DETROIT — Challenge Detroit, an urban revitalization project bringing new talent to Detroit, has selected 30 participants from throughout the United States to participate in its inaugural program.

The new, national initiative focuses on revitalizing the Detroit region by retaining and attracting innovative leaders who will bring their intellectual capital and talents to the city.

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“These 30 participants will make a mark on our community and will be great representatives of Detroit,” said Deirdre Greene Groves, executive director of Challenge Detroit. “This upcoming year promises to be full of excitement — a new job, new friends, for some a new city, and the chance to have a lasting impact in Detroit and throughout the region.”

The 30 participants have been narrowed down from more than 900 applications received from talented individuals throughout the world. Finalists are coming to Detroit from Arizona, Wisconsin, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Illinois, as well as Toronto, Ontario, and many are choosing to stay here in Michigan to be part of the program.

The 30 Challenge Detroit winners will work with non-profits, including Tech Town, The Detroit Regional News Hub, and The United Way for Southeastern Michigan on initiatives such as developing opportunities for social entrepreneurship; addressing urban issues pertaining to regional planning; transportation and education; and distributing food to those in need. Each participant will also work with and learn from one of 30 Challenge Detroit host companies, which include Chrysler, Quicken Loans, Focus: HOPE, Cornerstone Schools, Compuware, and

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“The opportunity exists here, in Detroit. These 30 innovative leaders are motivated, passionate, hard-working and entrepreneurial. Through their participation in Challenge Detroit they will positively impact our community,” said Greene Groves.

During their year in Detroit, participants will gain new insights about the city and the greater Detroit region while sharing their story with the world through blogging, videoblogging and providing other social media updates. Through their experiences with Challenge Detroit, the hope is these individuals will be intrigued to stay in Detroit, work in Detroit, bring new ideas to Detroit, even start their own business in Detroit, and by doing so, they will have a positive influence on our region today and in the future.

The 30 Challenge Detroit participants will live, work, play and give in Detroit starting in August 2012. For more information and to meet the participants visit

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The Collaborative Group, a Michigan-based non-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, launched Challenge Detroit, an urban revitalization project for one of the most significant cities in the world. Challenge Detroit will select 30 innovative leaders from throughout the United States to live, work, play and give in Detroit. Participants will live in Detroit, supported by a $500-a-month housing stipend; receive a $30,000 salary to work at one of the top companies in the region; participate in monthly team challenges, in partnership with area non-profits, designed to positively impact the city and region; and experience the city through organized social and cultural events.