City awards TechTown $625,882 grant for business growth program

July 2, 2008

DETROIT, July 1, 2008-TechTown received a grant for $625,882 in May from the Casino Development Fund. The funds will allow TechTown to bring more companies into its Detroit-Based Initiative (DBI) business growth program.

The funds are part of a multiyear, multimillion dollar grant allocated by the Detroit City Council and administered by the DEGC; the funds were awarded to TechTown to support programs focusing on growing new businesses, particularly those started by women and minorities.

"This support for TechTown from the City of Detroit and the DEGC demonstrates their commitment to help create new jobs and drive Detroit in a new direction," TechTown Director Randal Charlton said.

The DBI program is designed to inject essential resources into emerging companies at critical stages of development. Resources include business plan assistance, grant seeking and management, market research, financial plan modeling and executive coaching. DBI program director Marlo Rencher stated that the program has enrolled 12 companies since it was founded in 2007 and expects to enroll at least four more by the end of the year.

"We're very pleased that the city is continuing its financial support of the program," Rencher said. "This will enable us to expand our reach to include more companies in our program."

One company that has benefited from the DBI program's services is GradeCheck, a startup company providing academic guidance to high school student athletes seeking to qualify for college scholarships.

"The DBI program has given me exceptional guidance at every step in the process of growing my company," GradeCheck president Sheila McBride said. "The business plan development and the executive coaching services in particular have proved invaluable in turning my company into a profitable enterprise."

"The City of Detroit and the DEGC are actually part of a much broader support for TechTown that is flowing from the economic development community," Charlton said. "In recent months, we have received financial support from the Kresge Foundation, the Herbert and Grace Dow Foundation, the Henry Ford Health System, Wayne County Economic Development, the federal government and, of course, Wayne State University. I believe these organizations are impressed with the entrepreneurial culture we're building, and they recognize that TechTown is an important center for new business development in Detroit, the region and, for that matter, the state."


TechTown is an urban community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and corporate partners creating an internationally recognized entrepreneurial village in the city of Detroit. TechTown brings the resources of Wayne State University to high technology start-up companies to diversify and strengthen Michigan's economy with life sciences, advanced engineering and alternative energy. For more information, visit