Technology leaders in Detroit for Wayne State Techonomy conference

Companies from Twitter to Etsy mingle with government officials, business leaders at Techonomy

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor

DETROIT - The leaders of the tech industry are in Detroit Tuesday for the annual Techonomy conference at Wayne State University.

The heads of some of the biggest companies from Twitter to Etsy are mingling with government officials and business leaders.

More: Techonomy Detroit conference at WSU

Tuesday's conference featured Rock Ventures Chairman Dan Gilbert and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who says the business comeback in Detroit began several years ago.

"The comeback was going on in spite of the way government was operating. When we get government operating to get better services to citizens, think about the opportunity, that's really exciting, that's really cool," said Snyder.

According to Dan Gilbert having people invest in Detroit is about perception and that is changing.

--Dan Gilbert speaking at Techonomy.

"Detroit absolutely sells itself to both young people and investors," said Gilbert. "I'm sort of amazed because they have this perception that the expectation is so low, you show them something up here and the gap is just huge."

Joel Shuppack, who is visiting Detroit from Oregon, was enjoying Campus Martius at lunchtime.

What did he expect to find in Detroit?

"My impression of Detroit before I got here was that it was just like a burnt out city, dangerous, abandoned buildings," he said.

And, now that he's been here a few days?

"I love Detroit, Detroit is a great city. There's an energy here and a feel that is really unique," Shuppack said.

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