Warren, Michigan — May 22, 2012 — Craig Fahle talked with David Egner, CEO Hudson-Webber Foundation and Executive Director of the New Economy Initiative (NEI), Mahendra Ramsinghani Managing Director of the First Step Fund and John Swiatek, CEO of Coliant Corporation about the NEI and its impact on Detroit's entrepreneurial ecosystem from each of their perspectives.
The NEI was created in 2008 with $100 million from 10 foundations. This was unprecedented as it was the largest philanthropic economic development fund ever established. Started in the background of a teetering economy and uncertain auto industry, the fund would act as a convener to accelerate and extend efforts of existing organizations such as TechTown, Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Smartzones, First Step Fund, PTAC, MEDC. The SBA and SBTDC were also affected by being partners to some of these grantees.
Early Indicators of NEI Success
- $51 Million Through 65 Grants
- 361 Companies Created
- 6,000 Jobs and Growing
- $350 Million in Leveraged Investment
The NEI has also awarded grants to organizations like the First Step Fund (FSF). The FSF was designed to give loans to entrepreneurs coming out of programs such as Tech Town and Ann Arbor Spark. Since March of 2010, the FSF has completed 34 investments to 33 companies (27 have raised additional capital). These companies have already generated revenue of $9.6 Million, creating 202 jobs and combined they have initiated over 100 patents. To date, Coliant Corporation was the only company to receive a "follow-on" investment from the FSF.
Discussing the issues and ideas important to metropolitan Detroit, host Craig Fahle talks with the newsmakers, people making a difference in the community, and WDET listeners. Produced by Joan Isabella, Amy Miller & Laura Weber, the Craig Fahle Show airs Monday-Thursday from 10am to Noon with a rebroadcast from 7pm to 9pm, and Fridays from 10am to 11:30am.
The 20 minute interview will be broadcast between 10am and noon on Wednesday May 23, 2012 and again between 7pm and 9pm. The interview is now available via podcast.
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