Crowdfunding campaign launched for Build Institute’s innovation hub at The Corner in Detroit

Thursday, November 1, 2018

•$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative •Project complements other MEDC-supported developments in Corktown

LANSING, Mich. – Build Institute will launch a first-ever inclusive innovation hub for Detroit entrepreneurs at The Corner, located on the former site of Tigers Stadium in Corktown. The center will be funded with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and nonprofit Build Institute announced today.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by December 30, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“This space will offer a unique space to work, collaborate, and build in Detroit,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We were pleased to provide Michigan Strategic Fund support to The Corner project in 2017, and we are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program. This first-ever inclusive innovation hub will be a wonderful addition to The Corner and an important asset for the continuing redevelopment of Corktown.”

The campaign will complete the new space for Build Institute, which has a significant history of launching entrepreneurial efforts in the city into full-fledged businesses. Their space within The Corner will expand their efforts, offering work space, classes, events, meetings, collaboratives, and retail all in a bright, new, inspiring, and accessible space, designed specifically to serve the public and Detroit’s neighborhood-based entrepreneurs. 

“We are thrilled to take part in the Public Spaces Community Places program with the MEDC,” said Build Institute Executive Director April Boyle. “Creating a new inclusive innovation hub at The Corner in Corktown will serve Detroit-area entrepreneurs – artisans, retailers, service providers – as well as residents and visitors. It is a pivotal time for the Detroit region and this neighborhood, and one of the biggest contributions Build can make is to launch this new 3,500-square feet of space as a gathering place for innovation, ideation and civic engagement, and much, much more.” 

When completed, the Build Institute innovation hub will include quiet work space, meeting and event space, pop-up retail areas, classrooms, and networking and coffee space.

"It will be big, beautiful, bright, inspiring and accessible. It will be host to a mix of courses, workshops, meeting spaces and events to help traditionally-underserved entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and a place for the public to attend or host community gatherings, support local retail shops, collaborate with others, or just meet for coffee,” Boyle said. “We are grateful to MEDC and Patronicity for helping us spread the word about The Corner and look forward to serving the community in this way.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“Entrepreneurship is essential to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The Build Institute’s efforts in Corktown will create a unique, attractive environment for local entrepreneurs to test and grow their ideas.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of October 31, 2018, MEDC has provided $5,609,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 184 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $6.6 million raised from 33,132 individual donors.

In July 2017, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a Michigan Community Revitalization Program performance-based loan for The Corner, a mixed-use development located on the site of the former Tigers Stadium. The Michigan Strategic Fund board oversees programs and projects administered by MEDC.

Other recent MSF- or MEDC-supported projects in Corktown include the renovation of the Checker Cab building on Trumbull Ave. and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation located in the Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow facility on Rosa Parks Blvd.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.