Business Startups

Detroit Entrepreneurs Share Ideas and Inspiration at TEDxDetroit 2019

November 8, 2019

TEDxDetroit gathered local innovators and thinkers to inspire attendees at the Masonic Temple in Detroit.

Story and photography by Rachel Pepe

Spectators filled the Masonic Temple in Detroit on Wednesday for the day-long TEDxDetroit.

The event showcased 36 speakers and performers who pitched their ideas and stories in 18 minutes or less. TED Talks are organized to shine light on ideas worth spreading and spark creativity among listeners. This was the event’s 11th year in Detroit.

Kalin Sheick, a florist, designer and farmer who owns Sweetwater Floral in Petoskey, was among this year’s speakers.

Sheick explained that like a floral arrangement, everyone has their own focal, filler and flare — what you are born with, your life experiences and what makes you unique. These three components make you capable of anything.

Portia Powell, vice president of Municipal Banking Operations at Chemical Bank, also spoke at the event. She discussed the lessons she learned from being miseducated and the importance of teaching others.

This year, the event featured TEDxLabs, which included technology demos, local business popups and artwork. Local entrepreneurs in food, fashion, science and art participated as vendors.

Abigail Stybel, owner of Rebel Soul Apparel, took part in the labs by showcasing her clothing. “I do a lot of things for Detroit,” she said, “and wanted to meet other entrepreneurs, network and get the brand out there.”

Other speakers who took part in TEDxDetroit included:

  • April Anderson
  • Swamy Kotagiri
  • Brian Calley
  • Jason Hudy
  • Dr. Ahmar Zaidi
  • Sarey Ruden
  • Rob Paulsen
  • Quan Neloms
  • In Demand
  • Najah Bazzy
  • Jeff Ponders
  • Tracie Baker
  • Luis Resto
  • Nicole Curtis
  • Kyd Kane
  • Hajj Flemings
  • J. Chris Newberg
  • Shaka Senghor
  • Ebony Roberts
  • Kellen Brooks
  • Ian Rowan
  • Wes Berry
  • Kimball
  • Jessica Nabongo
  • Dan Putt
  • Natasha T. Miller
  • Charisse Woods
  • Detroit City
  • Chess Club
  • Matt Liston
  • Wendell Brown
  • Bob Fish
  • Michael McFall
  • Melissa Divietri

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