“The way I would sum it up as an outsider, the big feeling is that Detroit is back!” So says Boston-based Bob Buderi, founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of Xconomy, a news and event network covering business technology and innovation. With offices in Boston, San Francisco, New York, San Diego, and Seattle, Xconomy laid roots in Michigan with a Detroit office in 2010, attracted by efforts in the state to strengthen and diversify the economic base by growing technology industries. Buderi saw the work being done in Michigan as “incredibly important to the country.” And, he says, Xconomy has received a warm welcome here. “Nowhere else in the country have we been so welcomed. There is a spirit of openness and collaboration that we don’t see everywhere.”
Buderi shares some insights he’s gained through Xconomy’s experience in Detroit:
In the fall of 2010, not long after we opened in Detroit, I wrote an essay for the Kauffman Foundation about Michigan and why we went there. In it I said, “If Michigan were a stock, I’d buy a ton of options.” What I’d say now is, first, that my options would be incredibly more valuable than they were in the fall of 2010 when I ‘bought’ them. And second, I would keep buying.
I feel a much greater confidence from within Michigan about what is going on there. In Detroit, there is action and buzz around mobile, design, security, gaming, and a lot more. Finally, the Detroit startup and innovation scene is being noticed. Detroit is cool again. Everybody loves a comeback story, and the Michigan economy is one. The stories we write about Michigan are becoming increasingly popular in our other regions. That means people are taking notice, and are interested in what is happening.
Xconomy has shown strong support for the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS), taking a sponsorship role. “Xconomy has enjoyed supporting, attending, and promoting the MGCS and its mission of helping to build the innovation economy in Michigan,” said Buderi. “As a new company coming into Michigan, the MGCS has provided a great opportunity for Xconomy to build its network. The level of content and ideas are very high, as the University of Michigan, the Michigan Venture Capital Association and other partners provide a great way for entrepreneurs to network and discuss how to grow their businesses.”