2022 Detroit Means Business Summit

2022 Detroit Means Business Summit

Detroit Means Business  hosted its inaugural small business summit on May 2, 2022.  The event  offered tangible takeaways for strengthening business, including 1:1 Expert Consultations, Live Panels and Workshops.  Connect 313 was proud to participate in this event to support local Detroit businesses utilize digital resources to promote and strengthen their business.  Myka Burley Connect 313’s Community Manager is an active participant in Detroit Means Business as a member of small business x digital divide committee.  Autumn Evans Connect 313’s Operations Director spoke on a panel about pro tips for digital business success, where she also shared details about how the city of Detroit is working to bridge the digital divide.  Qumisha Goss Connect 313’s Digital Literacy Subject Matter Expert also attended the morning session to give 1:1 Consultations on Digital resources.

During our 1:1 Consultations we met with the following Detroit businesses

Some lessons we’ve learned and some tips for small businesses.

  1. Maintaining a digital presence takes time and dedication.  Set a schedule for yourself to regularly post to or update your website or social media presence. Rachel Wood of the Art Loft has a beautifully updated website and strong web presence and she shared with us that she spends a lot of her time keeping her web presence up to date.  There are also digital tools available to assist you with this process. Learn More.
  2. Digital Marketing can be daunting, finding your tribe or a group of like-minded people can help you get a leg up.   The Gospel Music Cafe has successfully marketed their ball room dance classes and poetry events by sharing their events with local facebook groups.
  3. Your Business Acumen, Knowledge and Passion will drive your business. Digital Tools and Technology are just tools to support you. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the choices, and options.  You know your business best, think critically about what you need help with and access your own willingness to learn new technology or systems your self or a hire a professional as needed. Valaise  at Tried and True Financial shared her digital business Card with us, a cool digital tool by HiHello.Hi Hello Business card

Check out https://www.detroitmeansbusiness.org/  for more tools and resources to support your business.

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Rocket and the Detroit Tigers are teaming up to Support Connect 313

Rocket and the Detroit Tigers are teaming up to support Connect 313 bridge the digital divide

To help end the digital divide in Detroit, Rocket Mortgage announced a new promotion in conjunction with its Tigers Partnership. Each time a Tigers player hits a home run off the “Rocket” foul poles, Rocket Mortgage will contribute $5,000 to the Connect 313 Fund. If the home run results in a grand slam, the company will contribute $20,000 to bring digital connectivity and literacy to Detroiters.

Click here to learn more about this partnership.

 

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Rocket Giving Fund directed $700,000 to Connect 313 Fund in support of landmark digital inclusion initiative

Rocket Giving Fund directed $700,000 to Connect 313 Fund in support of landmark digital inclusion initiative

In 2021 The Rocket Mortgage Classic raised 1.35 million dollars. $805,000 of which has been reinvested in Community partners in support of the “Changing the Course” initiative.

$700,000 was directed to the Connect 313 Fund.  The Connect 313 Fund has tirelessly worked to impact the outcome for Detroit residents, ensuring that households become digitally included and that residents are able to access job training, education, telemedicine and other necessities that are the hallmark of a connected and thriving community. These efforts have led to – 67.5 percent – of Detroit households becoming digitally included after only 30 percent enjoyed that status three years ago.

 

Click here to learn more about the Rocket Giving Fund’s contributions to bridging the digital divide..

 

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Rocket Mortgage & Detroit Lions Support Digital Inclusion

Rocket Mortgage & Detroit Lions Support Digital Inclusion

This past football season Rocket Mortgage and the Detroit Lions teamed up to bridge the digital divide for our neighbors here in Detroit with the Rocket Mortgage Red Zone.

Every time the Lions scored points in the Red Zone, Rocket Mortgage and the Detroit Lions donated $1,000 to Connect 313.  Through this Partnership, Connect 313 was awarded $35,000 to help provide internet connectivity and digital access for Detroiters.

Click here to learn more about this initiative.

 

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Jason Momoa Shares Support for Connect 313

Jason Momoa Shares Support for Connect 313

Hollywood star Jason Momoa has a passion for Detroit, so when he learned about what Rocket Mortgage was doing alongside the city to bridge the digital divide, he wanted to learn more. Recently, Jason visited Detroit to talk with Rocket Mortgage Chief Marketing Officer Casey Hurbis about the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s “Changing the Course” initiative, which raised $2.7 million this year for nonprofit organizations, including $2.1 million specifically for the Connect 313 Fund.

Jason also toured the city with Josh Edmonds, Director of Digital Inclusion for the City of Detroit, to learn more about the important progress being made to connect the community and ensure all Detroit residents can access the digital world and the opportunity it brings.

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Introducing the Connect 313 Fund

Introducing the Connect 313 Fund

Rocket Mortgage Classic Announces Launch of Connect 313 Fund

The Rocket Mortgage Classic, in partnership with its title sponsor Rocket Mortgage, today announced the beneficiaries of this year’s PGA TOUR event and the launch of the Connect 313 Fund, a new organization that will coordinate digital inclusion strategy across the city of Detroit as part of the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s “Changing the Course” initiative.

The Connect 313 Fund was developed in partnership with the City of Detroit and key stakeholders from private and nonprofit organizations, and is rooted in the City’s visionary “Connect 313” program. In addition to coordinating a city-wide, data-driven digital inclusion strategy, the Fund will make investments into Detroit-based nonprofit partners to increase access to technology, internet and digital literacy resources.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic is committed to using this year’s event to launch and financially support this city-wide organization. Initial funding will supplement and scale programming to build neighborhood technology hubs, collect real-time data and support and empower community advocates to deliver resources that bridge the digital divide.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic certainly magnified the digital divide, the reality is that nearly one in three Detroit families have lacked access to internet and digital resources for decades. It’s important to our entire organization, and our founder and chairman Dan Gilbert, that the Rocket Mortgage Classic serves as a driver of lasting change. The Connect 313 Fund, alongside other primary beneficiaries, will allow us to address long-lasting gaps in access to healthcare, education and employment, which are a consequence of the underlying lack of digital connectivity.― Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Mortgage.

“By ‘Changing the Course,’ we can collectively and collaboratively bridge the digital divide in Detroit once and for all.”

The Connect 313 Fund will be focused on four strategic pillars:

  1. Collecting accurate neighborhood-level data on technology and internet access.
  2. Building and supporting neighborhood technology hubs by invested in trusted community centers to grow technology resources.
  3. Empowering residents to become digital literacy ambassadors in their respective neighborhoods.
  4. Coordinating city-wide fundraising and public advocacy for systemic change in digital inclusion.

The United Way for Southeastern Michigan will administer the Connect 313 Fund. The Rocket Giving Fund – the 501(c)(3) that operates the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the City of Detroit and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan will facilitate a board and governance structure where community, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders will collectively execute the mission of the Connect 313 Fund. This includes the prioritization and funding of Detroit-based nonprofit organizations in order to achieve universal access to the internet, technology and digital literacy training.

“The Connect 313 Fund will allow us to realize the dream – laid out by our ‘Connect 313’ program – of making Detroit a national model for digital inclusion,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “By striving to provide all Detroiters with access to the digital world, technology and digital literacy, we can ensure they will also have access to the opportunity it brings.”

“I am encouraged that proceeds from the Rocket Mortgage Classic will help create connectivity hubs across the city of Detroit,” said Dr. Darienne Hudson, president and CEO of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “The Connect 313 Fund is a collaborative effort that is vitally important for every family, business, and organization – making technology more accessible to children, families, and communities. This has the potential to serve as a model for what can be done by public/private partnerships in other areas, where technology access gaps exist.”

Additional primary beneficiaries identified by the Rocket Giving Fund for the Changing the Course initiative include:

The Children’s Foundation – which will work with youth-centric nonprofits to bridge the digital divide within their programming. Partners include 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic beneficiaries Detroit Police Athletic League, First Tee of Greater Detroit and Midnight Golf.

Greater Palmer Park Community – a collection of seven neighborhoods around Palmer Park and the Detroit Golf Club dedicated to the holistic improvement and advancement of the entire area.

Funds will be generated to support the Changing the Course initiative in a variety of ways. Among those are the AREA 313 Challenge, the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s online merchandise store, a virtual tee time experience that allows partners access to exclusive online player chats, and the Rocket Mortgage Fall Classic – a re-imagined golf outing and culinary experience planned for September.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic’s “AREA 313” will also serve as a driving force toward generating donations. A nod to Detroit’s famed area code, the AREA 313 Challenge focuses on holes 14, 15 and 16 at Detroit Golf Club. PGA TOUR golfers will strive to make an eagle, hole-in-one and birdie (3-1-3) on those holes during the four rounds of play Thursday-Sunday. If any player registers scores of 3, 1 and 3 on those holes over the four days, the tournament will make a $313,000 donation in their name toward Changing the Course.

Additionally, any time a player scores a 3, a 1 or a 3 on the respective holes, a direct donation will be made by Rocket Mortgage to Changing the Course. An eagle (3) on hole 14 will amount provide a $5,000 donation, a hole-in-one on hole 15 is worth a $25,000 donation and a birdie (3) on hole 16 will net $5,000. It is estimated that more than $200,000 will be generated by Rocket Mortgage through this effort. Tournament partner Delta Dental has already pledged $50,000 to the campaign.

“There are so many ways for our fans to get involved and support the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s Changing the Course initiative,” said Jason Langwell, the Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Our overriding mission has always been, and will always be, to use this event as a way to effect positive change in the city of Detroit, and we’re confident that we’ll be able to do that for several years to come, thanks to some creative new activations that we have developed to support the cause. We’re looking forward to a terrific tournament week and an impactful one as well.”

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2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic Generates More Than $2.7 Million for Nonprofits

2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic Generates More Than $2.7 Million for Nonprofits

The Rocket Mortgage Classic, in partnership with title sponsor Rocket Mortgage, today announced it generated more than $2.7 million for nonprofits from proceeds raised by Detroit’s second-annual PGA TOUR event. More than $2.4 million will be invested through the event’s “Changing the Course” initiative, which aims to bridge the digital divide in Detroit.

Funds are disbursed by the Rocket Giving Fund, the 501(c)(3) that manages the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic launched Changing the Course earlier this year with a mission to bridge the digital divide for all Detroit residents through equitable, data-driven investments in access to technology, internet and digital literacy. Detroit is the least connected major city in the country, and in light of COVID-19, it is clear now more than ever that access to online learning, employment, health and connectivity is a critical component of a resilient, vibrant community. Changing the Course is a multi-year initiative that is committed to holistic, sustainable access to internet, technology and digital resources for every Detroiter within a ten-minute walk of their home.

Charitable proceeds raised from the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic totaled $2,716,770. Last year, the event donated $1.2 million to its primary beneficiaries, with more than $1.1 million directed to nonprofits based in the city of Detroit.

2020 Disbursement

Donations were made by the Rocket Giving Fund to the following organizations in support of its Changing the Course initiative:

  1. $2.1 million to the Connect 313 Fund, developed by the Rocket Mortgage Classic in partnership with the City of Detroit and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan with engagement from community, philanthropic and business stakeholders. The Connect 313 Fund is rooted in the City’s digital inclusion strategy and is a coordinating mechanism for all digital inclusion stakeholders driving collectively toward the singular vision of bridging the digital divide. In addition to coordinating a city-wide, data-driven digital inclusion strategy, the Connect 313 Fund will make investments into Detroit-based nonprofit partners to increase access to technology, internet and digital literacy resources.
  2. $344,450 to Children’s Foundation, which supports pediatric research, education, community benefit programs and other initiatives that improve the health of children in Michigan. Children’s Foundation is also fiduciary for First Tee Greater Detroit, which impacts the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. This partnership will provide youth-centric nonprofits the resources they need to bridge the digital divide within their programming, including the following allocations from this investment:
    • $165,000 to Midnight Golf, which helps under-served young people transition from high school to college and into a professional career.
    • $100,000 to Detroit Police Athletic League (Detroit PAL), a Rocket Mortgage partner that builds character in young people through athletic, academic, and leadership development programs.

“This year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic is a testament to the boldness and ingenuity of the entire team, who understood the unique opportunity we had to use this event to bridge the digital divide in Detroit. We are committed to Changing the Course and working tirelessly to deploy resources and foster greater equity and digital access for Detroit residents and families.”― Jay Farner, Chairman of the Rocket Giving Fund and CEO of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT)

The Rocket Giving Fund also made the following disbursements:

$150,000 to the Greater Palmer Park Community, a collection of seven neighborhoods around Palmer Park and the Detroit Golf Club dedicated to the holistic improvement and advancement of the entire area.

$122,320 to the Birdies for Charity program, which supported 74 verified nonprofit organizations and allowed them to use the Rocket Mortgage Classic as a free vehicle to raise awareness of their organizations and funds to support their missions.

“Like all other PGA TOUR events, our overriding mission is for the Rocket Mortgage Classic to serve as a vehicle to support the nonprofits that do such amazing work in our community, and it has been amazing to see so many people come together this year in particular to get behind such a great cause,” said Jason Langwell, Executive Director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “We will continue to work every day toward Changing the Course and addressing this great need right here in Detroit.”

Connect 313 Fund

The Connect 313 Fund is a community-driven digital inclusion strategy focused on four strategic pillars:

  1. Collecting accurate neighborhood-level data on technology, internet access and digital resources.
  2. Building and supporting neighborhood technology hubs by investing in trusted community centers to grow technology resources.
  3. Empowering and financially supporting residents across the city to become digital literacy ambassadors in their respective neighborhoods.
  4. Coordinating city-wide fundraising and public advocacy for systemic change in digital inclusion.

The Connect 313 Fund has already engaged local nonprofit Data Driven Detroit and national data analytics firm Civis to do a neighborhood-by-neighborhood assessment across the city to understand gaps in access to the internet and technology. This analysis, slated to be completed in advance of the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic, will inform the locations, infrastructure and service offering of neighborhood technology hubs throughout Detroit.

Connect 313 aims to create a network of technology hubs by supporting existing safe, trusted spaces across the city to grow and scale their access to technology and digital resources. One example of this model is Brilliant Detroit, which provides programming and support year-round to families with children ages 0-8 in eight neighborhoods across Detroit.

Digital literacy ambassadors will be hired in each of Detroit’s seven council districts over the coming months. These ambassadors will hold ongoing community meetings, perform needed outreach, and work to connect residents to current and future technological resources available through Connect 313 and community partners.

“The Connect 313 Fund will allow Detroit to transition from a city burdened with longstanding digital inequity to becoming the national model for providing technology and opportunity to all residents,” said Joshua Edmonds, the Director of Digital Inclusion for the City of Detroit who oversees Connect 313. “The Rocket Mortgage Classic’s Changing the Course initiative will create a brighter future for every Detroiter by ensuring everyone has a chance to take advantage of the infinite opportunities technology provides.”

Administered by the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, the Connect 313 Fund will raise additional funding and continuously solicit the feedback of over 100 stakeholders and digital practitioners across the city every month to identify the best, most impactful ways to steer funds and bridge the digital divide.

“Due to the generous support of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, and the passion of Detroiters to take on systemic issues by addressing the source, I am confident the Connect 313 Fund will make technology more accessible to children, families and communities,” said Dr. Darienne Hudson, president and CEO of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “We know the community will answer the call to join us in Changing the Course, and that this unprecedented collaboration will redefine what can be achieved by public/private partnerships.”

2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic

During the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic, $1 million was raised to support Changing the Course through a special charity exhibition match hosted by two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, who was joined by Jason Day, Harold Varner III and Wesley Bryan. This included a $50,000 donation by Delta Dental, and a $40,000 donation by Detroit-based DTE. The $1 million includes a $500,000 match by title sponsor Rocket Mortgage.

The AREA 313 Challenge, where donations from title sponsor Rocket Mortgage were triggered by players who made an eagle, ace or birdie (3-1-3) on holes 14, 15 and 16, raised an additional $385,000 thanks to the spectacular play throughout the tournament.

Additional donations toward the Rocket Giving Fund’s total nonprofit contribution of $2,716,770 were generated from the net proceeds of the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic, which was held without fans due to COVID-19 restrictions but developed numerous new and creative methods of revenue generation, all with the goal of maximizing charitable contributions.

After Nate Lashley cruised to a six-stroke victory and his first career PGA TOUR win at the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic, Bryson DeChambeau muscled his way to 23-under-par to win the 2020 tournament. Ranked 10th in the world entering the event, DeChambeau earned his sixth career TOUR win at the age of 26, leading the field with an average driving distance of 350.6 yards.

DeChambeau subsequently won the U.S. Open, held September 17-20. His seventh career TOUR win was also his first major title. Matthew Wolff, who finished second at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, also finished second in the U.S. Open.

The 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic was one of the PGA TOUR’s “Return to Golf” events that was played without fans following a nearly three-month hiatus due to the ongoing pandemic.

The third-annual Rocket Mortgage Classic will be held June 28 – July 4, 2021, as it returns to the historic Detroit Golf Club.

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Rocket Mortgage and 100 Thieves Partner to Support Connect 313

Rocket Mortgage and 100 Thieves Partner to Support Connect 313

100 Thieves will be doing a special charity stream 10/6 at 1:00 PM EST

We’re excited to host a fundraising stream with @RocketMortgage towards a new initiative for the city of Detroit, Connect 313.

30% of Detroit families do not have internet access in their homes. Connect 313 aims to bring widespread internet access to the city by 2024. pic.twitter.com/fbVRp7ZeG6 — 100 Thieves (@100Thieves) October 5, 2020

From employment to education to healthcare, reliable access to technology and high-speed internet access is essential for participation in today’s society. That’s why Rocket Mortgage stepped up to support the launch of Connect 313 through the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s “Changing the Course” initiative. They believe that nobody in Detroit should go without the resources they deserve to participate fully and equally in the digital world.

But Rocket Mortgage hasn’t stopped there, inviting their friends (including Hollywood superstar Jason Momoa) to join the movement to bridge Detroit’s digital divide too. Today, we’re excited to share a new partnership from Rocket Mortgage and the esports powerhouse 100 Thieves that will raise awareness and funds to help support Connect 313.

Today at 1:00pm ET, 100 Thieves will be doing a special charity stream featuring some of their top content creators. As part of the stream, 100 Thieves will be randomly giving away their new jersey to participants. Check out the video at the top of the post to learn more about this unique partnership and how you can participate.

This is a great opportunity to watch the top streamers from 100 Thieves play games and show your support for the important work happening to ensure every Detroit resident is connected to the digital world and the opportunity it brings. Check out the full event at Tiltify beginning at 1:00pm!

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