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Monday, May 23 • 9:00am - 10:25am
Opening Session: Growing Detroit's Startup Ecosystem w/ Mayor Mike Duggan, Bill Ford, and Tamara Warren from The Verge

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Join us for the morning kickoff session of the inagural Detroit Startup Week!

  • 8:00AM - Registration Opens
  • 9:00AM - Begin the session with:
  1. Jill Ford, Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Mayor Duggan, will give opening remarks and present special recognition award. 
  2. Monica Wheat, #DETSW16 Co-Lead, conference highlights.
  3. Kyle Bazzy, #DETSW16 Lead, will give opening remarks, thank our sponsors & feature the Detroit Startup Week Video.
  • 9:25AM - Receive a warm welcome from #DETSW16 Title Sponsor, Chase, feat. Tosha Tabron, Global Philanthropy, VP, Relationship Manager – Detroit.
  • 10:25AM - Session concludes and attendees are encouraged to head to the week's remaining 100+ events!

avatar for Tamara Warren

Tamara Warren

Senior Transportation Reporter, The Verge
Tamara Warren has written for over 100 publications including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Details, Delta Sky, BBC, Forbes, Jay z’s Life+Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Vibe and the Detroit Free Press. She is a graduate of The New School’s MFA Creative Writing program, and served as a teaching assistant in the Riggio Honors Program, and James Madison College at Michigan State University, where she first worked as a reporter at The State... Read More →

avatar for Kyle Bazzy

Kyle Bazzy

Lead, Detroit Startup Week
Kyle Bazzy is a passionate, serial entrepreneur in Detroit. He's currently the Director of Growth at Billhighway, Lead Organizer of Detroit Startup Week, and Director of Startup Next Detroit (a part of Techstars). Previously he was the President of Marketfy and the President of Benzinga. Bazzy strives to better his companies and himself everyday by innovating, creating and executing. His specialties include business development; partner... Read More →
avatar for Mike Duggan

Mike Duggan

Mayor, City of Detroit
Mike Duggan was elected as Detroit’s new Mayor on November 5, 2013, and took office on January 1, 2014. As Mayor, he governs the city of his birth and where he spent three decades of his career collaborating with others to solve some of the city’s most vexing issues, such as crime, access to health care and transportation.While Mayor Duggan was elected largely on his track record of leading successful large-scale financial and operational... Read More →
avatar for Bill Ford

Bill Ford

Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
Bill is a Founder and Partner of Fontinalis. As a lifelong futurist on urban mobility and the environment, his vision for Fontinalis is to make it a world-renowned partner of companies dynamically improving these two arenas.Bill also serves as the Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company (Ford Motor). Prior to joining the Board of Directors in 1988, he held positions in manufacturing, sales, marketing, product development and finance. In 1999, he... Read More →
avatar for Jill Ford

Jill Ford

Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, City of Detroit
Jill Ford heads the city of Detroit’s innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives. She came to Detroit from the San Francisco Bay Area, where as an angel investor and advisor she transformed emerging businesses using strategies forged in mobile gaming. Ms. Ford brings a wealth of global leadership in the mobile and games industries. Her experience includes heading Disney Mobile’s worldwide distribution to mobile manufacturers and running... Read More →
avatar for Tosha Tabron

Tosha Tabron

Relationship Manager for Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase
Tosha Tabron is a Relationship Manager for Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan | Chase & Co., responsible for leading the firm’s philanthropy mission in Michigan | across the firm’s priority areas: community development, financial capability, | economic growth and workforce readiness. JPMorgan Chase and its corporate | foundation invest more than $200 million in communities across the globe. | | She joins JPMorgan Chase from the Bank of... Read More →
avatar for Monica Wheat

Monica Wheat

Co-Lead, Detroit Startup Week
Monica Wheat is Co-Founder and Partner at Pixel DSi, a digital strategy consultancy and Parallel Ventures, a corporate incubator focused on branded innovation partnerships and startup ecosystem development. Ms. Wheat is also the Founder and Executive Director of Digerati Girls, Inc. / Digerati Kids, a non-profit that has helped over 4,000 Detroit-area students gain skills and an introduction to careers in digital technology and... Read More →