DETROIT — Detroit’s TechTown and Groupon Grassroots, the philanthropic arm of Groupon, announced the launch of a local campaign to raise funds for the winner of TechTown’s Startup Soup pitch competition for social entrepreneurs on Friday, Nov. 9 at Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit.

The Startup Soup campaign will be available on the Detroit Groupon Grassroots page beginning today, Monday, Oct. 15, and running through Sunday, Oct. 21. Using Groupon Grassroots collective action model, Groupon subscribers can pledge support for the Startup Soup initiative in increments of $10, with a maximum of $500 going to the Nov. 9 Soup winner. TechTown, a Detroit-based nonprofit incubator and accelerator, will save all additional funds raised for future Startup Soup winners.

Startup Soup provides an entrepreneurial twist on the established, highly popular crowd-funding model. To host the quarterly event, TechTown has partnered with Detroit Soup, a micro-granting dinner that funds creative projects in Detroit.

Entrepreneurs with a business designed to improve the community, solve a social problem or provide a social benefit, apply to pitch at Startup Soup. A panel of expert judges then selects three to five finalists, who will each have five minutes to present at the event, followed by two minutes of open Q&A. Attendees then enjoy soup, discuss the businesses and vote for their favorite.

Once the tipping point is reached, the Startup Soup winner is set to receive the $500, the door kitty ($5 at the door per attendee) and five workshop vouchers from TechTown. Each finalist receives two workshop vouchers from TechTown.

Said Leslie Smith, president and CEO of TechTown: “The broader community can now easily help us raise much-needed funds for promising startup social ventures, led by entrepreneurs who can truly benefit from community support. We certainly appreciate all contributions, as every dollar raised is essential in our efforts to aid these startups through their early stages of growth.”

The public is invited to attend Startup Soup; the cost is $5 at the door for soup, salad, bread and a vote. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. To register, go to

TechTown works to reignite Detroit’s entrepreneurial culture by fueling business growth, job creation and the revitalization of Midtown and beyond. Through its partners and programs, the nonprofit business incubator and accelerator connects small businesses to the customers, talent, capital and location necessary to build a thriving enterprise in Southeast Michigan. Its entrepreneurs also gain unique access to research, academic and technology assets through TechTown’s partnership with Wayne State University. TechTown is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and is the Woodward Technology Corridor SmartZone. To learn more about TechTown, visit


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