If you’re not looking for this business incubator, you might just miss it

Pony Ride DetroitSince 2011, Ponyride Detroit has served as a hub for entrepreneurs who want to expand their businesses. Ponyride provides an environment that can be transformed for their business needs at a very inexpensive rate. Ponyride sits in a corner of Corktown and if you aren’t looking for it, you just might miss it.

Ponyride is located in the corner of Vermont Street off Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit. Phil Cooley purchased the 30,000 square-foot warehouse for $100,000 for the sole purpose of leasing inexpensive business space to social conscience, forward thinking, innovative entrepreneurs. The businesses in Ponyride range from for-profit technology companies to non-profit clothing companies.

All of the businesses that reside in the Ponyride space are independent businesses that lease space for as low as 10 cents a square-foot, including utilities. Ponyride allows the space to be tailored into whatever the business needs require.

When the business incubator first opened its doors, a dance group inquired about using their space as a dance studio. Ponyride decided that there was enough room to create a dance studio and began to incorporate, “if you build it, we’ll make it for you”, initiative that is still in place today.

The old warehouse was filled with a bunch of standard office spaces but Ponyride has been able to utilize volunteers to help remodel sections of the building into a dance studio, a coffee shop, and even a sewing studio. In an effort to keep costs low for tenants, Ponyride strives to use recycled and donated materials. The original floor in the dance studio was removed and was re-modeled using the gym floor of a local high school that was closed down. The space was transformed from a warehouse stockroom into studio with wall-to-wall mirrors that makes for a perfect place for dancers to evolve their craft.

Ponyride reaches out to the community for assistance in building up the space. The community responds so positively to the Ponyride philosophy, they receive an enormous amount of dedicated volunteers who are just as passionate about their commitment to rebuilding Detroit. The volunteers are willing to put in thousands of service hours to make dreams into a reality for businesses that have been working from basements and garages and are ready to expand their endeavors. The main objective for Ponyride is to allow entrepreneurs to grow their projects into something that will eventually outgrow the Ponyride space.

As long there is a need to provide space for the increase in businesses in the city, Ponyride will continue to see a continual stream of growth in their space. There are currently no limits on the length of time that businesses are allowed to stay and use this space as a hub to cultivate business endeavors. The multifaceted space creates an environment that caters to the individual need, which makes Ponyride a unique catalyst, committed to moving Detroit forward.

If you are interested in learning more about Ponyride Detroit, visit their website at www.ponyride.org

Photo credit: Adriane Davis

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