2018 DXF Spring Soirée Recap

A huge thank you to everyone that helped make our first ever DXF Spring Soirée the success that it was! We had such a great time with all of you, celebrating our mutual admiration for Detroit and reminiscing over the last 12 years of DXF in all it's iterations!

We'd like to call special attention to our friends at Comcast, UHY, Indian Trails and Huntington Bank who helped make this event possible through their generous donations.

Check out photo recap in the carousel below!


Thanks to our friends at Bondo, a Photo Booth Company, for bringing over their awesome photo booth setup! You can view the full gallery of photos taken here.


Detroit Experience Factory celebrates ten years of tours by tripling number of tours offered this summer

April 27, 2016 - Detroit

Though it can sometimes seem like the interest in Detroit is new, the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) recognizes that there have always been people with an interest in Detroit and they have been helping inform and channel that interest for the last 10 years.  

Although their name has changed, their passion for connecting locals and visitors to Detroit's people, places and projects has not. From launching as a grassroots nonprofit called Inside Detroit in 2006, to growing with D:hive as part of a 3-year collaborative project, to moving into their new Welcome Center space as the Detroit Experience Factory in 2015, the last decade has been nothing short of extraordinary. Since 2006, they have taken more than 70,000 people on experiential tours. Here are some other interesting stats:

  • In 2015, DXF conducted 538 separate tours for more than 17,000 individuals

  • More than 10,000 people visited the Welcome Center in 2015

  • 67% of DXF tour attendees live in Detroit or Metropolitan Detroit

  • 95% of DXF bus tours visited neighborhoods outside of Greater Downtown

  • 82% of DXF tours are custom experiences for groups or individuals

To celebrate this milestone and to launch their new expanded Summer Tour Schedule, DXF is hosting a Summer Kickoff Party on May 6th from 11am - 7pm with snacks, drinks, giveaways and games. The 2016 DXF Summer Tour Schedule is unprecedented as it triples their offerings from last year and includes 14 brand new public tours.

“There are literally thousands of amazing people, places and projects in this city and we want to showcase them all,” says Jeanette Pierce, Executive Director at DXF, “By tripling our public tour offerings and constantly creating new custom tours focused on all sorts of themes we hope to continue to show both locals and visitors that there is something for everyone in Detroit.

Some of the more anticipated tours include:

  • Innovation and Inspiration - Go inside some of Detroit’s most innovative projects where you’ll have the opportunity to meet the doers that are inspiring people near and far.

  • Detroit Bikes and Sights - Take in some of the best greater downtown has to offer while test driving a Detroit Bike manufactured right here in the city.

  • Strolling Supper - Get the inside scoop and enjoy wonderful food at 3 different hot spots...all in one evening.

  • Art in the Market - From local, national, and internationally acclaimed muralists to galleries galore, you’ll find a new reason to love the oldest and largest public market in the country!

  • Neighborhood Bus Tours - Detroit is much more than downtown and this series of tours will help you connect with some of the city’s most interesting neighborhoods from Grandmont-Rosedale to East English Village and everything in between. First up: Northwest Detroit

For details about the Summer Kickoff, to schedule a custom tour and for the full DXF Summer Tour Schedule visit www.detroitexperiencefactory.org. For media assets including infographics, hi-res photos and more visit: http://detroitexperiencefactory.org/media-kit.

As an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Detroit Experience Factory uses interactive experiences and innovative resources to help newcomers and locals alike get more connected to the people, places and projects in Detroit. It operates Detroit’s community based Welcome Center at 123 Monroe.

The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) is a nonprofit that strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP convenes business, philanthropic and government partners to create a vibrant, resilient urban core for Detroit and the adjacent community. Build Institute and Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) are affiliate programs of the DDP. Build Institute provides access to education, resources and support for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. DXF uses interactive experiences and innovative resources to help newcomers and locals alike get more connected to the people, places and projects in Detroit. The Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone (BIZ), an initiative of Downtown Detroit Partnership, is a special assessment district formed by property owners to provide the necessary services that support a vibrant Downtown.


Support small businesses this holiday season with Shop Detroit

DETROIT, Mich., November 13, 2015 – Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) is proud to present the 12th annual Shop Detroit in partnership with American Express’ Small Business Saturday. Shop Detroit will take place Saturday, Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event encourages people to shop locally throughout the holiday season and beyond.

DDP’s Detroit Experience Factory (DXF), Build Institute and Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) are working together to offer information about local retailers, special discounts and giveaways as well as a free shuttle service with tour guides to retail options throughout Detroit. Partners of this event include Challenge Detroit, City of Detroit, the Office of the M-1 Rail and Live6.

The event is free, but RSVP is encouraged. Sign up at weknowdetroit.org/shop. Additionally, a free walking tour of downtown will be offered at 2 p.m. starting at the DXF Welcome Center, where attendees can learn about the great history, new developments and of course shopping options downtown.

“Each year as momentum grows, we are able to feature more small businesses and enhance what Shop Detroit is offering to downtown,” said Eric B. Larson, CEO of Downtown Detroit Partnership. “This year, we are excited to connect to Detroit neighborhoods helping people discover small businesses they might not have known existed, while exposing them to all the wonderful additions to downtown.”

Special for Shop Detroit Small Business Saturday, Build Bazaar, a rotating popup marketplace celebrating emerging entrepreneurs from the Build Institute, will feature an exciting and diverse array of local vendors selling products ranging from artisanal candles and soap to fresh baked goods and handcrafted jewelry in the atrium of One Campus Martius throughout the day. Vendors such as Detroit Bikes, Motor City Soap Company LLC, Sweet Potato Delights and Detroit Water Ice Factory will be participating and have products for purchase. This Build Bazaar is presented by Bedrock Real Estate Services and Meridian Health Plan.

DXF is also partnering with the fellowship program, Challenge Detroit to encourage both residents and visitors to use the hashtag #ShopDetroit.  Throughout the holiday season, use the hashtag to share shopping experiences and continue to build awareness of the unique locally owned new and long-time businesses across the city. Gift certificates and prizes will be given away to selected participants who share comments and photos about their Detroit shopping experiences. In addition, people can visit Challenge Detroit on Facebook and Twitter, where Fellows have already begun visiting businesses throughout the city and sharing their stories online with the #ShopDetroit hashtag. 

“This fall, we were honored to work with the Mayor’s Office on a project to build awareness for neighborhood small businesses,” said Shelley Danner, Challenge Detroit’s program director. “Launching #ShopDetroit with DXF and other partners is an integral next step to further that effort and engage the greater Detroit community.” Additional event listings for Small Business Saturday in Detroit including Shop Small Grandmont Rosedale, Us Too Detroit and more can be viewed on our website at: weknowdetroit.org/shop.

DXF Announces Grand Opening: New Brand, New Welcome Center, New Offerings

Do you think you’ve been to every bar or restaurant downtown?  Join the Detroit Experience Factory’s (DXF) Checklist Challenge and see what you’ve been missing! On June 1st, DXF is bringing back  the Checklist Challenge to inspire you to experience the 303 bars and restaurants on DXF’s Downtown Bars and Restaurants checklist.

“I’m a lifelong Detroiter but there’s a lot of places I’ve never been. This was a great opportunity to explore home.” says Tania Mackey, the grand prize winner of last summer’s checklist challenge. “It’s also been great to learn about so many small businesses that you wouldn’t really know about unless you take the time to explore. And I take my son almost everywhere with me – it can be really kid friendly.” Tania visited 210 bars and restaurants on the checklist during the 90 days of our first DXF challenge. 

The Checklist Challenge is pretty simple: the individual who visits the most places on the checklist between June 1st and September 1st will win the Ultimate Detroit Experience Package valued at over $1,000. There will also be random winners selected for prizes throughout the challenge so even if you visit one place you can be a winner.  Participants will have to post a photo of themselves at the bar or restaurant on Instagram and use the hashtag, #DXFchallenge. For more details and to register visit www.weknowdetroit.org/challenge. 

Detroit Experience Factory took over 12,000 people on tours last year, a 20% increase from the previous year. Many of these tours were customized for private groups, companies and universities. This summer in addition to weekly walking and bus tours of downtown DXF will offer a new and expanded schedule of experiences open to the public. In addition to our existing schedule of public tours, new experiences will include a Discover Windsor Series, Entrepreneurial Opportunities Tour  in partnership with Build Institute, Neighborhood Tours in partnership with Bridge Magazine, Detroit Kids STEM Tours in partnership with the Michigan Science Center, Downtown Art & Architecture Tours in partnership with Pure Detroit, Residential Tours in partnership with Live Detroit and the Detroit Experience Series for Model D’s 10th Anniversary. 
For more information on DXF, to book a tour, or to schedule a customized experience, visit www.weknowdetroit.org, call 313.962.4590 or visit the Detroit Experience Factory Welcome Center, located at 123 Monroe St.

As a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Detroit Experience Factory uses interactive experiences and innovative resources to help newcomers and locals alike get more connected to the people, places and projects in Detroit. It operates Detroit’s community based Welcome Center at 123 Monroe and has taken 50,000 people on experiential tours of Detroit since it launched in 2006. 
Downtown Detroit Partnership is a partnership of corporate, civic and philanthropic leaders that supports advocates and develops programs and initiatives designed to create a clean, safe, and inviting Downtown Detroit. More information available at www.downtowndetroit.org.


Taste of Windsor Tour 
When:     May 21, 6pm - 9pm. 
Cost:     $35

Walk Detroit Downtown Tour
When:     May 23, 2pm - 4pm and every Saturday 
Cost:     Free

Riverfront Walking Tour with the Riverfront Conservancy
When:     May 25, 1pm - 2pm and every Monday
Cost:     Free

Downtown Art & Architecture Walking Tour with Pure Detroit
When:    June 3rd, 5pm - 6pm then every Wednesday and June 5th, 12pm - 1pm then every Friday
Cost:     Free

Renting on the Riverfront Tour with LIVE Detroit
When:     June 6, 10am - 1pm
Cost:     $10

Downtown & Beyond Bus Tour
When:     June 6, 11am – 1pm and every First and third Saturdays of the month
Cost:    $20

Experience Detroit: Downtown Rooftop Bar Tour
When:    June 6, 7pm - 10pm and Two Tours per Month on different days
Cost:    $15

Diego and Frida’s Detroit: Bus Tour
When:     June 13th, 10am – 12pm
Cost:    $20 

Cultural Center Walking Tour 
When:     June 13th, 11am - 12pm and every second Saturday
Cost:     $10

Tuesday Tasting Tours with M-1
When:     June 18th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm then every Second Tuesday
Cost:    $15

Jefferson East: Entrepreneurial Opportunities Tour
When:     June 20, 11am – 1pm, 
Cost:     $35 ($25 early bird)

Neighborhood Tour with Bridge Magazine: Milwaukee-Junction
When:     June 27, 11am - 2pm 
Cost:     $30

STEM Detroit Kids Tour with Michigan Science Center
When:     July 11, 10am - 12pm with planetarium show at 1pm
Cost:     $20 for adults $15 for kids

Walk Windsor Tour with Model D
When:    July 12, 1pm - 4pm 
Cost:    $20 

For more details on these and all of our tours, please visit www.weknowdetroit.org/tours .

Grand Opening: New Brand, New Welcome Center, New Offerings

DETROIT, March 4, 2015 — Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) is a new organization that recently grew out of the resource hub, D:hive. DXF connects you to Detroit’s people, places and projects through eye-opening experiences and specialized resources. The Grand Opening will take place at their new Welcome Center at 123 Monroe St. in downtown Detroit as a way to celebrate 313 Day on Friday, March 13.

D:hive was designed as a three-year project to welcome new recruits and assist existing innovators in the city, in order to grow and keep more talent in Detroit. All D:hive programming has continued with small business initiatives growing under the Build Institute brand and the tours, welcome center, live and work resources expanding as the Detroit Experience Factory.

“We accomplished so much with D:hive, taking over 30,000 people on tours in 3 years for example, but with the new brand, new welcome center and new offerings the potential to help even more people to understand and experience Detroit is limitless,” says Jeanette Pierce, Executive Director of DXF.

The new DXF Welcome Center will continue to help individuals find information, connections, and key tools needed to live, work & engage in the city whether they’ve been here a day or a lifetime. DXF will also continue to offer free Downtown Walking Tours every Saturday at 2pm, Community Bus Tours 1st & 3rd Saturdays and monthly bar tours as well as customized private tours.

In addition to the existing tours and resources, DXF is launching many new programs. They include:

Detroit Experience Pass 

Model D Experience Series

Detroit Experience Package


Kids tours with the Michigan Science Center

DXF's Talent Exchange powered by WorkFountian 

For more information about any of our programs or if you just want some free food and swag, stop by the new Welcome Center Friday, March 13th between 8am and 7pm. Schedule below.

Breakfast: 8am – 11am: Sponsored by Detroit Institute of Bagels and Great Lakes Coffee

Lunch - 11am – 2pm: Sponsored by CK Mediterranean Grill and Cottage Inn Pizza

Snacks 2pm – 4pm: Sponsored by Golden Fleece and City Market

Happy Hour – 4pm – 7pm: Sponsored by Firebird Tavern and Angelina Italian Bistro

Bar Tour – Pre St. Paddy's Day Edition - 7pm: Sponsored by Downtown Detroit Partnership

Let us know you’re stopping in by registering at http://dxfgrandopening.eventbrite.com.

As a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Detroit Experience Factory creates experiences that are enlightening, entertaining and led by Detroiters in order to demonstrate that Detroit is an exceptional place to live, work, and play. Learn more at www.weknowdetroit.org

Downtown Detroit Partnership is a partnership of corporate, civic and philanthropic leaders that supports advocates and develops programs and initiatives designed to create a clean, safe, and inviting Downtown Detroit. More information available at www.downtowndetroit.org.


The Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and are inviting college students and recent graduates from around Michigan and beyond to Live.Work.Detroit., a career networking event taking place Friday, Feb. 27 from 2:00-8:00 p.m. at the Majestic Theater in Detroit.

“Detroit is making global headlines for its amazing transformation by attracting new businesses, visitors and young professionals, and we encourage college students to take a close look at all the city has to offer," said Amy Cell, senior vice president for talent enhancement at the MEDC.

Live.Work.Detroit. is an MEDC initiative designed to connect Michigan’s college graduates to Detroit job opportunities and promote the city of Detroit as a preferred post-graduation talent destination. Since 2011, more than 4,000 college students from universities and colleges across Michigan and surrounding states have participated in Live.Work.Detroit events.

The Feb. 27 event is being hosted by Detroit Experience Factory and sponsored by MEDC. Participants will have the opportunity to network with a wide range of Detroit employers including General Motors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Quicken Loans, and Challenge Detroit, among others. The event will include keynote speaker Jason Hall, Co-Founder of Slow Roll and Detroit Bike City, a panel discussion with some of Detroit’s young leaders, networking, and a tour of some of the exciting small businesses, restaurants, museums, and places to live.

"Many college graduates from around Michigan look to Chicago or New York after graduation without knowing what Detroit can offer them," says Jon Chezick, Director of Tour Operations at DXF. "Once they see firsthand that there are tons of entertainment options, amazing residential spaces and a one-of-a-kind sense of community, it's amazing how quickly Detroit becomes an option for them."

Registration is required but the cost is only $15. The registration fee covers all activities including bus transportation from University of Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Wayne State and Oakland University as well as dinner and the interactive tour of the city. To register as an individual, or if your company would like to participate in Live.Work.Detroit, please go to www.weknowdetroit.org/lwd

The Detroit Experience Factory Welcomes Auto Show Attendees and Media

DETROIT, January 13th, 2015 – Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) invites visitors and locals to explore Detroit beyond the Auto Show by stopping by the Welcome Center, taking a tour or utilizing the brand new Detroit Experience Pass. 

The Detroit Experience Pass (DX-Pass) offers admission to seven of Detroit’s most popular cultural attractions for one discounted price. Launched by the Detroit Experience Factory (DXF), the DX-Pass is the first of its kind to provide access to several of Detroit’s world-class museums in one package. It’s perfect for auto show attendees who want to explore Detroit’s cultural institutions while they are in town.

For a price of $32, The DX-Pass will grant visitors access to these seven cultural experiences:

* Charles H. Wright Museum
* Detroit Historical Museum
* Detroit Institute of Arts
* Michigan Science Center
* Motown Museum
* Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
* DXF Cultural Center Walking Tour

The pass may be used for one standard admission to each of the listed partner organizations and will be valid for 8 days from when the pass is picked up. It can be purchased online at www.weknowdetroit.org/pass and can be picked up at the DXF Welcome Center, MoCAD or the Detroit Historical Museum. 

Additionally, DXF will customize a free one-hour tour for any person with media credentials at a time of their choosing. "We know they're busy, which is why we wanted to let them make the schedule instead of us,” says Pierce. “We want to make it as easy as possible for them to get an insider's understanding of Detroit."

Media members can email jeanette@weknowdetroit.org or call 313-268-6562 to schedule a free private tour.

DXF’s map of Detroit and checklist of downtown Bars and restaurants will be available at the Cobo Center Welcome Desk and at the DXF Welcome Center now located at 123 Monroe St. between Greektown and Campus Martius Park. Last but not least, DXF will offer free People Mover Tours and practically free bus and bar tours so the public can get a better understanding of Detroit as well. See below for dates and descriptions. 

Friday, January 16th 
Drink Detroit: Auto Show Edition, 6-9pm

Come for the Auto Show, stay for drinks. We'll explore Detroit’s happening nightlife by experiencing three uniquely Detroit bars, starting at Anchor Bar. All attendees must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets available at www.weknowdetroit.org 

Saturday, January 17th 
Insider’s Bus Tour, 11-1pm

The themes that are shaping Detroit are community, collaboration and opportunity. On this tour you’ll see how those themes are woven throughout the city. The route includes an overview of the people, places and neighborhoods that make up Downtown Detroit including the East Riverfront, Midtown, New Center, Eastern Market and Corktown. By the end of this tour you’ll have an insider’s perspective on Detroit’s rich history, current Renaissance and its limitless future.

Saturday, January 17th + 24th 
Insider’s Downtown Highlights Walking Tour, 2-3pm

Billions of dollars in development have happened along the Woodward Corridor in recent years, and Downtown is at the epicenter of it all. On this tour you’ll see all the major developments as well as unique shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants and recently renovated residential options. You’ll also see some of Detroit’s great historical spots and it’s world-renowned architecture. After this tour you’ll have a better understanding of why Detroit is called the Renaissance City.