate and the opportunity to (re)build something great. Forbes ranked Detroit the fourth fastest-growing city for tech jobs in 2015. Detroit Venture Partners is investing in the movement and creating an ecosystem of entrepreneurship in […]

Feb 29

Detroit Farm and Garden Helps Its City Grow

Urban farming has become a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community in Detroit. It’s also inspiring entrepreneurship and fostering a food scene. With more than 1,400 community gardens and the announcement of a $15 million urban-agriculture project, Detroit’s blighted neighborhoods are going green. Detroit Farm and Gardens, a garden supply store, is supplying seeds, […]

Feb 22

Detroit Bikes Redefines “Made in the Motor City”

Zak Pashak, a Canadian musician and venue owner, moved to Detroit in 2009 to start an “interesting business.” Three years later, he launched Detroit Bikes, offering simple, affordable bicycles designed for commuters. Getting more people on bikes on a more regular basis, not just as weekend warriors, became an essential part of the company’s mission, but […]