Categorized | Community, Technology

FJA Students Visit Techweek

“So what college are you all from?”

It was a question posed by the emcee of Wednesday’s Techweek Detroit event, where a group of Frankel Jewish Academy juniors were ingrained and engrossed in the diverse culture of entrepreneurship and tech start-ups at a local level.

When the answer that came was “high school,” there was some surprise. However, it’s certainly no surprise that someone may have thought this, since the students asked insightful questions, engaged in conversation with professionals, and even networked with presenters.

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The day started at TechTown, near Wayne State University’s campus. In partnership with Detroit Entrepreneur Week, students were able to listen first-hand to discussions from those starting businesses in Detroit, as well as hear a talk from Shaka Senghor, a well-known Detroit native and New York Times best-selling author. His story of redemption and raising himself up after a long prison sentence was inspiring and his message of never giving up on your goals was universal.

After a picnic lunch at Campus Martius, the afternoon was spent at Grand Circus, participating in two presentations. The first was from SPLT, the start-up that had won the Techweek LAUNCH competition the night before. Their focus is on partnering with large companies to incentivize and establish carpools for corporate employees to increase productivity, relationships, and eco-friendliness.

The second presentation of the afternoon was from Cadatonic Graphic Solutions, a one-man team who takes 2D artists’ work and creates digital models and 3D toys of their creations. His focus was on how to gain exposure through social media and networking, as well as his own personal journey to starting his own company.

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“Techweek was an incredible opportunity to hear from entrepreneurs and tech start-ups alike and to learn more about different technological concepts throughout the city,” said Max Feber, one of 12 students to attend the field trip, along with Media Center staff members Patti Shayne, Samantha Watha, and Kait Gustafson.

Overall, the day was a great exposure to the possibilities and promise of doing business in Detroit. While some students were more engaged in the entrepreneurial topics and others gravitated towards technology, the general consensus was that the trip was a resounding success. On the bus ride home, there were already talks about another trip next year. Who knows? Maybe in a few years time, one of those students could be presenting themselves!

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