How Technology is Helping Detroit Regain its Swagger

For a century, Detroit has been known as the Motor City, and while it is still the nation’s
car capital and home to the Big Three, a new chapter is being written. Now, Detroit is
entering a new phase, one made not of axels, wheels and pistons, but of apps, software
and other mobile and Web-based technologies.

Most people don’t think of Detroit when they think of technology hubs, but the
emergence of the local startup community is quickly turning it into one. And it’s a
community that LevelEleven is very proud to be a member of.

Detroit M@disonWhy we came to Detroit

When LevelEleven CEO Bob Marsh started the company, he could have easily gotten an
office in the suburbs, somewhere closer to home, but that’s not what he wanted to do. He
wanted to bring LevelEleven downtown. He wanted to be part of the community.

That’s exactly what the Detroit startup scene is, a big community. Being based out of
the M@dison Building gives us not only the opportunity to commingle with all the other
startups, but also to learn from each other. That’s what makes this community different
than New York and Silicon Valley. Here, we’re all in it together. We’re pulling for each
other while we simultaneously pull for the city.

There’s excitement in the air again

Being part of a larger community that shares the same goal of helping Detroit return to
greatness is what makes being downtown so worthwhile. We know there isn’t a flip that
can be switched to fix all the city’s problems. If there was, it would’ve been flipped a
long time ago. We also know this is a blue-collar town that has been through it all. It’s
been burnt to the ground twice and came back stronger each and every time. That’s why
we’re here.

In the M@dison Building, there’s a large graphic on the wall of our office space of
Detroit in the 1920s. It shows a bustling city with streets lined with cars and people alike.
It’s an image of a city with swagger. At LevelEleven, that’s what we want to see for
Detroit again. While we’re working hard at creating a successful company, we’re also
doing what we can to help reshape Detroit into what it once was—the nation’s hotspot for innovation..

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