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International Business Innovation Association

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2018 e.Builders Forum in Detroit to Share Best Small Business Economic Development Practices

International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), CO.STARTERS, Build Institute, and TechTown Detroit unite to offer a two-day event focused on innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem cultivation and revitalization tactics—all showcasing Detroit’s replicable “comeback.”

Detroit, MI, September 04, 2018 --( The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), a global network for entrepreneurship centers, will be leading the 2018 Ecosystem Builders (e.Builders) Forum from September 17-18 in TechTown Detroit and NextEnergy.

The e.Builders Forum is an annual conference that hosts workshops and roundtable discussions facilitated by industry experts to formulate contemporary solutions for sustainability and growth among ecosystem leaders. This year marks InBIA’s second e.Builders Forum after its creation in 2017 in collaboration with Birmingham’s Innovation Depot.

The 2018 e.Builders Forum will be held in Detroit, Michigan, also referred to as “America’s Comeback City.” Detroit has been the frontrunner for innovative entrepreneurship following a period of economic sector collapse and high unemployment rates. Paul Riser, TechTown Detroit’s managing director and InBIA board member, discussed how the e.Builders Forum can benefit from Detroit’s story of resurgence.

“In the center of the Innovation District in Detroit, you have entrepreneurial service providers and partners who work in fields such as healthcare, IT, and university spin-out technologies—all with mobility for participation. A number of these partners have come into the Detroit area from outside of our region and are now delivering programmatic services and resources here. It is just a great mosaic of different opportunities that others across the country and across the world can glean from,” said Riser.

This year’s forum seeks to modernize each discussion and workshop with the interwoven theme of inclusivity—a critical factor in entrepreneurial programming that paved the way for Detroit’s economic renaissance.

Conference participants will be able to dialogue about how to best uplift a diverse and evolving ecosystem with topics such as “Equitable Ecosystems: Creating Inclusive Ecosystems for Growing and Scaling Minority-Owned Businesses”; “Regional Revitalization: Transforming and Adapting Existing Resources to Serve the Entrepreneurial Community”; “Women in Tech”; “Veteran Entrepreneurs”; and more.

At the heart of Monday’s exciting workshops are findings and lessons curated for InBIA’s three new playbooks and two corresponding research projects to support practitioners who run entrepreneurship programs; these publications, funded by JP Morgan Chase grants, include the Disadvantaged Communities Playbook and corresponding research project, the Minority Inclusive Entrepreneur Programs Playbook, the Women Inclusive Entrepreneur Programs Playbook, and the Inclusive Practices Research Project. The JP Morgan playbooks and research projects delve into the importance of inclusive practices in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and provide current data surrounding the needs of emerging communities.

April Boyle, founder and executive director of the Detroit-based Build Institute, shares what she seeks to emphasize for the 2018 e.Builders Forum in light of this year’s theme.

“My main focus is always equitable and inclusive entrepreneurship,” said Boyle. “I am looking at how can we break down silos to make sure that all of the layers of the ecosystem are aware of each other, understand the importance that each play, and creating a vibrant, inclusive economy for all.”

Some key industry players who will share their expertise at the 2018 e.Builders Forum include representatives from SourceLink, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, New Economy Initiative, Ford Foundation, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, ICIC, Bunker Labs, and Techstars.

ABOUT the International Business Innovation Association

InBIA is a global nonprofit with over 2,200 members that lead entrepreneurship centers in 62 countries. For over 30 years, InBIA has provided industry best practices through education while enabling collaboration, mentorship, peer-based learning and the sharing of innovative ideas for entrepreneurs across the globe. InBIA is the premier organization for business incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces and other entrepreneurship support organizations.
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International Business Innovation Association
Andrea Wesser-Brawner

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