Detroit will soon experience the homecoming of the century – the Detroit Homecoming! Crain’s Detroit Business has organized an inaugural three-day summit for successful Detroit expatriates who are coming back to town to show their support and share their vision for the city’s future!
This homecoming-on-steroids kicks off today and runs through Friday at iconic Detroit venues. Crain’s and the Downtown Detroit Partnership have invited more than 150 business executives, philanthropists, entertainers, entrepreneurs and sports figures from around the country. The event is by invitation only and not open to local Detroiters.
A key goal of this summit is to explore opportunities to invest in Detroit in the post-bankruptcy era. Topics covered include educating the next generation, diversity, revitalization, building cohesion, Detroit start-ups, the role of technology and eliminating blight.
Attendees also will have the chance to participate in four guided tours to look back on how the city has evolved and how it continues to transform. The tours target innovation, real estate, manufacturing strength and the arts. There is also a pitch competition where five start-up businesses will vie for funding and share their business plans with attendees.
“Not enough people realize that there is, indeed, a renaissance going on in Detroit,” said Keith Crain, chairman of Crain Communications. “We hope it’s the first annual Detroit Homecoming. This is just a great beginning.”
The summit will feature a wide array of guest speakers including a discussion called, “Why I’m Bullish on Detroit,” featuring Quicken Loans Chairman and Founder Dan Gilbert and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. Other speakers include Governor Rick Snyder, Roger Penske, Mary Barra, Mayor Mike Duggan and Chris Ilitch, among others.
The idea for the event came from Laura Trudeau, who serves as managing director for community development at the Kresge Foundation in Troy. The event co-directors are Crain’s Publisher Mary Kramer and Jim Hayes, a former Fortune magazine publisher.
“There are bound to be lots of surprises for our returning Detroiters,” said Crain. “We are very excited about the people who are planning to come and just as excited about what we’re going to be telling them.”