Don’t sleep on Detroit. The city that put America in motion is quickly growing into a startup hub with a wide variety of successes. From sneakers to mortgages to houseplants, companies are finding success in Southeast Michigan thanks to welcoming investors, access to amazing engineering talent, and a deep history of creating lasting businesses. Throughout the coming days, TechCrunch is going to publish additional stories from Detroit including interviews with local heros and promising startups.
StockX is leading the way as explained in this multi-part feature that explores the company’s founding, strategies, and future. Located in the heart of downtown Detroit, StockX is leaving a lasting mark on the city as the company marches towards an initial pubic offering.
- Part 1: Origin story “How StockX became the stock market of hype” (2,500 words/10 minute reading time) — Investigates how StockX evolved from a basic aggregation of price data into the multibillion dollar juggernaut we see today.
- Part 2: E-commerce authentication “Authentication and StockX’s global arms race against fraudsters” (3,700 words/15 minute reading time) — A deeply nuanced analysis of StockX’s key product of authentication and the challenges of building a trusted market against an onslaught of scammers heavily incentivized to get a fake good sold.
- Part 3: Competitive and consumer landscape “Where StockX fits in the business of sneakers” (2,800 words/11 minute reading time) — Explores how the company connected buyers and sellers, as well as its long-term impact on both groups.
- Part 4: Future and impact “The consequences of scaling up sneaker culture” (2,700 words/11 minute reading time) — Looks at how StockX and the changes it has wrought have led to a massive change in the culture of sneakers and what that portends long term.
On Thursday, April 15, we’re hosting a small virtual meetup in Detroit featuring a pitch-off with local startups, interviews with local investors, and we’ll chat with the author of the StockX EC-1. This event is free. Register here. We hope you can join us to learn more about the modern Detroit
It’s important to note Detroit’s success trails a larger, more important ecosystem in Southeast Michigan. Ann Arbor is located 45 minutes away, and should not be pushed aside. This university town has long produced world-class companies and products. The majority of the VC funding in Michigan goes to Ann Arbor-based startups. There are advantages to both areas, though, and TechCrunch loves the cooperation between the two regions.