FAQ

General

  1. How did Build Institute start?
    1. Build was started in January 2012 as a program of D:hive, a welcome center and resource hub located downtown. Build Institute was formed in 2015 as a continuation of the Build program at D:hive, with expanded programs including Build Bazaar, Open City, Build Social and more.
  2. Who does Build Institute partner with?
    1. Our partners include Kiva Detroit, Patronicity, Detroit Soup, Wayne State Law School, Hatch Detroit, TechTown, Bizdom, Opportunity Detroit, Model D, Google, Twitter, WEDGE Marketing, Adcraft, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, MSU Product Center, Fifth Third Bank, and countless community professionals.
  3. How can I get involved?
    1. We offer classes, networking events, mentorship, connections to resources and more to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. We’re always looking for passionate and talented professionals to share their time, resources and expertise with our Builders. Whether you want to be a guest speaker in a class, provide low-cost resources, or be a mentor to an aspiring entrepreneur, we invite you to get involved! If you would like to offer your services, please fill out this short form with your interests and contact info, and we will be in touch with you shortly.

Classes

  1. What is Build Basics?
    1. Build Basics is our core 8-week business and project planning class designed for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Classes are taught by local experts and cover all the basics of starting a business – from licensing to financial literacy, market research to cash flow and more. Visit the Build Basics page to see if registration is open. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the next registration.
  2. Who should take Build Basics classes?
    1. Anyone with an idea and the desire to bring that idea to life. Our classes welcome both aspiring and established entrepreneurs.
  3. Does Build Basics focus on specific types of businesses?
    1. We welcome individuals from all backgrounds and business ideas.
  4. When are Build Basics classes offered?
    1. Build Basics classes run quarterly and are offered on a flexible basis including daytime, evening and weekend sessions to accommodate busy schedules. Sessions generally begin in October, January, April, and July. Visit the Build Basics page to see if registration is open. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the next registration.
  5. Where are classes located?
    1. Classes are located at Build Institute, Good Cakes and Bakes, Bamboo Detroit, and MASH Detroit. Previously, satellite classes have been offered in Hamtramck, the Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood, and Ferndale. We are always exploring future satellite locations.
  6. Who develops the curriculum?
    1. Our curriculum is based on national standards for entrepreneurship education. A large part of our curriculum includes guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds sharing their real world expertise and insight with our Builders.
  7. What is Build Social?
    1. Build Social trains, develops, and coaches social entrepreneurs in Detroit’s small business community. Social entrepreneurs are starting a for-profit company to address Detroit’s social and/or environmental issues, or nonprofit organizations seeking to advance and support their missions using a commercial business model to complement their philanthropic operations. Visit the Build Social page to see if registration is open. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the next registration.
  8. How do I know if I should take Build Basics or Build Social?
    1. Build Basics takes you through the basics of writing a business plan. Build Social is more of a theory based class focused on understanding what it means to be a social enterprise and defining your businesses’ mission. We recommend taking both courses if you are a social enterprise to get well rounded social entrepreneurship training.
  9. Who facilitates Build Basics classes? 
    1. Some of our Build facilitators include:
      1. Delphia Simmons,Founder of Thrive Detroit and Quality Control Directors of COTS
      2. Marcus Harris (Build Social), Operations Officer for ARISE Detroit and faculty for Entrepreneurial Studies at WCCC
      3. Erin Bonahoom, Founding member of Canvas Legal
      4. Amanda Brewington, Founder of Always Brewing Detroit
      5. April Anderson, Founder of Good Cakes and Bakes
    2. Past facilitators include April Boyle, Jeff Aronoff, and Joshua McManus.
  10. Does Build Basics provide capital to its students?
    1. We provide connections to funding options such as Kiva Detroit and other local support organizations. However, we do not provide direct capital to our participants.

Registration and Payment

  1. When does registration open?
    1. Please check the Build Basics or Build Social pages to see if registration is open. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the next registration.
  2. How do I register for the class?
    1. Visit our registration page for more information. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the next registration.
  3. How do I know if my application has gone through?
    1. Once you have clicked submit on your application, you will see this on the confirmation page:“Thank you for applying to Build!” You will receive an email from us within one week on the status of your application. Demand is extremely high and we are working to expand and accommodate the growing needs of Detroit’s entrepreneurs.
  4. When will I know if I have been accepted in the class?
    1. You will know within one week if you have been accepted or if you will be placed on the waitlist.
  5. What is the waitlist procedure?
    1. Since we have almost 3 times as many applicants as we do spots, we place all applicants that are not offered a spot on a waitlist. Applicants on the waitlist get the opportunity to reapply one day before registration opens for the next season.
  6. What do I do if I receive an acceptance email?
    1. Once you receive an acceptance email we ask that you pay your $50 non-refundable deposit within one week via PayPal or check or money order made out to Downtown Detroit Partnership.
  7. How do I know if you received my PayPal deposit?
    1. PayPal notifies us that you have paid your deposit. Check your PayPal account to see if the funds went through. We will not send a confirmation email saying we have received your deposit.
  8. I’m not getting any of your emails!
    1. Please add hello@buildinstitute.org and yolanda@buildinstitute.org to your contacts to ensure important emails and newsletters are not going to spam. And don’t forget to check your Promotions inbox or Spam folders in your email.
  9. How do I know how much the course costs for me?
    1. Class fees range from $200-$500. We determine the cost for each applicant on a sliding scale. You will be notified of your class cost if you receive an acceptance email.
  10. When is the rest of the fee due after I pay my deposit?
    1. We ask that you pay your entire course fee by the first day of class. Although no one gets turned away from the class because of payment difficulties.
  11. How do you determine who gets accepted in the classes?
    1. We offer our waitlisted applicants first chance to reapply to the class. After we open registration to the public, it is a first come, first serve basis. No one gets “rejected” from the class based on their idea or other criteria. Our classes simply fill up very quickly.
  12. Are there other resources and opportunities out there if I don’t get into the class?
    1. Build Institute partners with other organizations to provide workshops, networking events, panels, and more opportunities for entrepreneurs. Check out our newsletter, the BizGrid, and our Facebook page to hear about all the resources available. Make sure to explore the resources listed on our website as well.
  13. What should I do if I am accepted but then can no longer take the class?
    1. We ask that you let us know immediately if you can no longer take the class to ensure your spot gets offered to another applicant.

Community

  1. What resources do you provide Build Basics alumni?
    1. Our Build alumni gain access to special alumni workshops and events, personal introductions to professional services, vending opportunities, and the knowledge that comes with being a Build graduate. View more here.
  2. Do we get any free professional services through Build Basics?
    1. We bring in professional speakers to answer questions and connect you with people you may need as you grow. Although we connect you with lawyers, funders, accountants, designers, and more, we do not provide any services for free unless explicitly stated.
  3. Is anyone available if I wanted to come in and chat about Build Institute?
    1. Yes! We offer Build Institute office hours to see how we can connect you to the resources you need. Email us at hello@buildinstitute.org to schedule a time and day that works for you.
  4. Can I get involved with Build Institute even if I’m not taking the class?
    1. We offer networking events such as Open City that are free and open to the public. We also encourage you to set up an Office Hour by emailing hello@buildinstitute.org to explore other ways to get involved. We’re always looking for passionate and talented professionals to share their time, resources and expertise with our Builders. If you would like to offer your services, please fill out this short Google form with your interests and contact info, and we will be in touch with you shortly.

Sponsorship

  1. How can I become a sponsor of Build Institute?
    1. lf you are interested in becoming a sponsor of Build Institute or any of our individual programs, or would like to explore partnership opportunities, please contact April Boyle at april@buildinstitute.org