In my checkered past, I was the VP for marketing and development at Detroit’s first business incubator, The Metropolitan Center for High Technology. Fostering entrepreneurship seem to me like an excellent economic development tool.
I’ve returned to those roots as a mentor at Detroit’s Tech Town, whose mission is to “create and strengthen a culture of entrepreneurialism in Detroit and Michigan, leading to vigorous and lasting economic growth.”
They have programs to help people start new business and rejuvenate existing ones. They foster and find funds for those with intellectual property. They help execs from large corporations (read: auto industry) transition into management roles in smaller business.
There’s other valuable stuff, too. Visit their website.