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Get Up Close And Personal With Detroit's Most Innovative Companies At OpenCo

Described as a mix between a business conference and an artist's open studio, OpenCo Detroit promises to deliver an event that has the vibe of a music festival.

Scheduled to take place on September 12 (a plenary session will occur on the night of September 11), OpenCo Detroit was built for investors, marketers, job seekers and anyone who is interested in learning about the Motor City's most innovative firms.

"What's cool about this event is it takes everything wrong with business conferences and throws it out the window," Dave Egner, President and CEO of Hudson Webber Foundation and the Executive Director of the New Economy Initiative, told Benzinga.

While most business conferences force attendees to take extensive notes while sitting through countless seminars, OpenCo is taking an approach that won't cause anyone to fall asleep.

After the primary sessions (which focus on connecting people), the crowd is turned loose and allowed to mingle with the host companies, such as Compuware (NASDAQ: CPWR), Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM) and Quicken Loans.

"It's a non-traditional approach and people have a chance to co-learn as they explore the host company," said Egner. "It takes everything right about interacting, connecting and co-learning and throws out all of the bad behavior we've learned [at other conferences]."

Related: Leaders See a Bright Future For Detroit

Several startups will serve as host companies. They include Quizzle (a free credit report and credit score website), UpTo (a social calendar app) and Uber (a mobile app that connects passengers with drivers of luxury vehicles).

"I knew Detroit was a perfect choice for OpenCo after I visited the city last autumn and saw all of these amazing companies doing innovative work," John Battelle, co-founder of OpenCo Festivals, said in a company release.

"After holding successful OpenCo festivals in San Francisco, New York, and London over the past year, Detroit was an ideal fit. Anyone who understands what is happening in Detroit understands our logic in selecting it to be our fourth OpenCo Festival."

Other host companies include:

  • Shinola, a manufacturer of watches, bicycles and other items.
  • LevelEleven, which produces business software for keeping managers and teams focused on the right tasks.
  • GreenLancer, a Web-based engineering company that designs green energy systems.
  • The Roxbury Group, a Detroit-based real estate development and consulting firm.

Dick Costolo (CEO of Twitter), Neville Manohar (Digital Marketing Strategist at Chrysler) and Josh Linkner (CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners; founder of ePrize) are among those who serve on the OpenCo Detroit Advisory Council.

Benzinga's Chief Executive, Jason Raznick, serves on the council as well.

To sign up for this one-of-a-kind event, visit det.openco.us. Follow the event's developments @OpenCoDET.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Chrysler compuware Dave Egner Detroit Detroit Venture Partners Dick Costolo ePrize GreenLancer Jason Raznick Josh Linkner LevelEleven Neville Manohar New Economy Initiative OpenCo OpenCo Detroit Quicken Loans Quizzle Shinola The Roxbury Group twitter Uber UpTo Webber Foundation Whole FoodsNews Events Success Stories Startups Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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