Innovation outside the automotive sector may have finally found its way back to Detroit. After decades of constant and well-publicized troubles, the city has begun to cultivate entrepreneurial spirit once again. On Monday, Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert announced plans to recruit “the best and the brightest businesses” to the Motor City. The company will aim to accomplish this in part by purchasing its ninth building in the city. Quicken Loans’ investment in a city that is usually an afterthought of commercial interests is commendable, and the potential businesses it’s helping will add value to the city. Other companies should follow suit, and the city of Detroit and state of Michigan should do all they can to encourage this investment and entrepreneurship.

Gilbert doesn’t just plan to expand Quicken’s internal operations within the city. He announced that the company would hire 300 software engineers along with 500 summer interns. The Intern Alley program is focused on exposing college students to business-related entrepreneurship. Creating jobs, particularly in technology related fields, is preparation for an economy of the future. Quicken Loans climbed Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” ranking once again this year — jumping to 10th place from 29th last year. Forbes cited Quicken’s move from the suburbs into Detroit as part of the improved ranking.

With all of the drama concerning Detroit’s budget playing out in the background, news that private companies are moving back to Detroit is exciting. Small business and entrepreneurship in emerging technology sectors have grown exponentially in the past few years. Technology startups, including Twitter and Facebook, have demonstrated the potential economic power of investments similar to the one Quicken is making. Investment in Detroit, especially in its youth, projects a bright economic future. Progressive movement forward is precisely what the city needs to move beyond its troubled past.

Detroit has been trying to attract start-ups and innovative companies for years — the Tech Town business park in Midtown comes to mind. These efforts are commendable, but must be continued to attract young entrepreneurs. There are large numbers of recent college graduates in Michigan, and students should take advantage of the low cost of living in Detroit, coupled with incentives and investments like the ones Quicken is offering.

Companies are starting to invest, but part of the responsibility must be put on the city of Detroit to build a solid foundation. Detroit must offer basic residential services, including those currently threatened by budget cuts. Electricity and garbage pick-up are necessary to create an attractive business climate. If people are to invest in the city, the city must invest in the people and in itself. If Detroit is to rely on the innovations of its residents, the residents must be able to rely on Detroit’s infrastructure.

It seems like Detroit’s recovery is on its way. Investment in emerging markets, innovation and imagination are valuable pursuits. Yet none of them can happen without the reinforcement of the Detroit city government. To encourage Detroit’s success, the state, city, businesses and residents must cooperate with a powerful vision of the future in mind.

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