DETROIT — Detroit’s startup scene continues to grow, as the college marketing agency Campus Commandos, a company launched through entrepreneurship accelerator Bizdom, announced it has begun making equity investments back to the Bizdom fund that initially seeded the company.
Bizdom is a non-profit and will redistribute the funds to launch four more Detroit-based startups through the Bizdom program. Campus Commandos has grown its revenue five-fold and tripled its client base in the past year.
Founded in 2010, Campus Commandos has helped brands such as eBay, Hewlett Packard, New Era, and Nike build brand loyalty among the growing college demographic by placing on-campus representatives on the front lines of student events and organizations.
According to a College Explorer survey, current college students hold a record $417 billion in spending power. Campus Commandos assists brands in capturing this lucrative market by recruiting and training hundreds of student reps each year to infuse student life on campuses across the country. This empowers students to represent major brands while attending school.
Adam Grant’s vision for his business took shape while working as an on-campus rep for major brands during his time at Michigan State University. Grant launched Campus Commandos while in the Bizdom program, which was founded by Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. Bizdom, which also receives financial assistance from the New Economy Initiative and the Michigan Economic Development Corp., was created to launch waves of startups in the urban cores of Detroit and Cleveland.
“Adam’s equity distributions are a huge milestone for him and Campus Commandos,” said Ross Sanders, CEO of Bizdom. “What Adam has done with coming from outside the city to create a diversified, profitable and growing company in Detroit is truly special. What is particularly unique is that this company born in the city is now helping other businesses get created. Additionally, Bizdom continues to hold an equity share in Campus Commandos, as well as an equity share in the businesses created from it, and future distributions resulting from these equity shares will be used to seed even more Detroit-based businesses. It is a great example of the exponential economic impact these startups can have.”
Campus Commandos is currently working on forming more strategic partnerships that will create more student marketing programs and will continue to be a resource for brands for new concept ideas.
“A big theme around the company is keeping a game changer mentality by telling ourselves that we are the only ones who can put ourselves out of business,” said Grant.