We’re proud to be a part of the Detroit business community, and are constantly impressed by entrepreneurs that are driving the city forward. Today, we share the story of two unique ventures: One, a nonprofit, and the other a startup. Their missions might be radically different, but both adhere to the same ethos: To make their city a better place through innovative thinking and thought leadership.
Enjoy their stories below.
The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based non-profit organization dedicated to serving the homeless community. Founder and CEO Veronika Scott started the organization when she was a student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.Beginning as a school project, Scott initially designed the innovative sleeping bag coat to address the one in 42 Detroit residents that are homeless. Her idea, however, has evolved into a successful nonprofit business.
We now employ 13 women from local homeless shelters and have trained them to become full-time seamstresses. These women manufacture coats that transform into sleeping bags, which are then distributed across the nation to homeless individuals who are living on the streets. We believe in giving second chances to those who want it, and providing warmth to those who need it.
At AutoBike, we are evolving the bicycle riding experience! We’ve created an electronically controlled automatic shifting system that greatly enhances the bike riding experience and helps get people back on bicycles. We’ve also built in smart phone connectivity (and accompanying Android and iOS apps) to the bike so that riders can track, monitor, and share their riding experiences.
We currently feature this system on our own line of cruiser/comfort bikes called the Voyage, and we just joined forces with our first OEM partner, TerraTrike, who will feature our system on a new product line that debuts Spring ’14. We are focusing our efforts on developing additional OEM partnerships so that our amazing riding experience can be available on a wide range of bike styles and brands.
Does your Detroit small business, startup, or nonprofit have a story to tell? Send a brief snippet along to leigh [at] wheelmedia.com – We’re always excited to share new ventures with our readers!
Image Credit: [Flickr/Roche Photo]