The Economic Innovation Group, New Democrat Coalition, 1776, Venture for America, and GENERATION STARTUP hosted an honest, in-the-trenches look at what it takes to launch a startup and a discussion about empowering startups and building thriving communities. John Lettieri, Co-founder and Senior Director for Policy and Strategy at Economic Innovation Group, moderated a panel discussion on how to build startup ecosystems across the country. Speakers included Representative Jim Himes, Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, Andrew Yang, Founder and CEO of Venture for America, Brandon Pollak, Head of Global Affairs at 1776, and Dextina Booker, a Junior Mechanical Engineer and character in “GENERATION STARTUP.” Following the panel, there was a viewing of the film, GENERATION STARTUP.

GENERATION STARTUP takes us to the front lines of entrepreneurship in America, capturing struggles and triumphs of six recent college graduates who put everything on the line to launch startups in Detroit. Directed by Academy Award winner Cynthia Wade and Academy Award nominee Cheryl Houser, the film celebrates risk-taking, urban revitalization, and diversity. With American entrepreneurship at record lows, the film delivers a vital call-to-action.

Photos from the event are available here.

Event Sponsors

Event Speakers

Sen. Gary Peters

R - MI

Andrew Yang

Founder and CEO

Venture for America

Dextina Booker

Junior Mechanical Engineer

Shinola Audio

Brandon Pollak

Head of Global Affairs


Event Moderators

John Lettieri

Co-founder and Senior Director for Policy and Strategy

Economic Innovation Group