Creating an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Vision for Michigan's Future

Ned Staebler is a renowned executive director, serving as the President and CEO of TechTown Detroit and the Vice President for Economic Development at Wayne State University concurrently. His diverse background, spanning the public and private sectors, has been instrumental in transforming Michigan’s economy. In this article, we will delve into Ned’s extensive career and explore how his visionary leadership has contributed to Detroit’s revival.

Ned Staebler has always been an innovator at heart, with a keen eye for identifying opportunities and transforming them into successful ventures. He spent nearly a decade in the private sector, working in both startup and Fortune 150 environments in the U.S. and London. His experience in these contrasting environments helped him develop a versatile skill set and a deep understanding of how businesses operate.

At the start of his career, Ned worked for a number of startups, where he gained experience in everything from business development to finance. His passion for entrepreneurship was fueled by the excitement of building something from the ground up and seeing it flourish. He was not afraid to take risks, and this willingness to embrace uncertainty would later become one of his defining traits as a leader.

Ned then transitioned to the Fortune 150 sector, where he worked for a major global corporation in London. Here, he honed his expertise in strategy and gained valuable experience in navigating complex corporate structures. He learned the importance of balancing risk and reward in decision-making, as well as the importance of building relationships and collaborating with diverse teams.

Vice President for Entrepreneurial and Capital Services at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

After a successful stint in the private sector, Ned Staebler was appointed as the Vice President for Entrepreneurial and Capital Services at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. In this role, he oversaw the Michigan Strategic Fund Board and the 21st Century Jobs Fund, a $2 billion, 10-year initiative to transform Michigan’s economy.

Ned’s vision for Michigan’s economic transformation was grounded in a deep understanding of the state’s strengths and challenges. He recognized the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in driving growth, and set out to create an ecosystem that fostered the development of these key drivers.

Under Ned’s leadership, the 21st Century Jobs Fund became a cornerstone of Michigan’s economic strategy, providing critical funding to early-stage companies and promoting innovation across the state. The program’s success was a testament to Ned’s ability to build consensus among stakeholders and to execute complex initiatives with precision and efficiency.

In 2010, Ned Staebler joined TechTown Detroit as its President and CEO, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a deep passion for economic development. His vision for TechTown was to create an inclusive, collaborative, and entrepreneurial community that would drive innovation and growth in Detroit.

Under Ned’s leadership, TechTown has become a hub of entrepreneurship and innovation, providing resources and support to startups and established businesses alike. The organization’s impact on Detroit’s economic revival has been substantial, with hundreds of new businesses created and thousands of jobs generated in the city.

Ned’s focus on building relationships and collaborating with diverse stakeholders has been critical to TechTown’s success. He has worked closely with government agencies, academic institutions, and community organizations to create a network of support that enables entrepreneurs to thrive. His commitment to inclusion and diversity has also been a driving force behind TechTown’s success, with a focus on creating opportunities for underrepresented communities and ensuring that everyone has a chance to participate in Detroit’s economic resurgence.

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