My Gratitude This Holiday

As the holidays are now upon us, I find it fitting to use this ‘day of thanks’ to express gratitude to all who have assisted the incubator during the past year. The abundance of those offering their free time to support the entrepreneurial community of Metro Detroit is astounding, and truly makes my work worthwhile.

Last week, the Business Accelerator Network of Southeast Michigan (BANSEM), consisting of Mac-OU INC, TechTown, Ann Arbor SPARK and Automation Alley, sponsored Entre-SLAM, a storytelling event for entrepreneurs. I’d like to share with you some of the many reasons this special event reenergized me:

  1. Downtown Detroit: BLEU Detroit, a nightclub located on Woodward Avenue, was an impeccable event location. It was a miserably dark, rainy and cold evening, and I arrived downtown expecting a ghost town. Quite the contrary! The holiday lights were twinkling, there was no stray garbage in sight, the nearby restaurants were bustling and I have never felt safer. I had to remind myself I was not in Chicago!
  2. The Entrepreneurial Passion: The entrepreneurs’ stories were absolutely fantastic. Their creative ability to weave seemingly inconsequential items into their entrepreneurial tale was incredible. Narratives of near failure was a common theme, one that made the subsequent success endings more impactful.
  3. The Spirit: Christa Chambers-Price, Entre-SLAM co-founder, was fantastic, with a constant positive attitude and boundless energy. The emcee of the evening kept the great jokes coming, the bar was open for business, Small Plates Detroit was offering food service and there was an abundance of laughter. This event showed the fun side of entrepreneurialism; it’s not just about business plans and prototypes. It’s about establishing a tight community, helping each other out and learning to laugh when the impossible is just out of reach.

Did I mention this is a monthly event? Check out for more information on upcoming story hours.

In addition to my wonderful friends and family (cats included!), this is what I am grateful for this holiday season. The spirit of our rather tight-knit community is evident around every corner. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this great resurgence?

Other Thanksgiving items for consideration:

Are you looking for more than family, food and football this holiday? Last minute volunteer opportunities are listed via

Thanksgiving is a special time at Detroit’s Eastern Market. Support the local community by buying your food local – including those turkeys! Visit for more information.

We all know entrepreneurs aren’t made of money. . . yet! Until that big sale comes along, you may need to shop wisely for the holiday season. Visit for continuous updates on the Black Friday sales, which appear to have started as early as last Sunday. Here are also 10 tips to getting the best bargains on Black Friday.

Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings.

Joan Carleton
Marketing & Communications Manager
Macomb-OU INCubator

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