The Foundry Group Detroit House

In an effort to buy real estate in burgeoning startup communities around the United States while more deeply engaging in the startup community, my partners and I have bought a house in the Cass Corridor neighborhood in Detroit. Jason Mendelson grew up in Detroit so this is a nice homecoming for him.

If you’ve followed my efforts with my Kansas City Fiber House, you’ll know where we are going with this. This time the four of us bought the house together (personally, not with our fund) and are providing it to Techstars teams in the Techstars Mobility program which is based in Detroit.

The house is a four bedroom Victoria house built in the 1920s on a cute cobblestone street near midtown. It’s around the corner from the Shinola store and several new brew pubs. It’s within walking distance of a Whole Foods.

We are converting the basement into a big work space so it’s a comfortable live/work house. Turnstone is once again helping out with the furniture. Jason is threatening to create a basement bedroom for us (Foundry partners) to stay at when we come to Detroit. Since I stay in my guest bedroom at the Kansas City house when I’m there, I’m a fan of this.

Ted Serbinski and the team at Techstars in Detroit has been amazingly helpful on all fronts with this, just like Lesa Mitchell, Ben Barreth, and the KCSV folks have been in Kansas City.

Now that we have two houses, I wonder where the third one will be.

  • Drew McKenzie

    I think Cincinnati sounds like a good edition to round out the midwest. The Brandery recently opened up housing options for the most recent class.

  • Rick Mason

    When you asked in December 2013 where your next house should be located I answered Detroit, believe it was the first comment. Thanks Brad for honoring my request.

    • Thank you for suggesting it!

  • Mason Jones

    I grew up in Ann Arbor. Just the thought that there’s a Whole Foods near that house is causing me cognitive dissonance… Great move for you all though, nice one!

  • Blake Hackett

    Brad, how about Indianapolis? would be a great local partner, and I’d be happy to make the intro.

  • Trent Schulz

    I don’t think you can make a bigger difference on a startup community than in Cleveland. I’d be happy to show you around!

    • I was in Cleveland recently (at the Cleveland Clinic) and am good friends with Morris Wheeler. So – I kind of already have a house there as Morris lets me sleep in his basement.

      • Matt Kruza

        Trent stole my thunder. 🙂 You and Morris should go in on one for an entrepreneur to live in! But also Columbus or Cincinnati are good places. Really about 8 cities in Midwest (Cleveland, cinci, columus, Pittsburgh, buffalo, Detroit, Louisville, Indianapolis and one that is similar to boulder in being 100kish population is ann arbor) are great value plays in my opinion, at least for angels. All of these cities have decent (to much better in some cases) entrepreneurship scenes, some of the best state universities churning out 100’s of thousands of grads each year, and the main argument, the same invested dollars give 50%-150% more runway. This is my opening salvo, happy to give an in person or phone detailed push 🙂 But also in all seriousness I assume you know him well, but Mark Kwame and drive capital in Columbus is mega invested in this trend. Talking to some people who work there recently and compelling stuff going on.

    • Matt Kruza

      Hey trent, we should connect up. Here in Cleveland and very plugged in on the startup scene. Just sent you a linkedin message. Together I’m sure we will have even more cunning ways to get brad here! 🙂

      • Alex Kadis

        Trent and Matt, I’m moving back home to Cleveland and want to jump into the startup scene. I’ll message you.

        • Matt Kruza

          Hey alex look forward to meeting. Shoot me an email (matt.kruza at g mail) (trying to keep the spam bots away) and I will be happy to connect up. A lot of good things going on in cleveland, but still need more of a critical mass so lots of room to get plugged in!

  • StevenHB

    I hope that you know that if you and/or Amy ever need/want a bed in the suburbs of Boston that there’d be one there for you; though, I’d imagine you’d have many similar offers from others.

    • Thanks! Our Boston bed these days is at the Mandarin Hotel on Boylston, but if we want to wander out to the suburbs we will holler.

      • This offer of hospitality is exactly what is built for 🙂

  • Seattle

  • bradbernthal
  • Grace

    Augusta, Georgia! Cyber Security. Health Science, Alternative Energy Power. Great industries that can use your support in the start up culture.

  • Miami!

  • Apparently names don’t matter

    Due to all the bullshit going on (electronic break ins, etc.) with the web and technology… I limit my web time to 30 mins a day so only stop by once in a while. Also still no email use. That is going great. I meet more focused and driven people face-to-face than I ever did via email.
    I can still see you are a marketing genius! I remember Fred Wilson and another guy put together a podcast a while back that I thought was gonna’ trump you but you’re still the psychological marketing king of blogs.
    Speaking of Trump! I can’t believe people are on his ass because of his Mexico comments. I don’t know if everyone is too stupid to realize he said “… sent by Mexico…” or what. But he didn’t say ‘people who are leaving Mexico to find a better life’. He said “sent”. Cuba did that to the US in what 1980? Which spurred the movie Scarface.
    It’s a shame that these groups who are attacking Trump for his comments don’t realize that they are preventing the distinction between “good people” coming to America and “bad people” being sent here with ulterior motives. That’s what happens when haters are fast to hate instead of listen and learn!

  • josh

    the ‘r0kk3r house’ has a nice ring to it. in any event… nice to see that your houses are neither on a helicopter-accessible mountainside nor filled with anatomically correct fembots. consistencycredits++

  • So cool. You guys are doing awesome stuff in these emerging communities. A few places to consider next are Des Moines Buffalo Cleveland and Madison

    • Cleveland keeps coming up. Interesting …

  • Washington, D.C 😉

  • rossgarlick

    Hey Brad – I’m interested in whether you think this model could work with a bigger condo building that houses multiple startups? A WeWork for Housing, of sorts?

    • I have no idea. We are generally letting people live in the houses rent free – we aren’t trying to build an economic model on this, but rather help entrepreneurs and the startup communities.

  • I think I’m covered in that general area…

  • Awesome to see this, Brad! Injecting startup resources into these emerging communities endorses and promotes the optimism entrepreneurs in these areas have and need in order to thrive.

  • Gianna

    Anchorage, AK! We’re on the path to a vibrant ecosystem. I personally love Homer, but Anchorage is the hub.

  • Gianna

    Anchorage, AK! I love Homer, but Anchorage is the hub and is becoming a vibrant startup ecosystem.