Launched in 2011, DVP backs purpose-driven seed and early-stage technology companies. (You can view their portfolio by clicking here.) In DVP’s words, its mission is “to help rebuild the Detroit area through entrepreneurial fire. We view business building as a palette for creative expression and an opportunity to make a difference and change the world. If not, why bother?”
If you’ve been to Detroit lately, you know it’s hard not to root for guys who “look at venture investing as a full-contact sport, and are ready to do whatever it takes” to help their portfolio companies win. Will this work? Not sure yet; so much depends on factors beyond their control. But they’re making bets, having fun, sparking innovation and giving the people of Detroit (and Mayor Bing) some hope.
DVP’s website itself is refreshing for a VC. Smart, new, well-designed, pasisonate and fun. Now watch their dramatic intro, a case for Detroit 2.0, and decide for yourself…
Here’s the introduction of Magic Johnson as DVP’s newest partner…
Our new friend Josh Linkner stopped by last week. Josh is a good dude; and with all the time I spend in Detroit, it’s a wonder it took us this long to meet.
We had this funny moment in the big board room. Josh was being introduced to the group before his presentation, and we all started laughing, even Josh, about how long it was taking to just get the intro over with and let the man freakin’ talk. That’s because mofo has done so much, and I’m not sure if he’s even 40 yet. Por ejemplo:
CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners. Together with business partners Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert, Josh is actively rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship.
Adjunct Professor of Applied Creativity at the University of Michigan
Last week, GM’s North America President, Mark Reuss, announced the company’s groundbreaking partnership with Scratch in Traverse City, Michigan. The goal? Help transform Chevrolet to win with Millennials.
Here’s an excerpt from Reuss’ speech:
“We can re-establish Chevy as an automotive icon for those who remember the glory days, yes. But there are even more people who don’t make that connection, who are unfamiliar or only vaguely familiar with the brand.
And I’m not talking about people in Europe or Asia, although they certainly qualify and are all encouraged to become customers.
I’m talking about people right here in North America… young people.
They are smart, discerning and open to trying anything they perceive as cool.
They are people under 30, who the marketers call “millennials,” who are 80 million strong and by next year will make up 40% of the car-buying public.
Scratch gives us an all-access pass to examine MTV’s creative assets and expertise – across programming, sales, marketing, music and research – to gain consumer insights and ultimately establish our youth strategy in pursuit of one goal – enticing Millennials to fall in love with Chevrolet.
I don’t claim to know how young people think. Just ask