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On April 22nd we brought the casting team for ABC’s Shark Tank to Detroit, Michigan for the fourth  stop in a nationwide tour focused on bringing more diverese ideas and voices to the show. Values Partnerships joined Hajj Flemings and Brand Camp University in hosting an all day casting event at TechTown Detroit.


Detroit has seen the best and worst of America’s economic story. The city’s automotive industry became an engine of the U.S. economy. Financial and housing market upheaval during the Great Recession hit the city especially hard.  Between 2000 and 2010, the population plummeted 25%. Detroit has more than 100,000 vacant lots in its 139 square miles. A fourth of the housing units—45,000—are abandoned.  Unemployment has often been twice the national average with rates over 50% when Including people no longer looking for work.

Entrepreneurship built Detroit, and that same spark has the ability to continue to breathe life into the city. The need for services and lower barriers to entry have made the Detroit area an opportunity for enrepreneurs. Nearly 400 entrepreneurs applied to pitch at our Detroit casting event.

Led by Hajj Flemings, Brand Camp University hosts an interactive conference that brings together the best and brightest minds in communications, marketing, brand development and business management to explore how social media has revolutionized the way individuals and companies position their brands. Tech Town is a co-working space, accelerator, and hub for innovation in Detroit.

Brand Camp University, Tech Town, and other orgs in Detroit are empowering entrepreneurs in the Detroit area to re-ignite the economy and continue the city’s resurgence. Recently. economic indicators have been improving, and the spark of entrepreneurship in the region should carry the economy forward in the future.


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