Open City is a forum for Detroit’s aspiring and established small business owners to learn, network, and exchange information in a fun and lively atmosphere.


It was founded in 2007 by Claire Nelson and Liz Blondy and has since then evolved into a leading networking event for Detroit entrepreneurs, with local business leaders in attendance regularly.

Join us each month where a select panel of speakers will discuss relevant small business topics, followed by casual networking.  Events take place on the third Monday of every month, 6-8PM. Open City is free and open to all with no rsvp required.

Miss an Open City event? Check out our YouTube page where you can view every panel for the 2015-2016 season.


Summer Open City on the Road

Monday, August 15th / 6-8 PM

Artist Village – 17336 Lasher, Detroit, MI 48219

Topic – Brand Matters: Good Design Makes For Good Business
Whether you’re starting from scratch, or you have a brand that is already established, it is important you know what your brand is saying about how and why you do business to your customers. After the discussion, creatives and those seeking creative services will have the chance to network and apply best practices learned from the panel.

Panel / Moderator
Detroit Creative Corridor Center‘s entrepreneur-in-residence Meredith C. Kerekes will lead a panel discussion between designers and small business owners on how branding is accomplished and the value of having good design.

Eric Thomas –  SAGA MKTG
Chris Grindem – The Utmost Group

6:00 – 6:30 / networking
6:30 – 7:30 / panel discussion
7:30 – 8:00 / networking

Hashtag #OpenCityDet / Twitter & Instagram @StartWithBuild / Facebook Event

Sign up for our newsletter here to stay up-to-date with Open City news or follow Open City on Facebook.

Open City in the News

Previous event recaps.

Oct 13th, 2015 – Celebrating 8 Years
Apr 21st, 2014 – Rock the Red Tape
Mar 17th, 2014 – Pop-up Detroit
Feb 17th, 2014 – The Leap
Jan 20th, 2014 – Who’s the Boss
Nov 18th, 2013 – Loca-vesting


Thanks to our partners Downtown Detroit PartnershipModel DCliff Bell’sCanfield Creative Studio and the Michigan Women’s Foundation.

Explore our programs

Build Basics


Build Social

Open City

Build Bazaar

Build Next