DETROIT (WWJ) – The co-founder and chief strategist of the new recruitment web site is planning a national online contest to attract and retain the nation’s 30 brightest young professionals to Detroit to try out their ideas for revitalizing the city.

The effort, called Challenge Detroit, was cooked up at Doyle Mosher’s Collaborative Group, a Birmingham business idea generation center that offers weekly presentations by business leaders and would-be entrepreneurs.

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Vickie Thomas talked to spokesperson Deirdre Green Groves:

Challenge Detroit will begin with a national online competition to identify 30 young professionals, between the ages of 21 and 34, who will be offered a job and housing, among other benefits, in Detroit. Challenge Detroit will seek candidates from every area of expertise — artists, lawyers, doctors, engineers — to participate in forward-thinking jobs that exemplify the diversity of our region.

Candidates will have a multi-faceted experience in Detroit community, where they will have opportunities to live, work, socialize, and contribute to community efforts during the course of one year in Detroit.

That year will include monthly team challenges, mentorship and social activities and more.

During the year, candidates and companies will be featured in a consistent online campaign aimed at promoting the region and the good things happening here.

Potential participants in Challenge Detroit will be asked to explain how their winning a spot in the program will help solve one of five “needs” and five “wants” for the city — issues such as mass transit.

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Mosher said he’s expecting thousands of applicants. Challenge Detroit will whittle that list down to 120 vetted finalists. The public will vote that list down to 60 online. And finally, company sponsors of the event will select the final 30 to take a job at their companies.

Mosher says he’s convinced that now is the perfect — indeed the only — time for an idea like Challenge Detroit to work.

He said today’s younger generation “has it in their DNA” to give back to the community while also making a living — and, the current generation is accustomed to seeing businesses built at light-speed, like Facebook and YouTube — meaning they think the revitalization of Detroit is possible immediately.

And it’s a perfect time for Detroit, too.

“Detroit right now is the most interesting city in the world,” Mosher said. “It was the entrepreneurial capital of the world 100 years ago, the auto capital 50 years ago, and what happens here, good, bad or indifferent, is going to happen to all the other industrial cities in the world.”

More at this link.

Mosher said he originally considered holding the competition on broadcast TV, but realized online was the way to reach today’s younger workers.

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To join the challenge, contact The Collaborative Group at or (248) 633-2288.