SAM_1108(Michael Evans, Sr Developer at the Detroit-based Loveland Technologies; Leslie Smith, President and CEO of TechTown and David Tarver, Technology Entrepreneur and Founder of UEI)

Every day in cities across America, individuals are faced with challenges that significantly impact their quality of life. Whether it is inadequate public safety, insufficient transportation, dangerous blight or too few job opportunities, we are faced with numerous challenges on a daily basis. However, these problems can be solved.

Unlike many who avoid problems, true entrepreneurs are looking for problems to solve. Thus, the new Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI) seeks to match urban problems with urban problem-solvers by harnessing their passion for entrepreneurship. This effort begins with the inaugural Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium taking place on Friday, October 10, from 8 am to 2 pm at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, 1000 Beal Ave. in Ann Arbor.

UEI was founded earlier this year by David Tarver. UEI facilitates the creation of sustainable, scalable, and disruptive business solutions for people who live in urban communities. One method UEI encourages is “Community Discovery,” wherein the entrepreneur identifies an urban need by engaging with the community, and using their responses, develops a business service that addresses the need.

Detroit based Loveland Technologies is an example of an Urban Entrepreneurship business model and they will be at the symposium to showcase how their technology is addressing the problem of blight in the city of Detroit. Other business models, such as the urban-focused transportation provider, Uber will discuss how solving critical problems in urban areas is not just civic good, but can be lucrative for entrepreneurs.

The 2014 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium will set the UEI launch in motion. With support from sponsors such as the University of Michigan Innovate Blue, the Detroit Technology Exchange, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Comerica Bank, UEI is ready for liftoff – launching entrepreneurs in service to urban communities!

For more information or for tickets to the symposium, visit http://www.urbanei.net. Tickets are free but space is limited.

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