Michigan may be many things, but lazy isn’t one of them. A prominent investor told me the other week that the state boasts an incredible work ethic, one that rivals the frenetic pace of Silicon Valley.
Given the automobile industry’s long decline, the state has made several bets on its economic future: clean energy and software in Ann Arbor, medical devices in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, high-tech manufacturing in Detroit, and nanotechnology and defense in Troy and Oakland. But will any of this hard work really pay off? Will the seeds planted now and over the past few years enable Michigan to be a leader in key fields of technology some 20 years in the future? What else needs to be done to ensure that they will?
Xconomy would love to find out. On April 14, from 5:30-7 p.m. (with networking to follow) at TechTown in Detroit, we’re hosting a forum called Michigan 2031, where some of the state’s most prominent entrepreneurs, academics, and venture capitalists will brainstorm what Michigan’s economy will look like in 20 years.
This is Xconomy’s first public event in Michigan—and we are really excited about this great evening. As an added bonus to our featured discussion looking out over the next two decades, we are planning an investor-entrepreneur lightning round to examine the current climate for innovation and what is hot now—and how the innovation that’s afoot today might pave the way for Michigan’s sustained success in 2031.
Here’s a list of the confirmed participants so far:
As you can see, it’s a who’s who of entrepreneurs, investors, and other innovators across information technology, life sciences, energy, and more. I’m really looking forward to it myself. Please register here and I hope to see you on April 14.