Why Detroit is the Perfect Place to Launch a Tech Startup

Or why Shrine Development is here to stay For some, Detroit doesn’t necessarily seem like the natural first choice as...

Or why Shrine Development is here to stay

For some, Detroit doesn’t necessarily seem like the natural first choice as a home for a tech start-up specializing in software and mobile app development but the tremendous growth in the Detroit tech scene is just one of the many reasons why we’re proud to call Detroit home. 

Home is where the heart is

Both of our founders (Malissa and Douglas Drouillard) were born and raised in Metro Detroit. They both graduated from University of Michigan with degrees in Computer Science. They then moved to Silicon Valley to pursue careers in the world of software development, however they both soon became disillusioned with the constant push to build more software with no end consumer in mind.

“Many software deals are sold with the intention of selling software, not helping people.” They knew that it was time to return home and launch their own company. They had a vision to keep both tech and business interests aligned.

“Some dev shops treat app development as an exclusively technical challenge. In reality, aligning the app with the business objectives and ensuring the team is properly communicating are equally as important,”

Detroit - The Comeback Kid

Detroit is a city that’s been through some tough times throughout the past few decades, with many doubting that it would ever truly make a comeback. While Detroit has a lot farther to go compared to other cities, it also has made significant strides in the past few years. 

According to research done by Entry Point the start-up scene has exploded since 2015 with a 50% increase in venture capital start-ups  and a 26% growth in high-tech jobs.

With the rise in talent and the focus on entrepreneurship Detroit is fostering innovation like never before. Everyone loves a good comeback story and we’re proud to be a part of this one.

Affordability and Innovation in the Motor City

While the cost of living has skyrocketed in traditional tech areas such as Seattle and Silicon Valley, Detroit remains an affordable option to not only start a business, but also to settle down. This is key in order to retain employees and continue growth. Money also goes further when investing in or building a business. 

Detroit has seen a large increase in growth in tech over the past few years. With the increase of venture capital firms and the advent of accelerators like Tech Town, the ecosystem for tech in the Motor City is getting more vibrant each year. 


In Tech Republic’s recent article on Most Affordable Cities for Developers to live Detroit ranked number two. “Cities are waking up to the fact that we are in the fourth industrial revolution and that they need to prioritize building out their tech sectors,” Lappala said. “We’ve spoken with a lot of different municipalities and policymakers and this research echoed what they were saying: Any small, midsize town right now is either scratching their head or knocking some sort of plan to attract tech talent.” 


Helping the Growing Entrepreneurial Scene

It’s easy to categorize the Midwest as a forgotten, behind the times place, but the fact is that from hardship and grit comes innovation. While at first much of that innovation came from the Big Three, it’s becoming clear that the tech industry in Detroit is expanding outside of the traditional spheres as well.

Shrine Development is proud to have worked with innovative, home-grown Detroit tech start-ups like Plain Sight and Pocketnest. Working with a local company can provide peace of mind for a fledgling startup. It’s also important for our founders to support fellow local entrepreneurs. 

Part of Douglas’s vision in starting Shrine was to help start-ups navigate the sometimes murky waters of software and app development. “App Development is complex. We make it simple for our clients and guide them through every step of the process.”


Detroit has made tremendous strides in the past decade, and if it can maintain its positive momentum for the next decade it can once again be a global powerhouse. Shrine Development is committed to Detroit, and in helping keep up the momentum.

We are always looking to partner with others who are equally committed to Detroit, so if you are in the area please reach out! We would love to meet up and see how we can partner together and help Detroit on its journey.