Algo, a leading innovator in end-to-end supply chain optimization software based in the Detroit suburbs, announced recently that it received a multi-million dollar investment from Plymouth Growth Partners, a growth equity firm based in Ann Arbor.
Detroit’s Donavan Wright was a residential real estate investor in several locations he had lived across the U.S., which he used “to help my community,” he says. He wanted to democratize access to real estate to compensate for a legacy in many areas of the U.S. that pushed minorities out of home ownership and made home ownership challenging on many fronts, from loan access to learning how to get a fair bid to renovate a property. “I realized how difficult that is,” he says. “There aren’t a lot of tools.” He had an idea. There is a gap in access to information about how to get fair bids on home renovation projects, especially for people who have been traditionally shut out of home ownership. How could an app solve that?
As of 2019, Detroit now has 4 unicorns–Duo, Stockx, Rivian, and OneStream–tech companies valued at more than 1 billion dollars. Detroit is home to a growing number of startups that are slowly revolutionizing the city’s economy and the economy of the Midwest, which is attracting back talent from the coasts due to balanced work-life culture, affordable cost of living, and growing tech-related industries. It’s still a work in progress, but Michigan appears to have finally stemmed the tide of talent leaving for jobs elsewhere.
Evan Adams is the Capital Programs Manager at Detroit’s Build Institute, a Detroit-based incubator founded in 2012 that has already graduated more than 1800 entrepreneurs focused on community-impact ventures. The Build Institute runs several programs to mentor, house, and fund entrepreneurs, including SOUP and Kiva, which Adams manages to help startups of all kinds pitch for funds and find mentorship in Detroit.