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Detroit’s bankruptcy is not stopping a revival fueled by entrepreneurship. Help Ponyride raise $30k to renovate Detroit’s inclusive creative space.
Ponyride Detroit
Detroit, Michigan
United States
1 Team Member

Support Ponyride: An Inclusive Collaborative Space in Detroit

“Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist. Design it.”
- Sir Henry Royce

Give a gift that keeps giving. This holiday season, help Ponyride Detroit finish the renovations of its co-working office, dance studio, and workshop space.

What one word best represents the aspirations for Detroit’s inclusive urban renewal? Ponyride. We are raising $30,000 to finish renovating out a space for local socially conscious entrepreneurs to grow their business and have a lasting impact in the city.

Clouded in the shadow of the City's bankruptcy, Ponyride is an inclusive collaborative space for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs to prosper. With the help of volunteers, we have been able to renovate the majority of the building but now we are in the final stages and need your support to finish. 

As an independent, soon-to-be nonprofit, we rely on the generous donations from the community. Your donation will have a direct impact on Ponyride in many ways, including:

  • Helps finish the building so that more businesses can move in.
  • Nurtures small businesses by providing a space for them to grow professionally
  • Provides a convening venue for groups and organizations across the city
  • A facility where inner-city youth can learn from creative entrepreneurs
  • And supports independent socially conscious civic minded businesses in Detroit.

We have over thirty businesses waiting to move into our shared office space and we need your support to make that possible.  Help grow Detroit by giving entrepreneurs and artists a place to make difference.

And did you know 2014 is the year of the horse? It’s Ponyride’s year!  Help us broaden and deepen our impact in 2014 by making a donation today!

Ponyride is a collaborative community space. It’s changing how traditional economic development is done in Detroit.

We engage a diverse group of creative socially conscious entrepreneurs giving them the opportunity for productions, community outreach and education.  We share a philosophy that collaboration and inclusion drives innovation and prosperity.

By taking foreclosed and/or vacant buildings and activating them with small businesses, Detroit’s neighborhoods become economic engines once again. 

Our mission is to nurture collaboration using shared resources, knowledge, and networks to cultivate opportunities created by the strengths and crises of Detroit. Participants serve Detroit communities by sharing their craft and expertise.

We provide affordable space so that organizations, non-profits, for-profits can take a risk and start a business here in Detroit. This video explains the economics behind our mission, and why: 

Where are the horses? 

FYI: No horses were involved in the creation of Ponyride.

Ponyride is a “creative incubator” located in a 30,000 square foot building in Detroit’s historic 'Corktown,' Detroit's oldest neighborhood. The Ponyride vision originated from the desire of a local small-business owner, Phillip Cooley, to encourage and facilitate sustainable redevelopment and be a positive force. After purchasing the facility out of foreclosure for $100,000, it was decided to use the wealth of space for open discourse with local residents and prospective tenants. After a deliberation period it was decided that Ponyride would cater to artisanal businesses and socially-conscious non-profits and other types of organizations with the criterion that they participate in the collaborative Ponyride community and make concrete plans to teach their specific craft to the community. Outreach and impact are two components that make us tick. 

Where did the the name Ponyride come from?  While brainstorming when people are free to think creatively and freely, childhood emerged from the discussion. It's the time when people have less hangups and aren't afraid to take a risk (or business for that matter) and if you fall off 'the horse,' just brush off your knees and jump back up. 

And what’s something everyone wants as a child? A Ponyride! 

Ponyride has a lot to offer:

We have amazing tenants here at Ponyride.  Their unique "Made in Detroit" products are known internationally and should be in your Detroit collection.  They have offered up more products that we can list at at time so we are offering new perks throughout our campaign.  Each day we will feature a perk but you don't have to wait to get the perks listed. 

Here is what we are offering:

  • Gifting: December 6- Jan 24th 
  • Classes & Experiential - Mid December 
  • Special & Limited Edition Perks Aired Weekly 


Give the gift of Ponyride this season!

Classes:  Late December

  • Detroit Demin Tote Class
  • Stukenborg Letterpress Classes
  • Smith Shop Jewelry Making Class
  • Winners Circle Dance Class

Limited Edition:
 Coming in January

Why we need your help

Ponyride offers low-cost work spaces range from the incomparable price of $.20 to $.25 per square foot, thus making rental cost a relatively insignificant expense for most tenants. So the rents lower so that our businesses focus on their growth and give back to the community.Because of the low rent, we don’t have extra cash on hand to finish the final renovations.  

The Impact

We have completed 90% of our build-out at Ponyride. The majority of the remaining projects are finishing touches that will make the spaces more professional and comfortable. This includes additional windows, cabinets, painting, drywall, trim, etc. We also need funds to provide infrastructure for our tenants such as desks, chairs, dust collection, compressed air, sound system etc. 

By Donating you will make such an impact not only on the community of Ponyride but also for Detroit! People need space to share networks, knowledge, and resources. 

Listen to our first tenant Bryan Baker, who build his studio Stukenborg Letterpress in Ponyride (so proud!). We need this money to buildout more space so other folks can make their dreams a reality.

Risks & Challenges That we Face Daily:

Blight: Even though we have demonstrated the success of activating vacant buildings, we are surrounded by absentee commercial landlords.  Their buildings’ facades and landscapes  are not well kept and add blighted elements to the neighborhood.

And, of course, Detroit’s stereotype:  We have shown the resilience of Detroit’s residents and how small businesses can collaborate to do great things but safety and city services makes it challenging.


Ponyride Detroit, are there horses there?

No, but we like to horse around! 2014 is the Year of the Horse... Help us make 2014 a great year at Ponyride.

Detroit is bankrupt. How is that affecting small businesses?

Detroit’s bankruptcy is not stopping a revival fueled by socially conscious entrepreneurs, it's an 'All Hands on Deck,' grassroots movement. Help Ponyride raise $30,000 to finish renovating Detroit’s inclusive creative space.

raised by 228 people in 1 month
100% funded
No time left
$30,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 24, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    Friend of Ponyride

    By becoming a "Friend of Ponyride", you will help make 1401 Vermont St. better place. As a "thank you", we will send you a pack of Ponyride stickers so you can proudly display your support.

    6 out of 140 claimed
  • $20USD
    Handmade Leather Keychain

    For $20, you will get a classic Detroit Denim Keychain, made right here at Ponyride.

    7 out of 24 claimed
  • $20USD
    Ponyride Tote

    Shop till you drop with a Ponyride tote bag. Be one of the first to be seen on the streets with this eye catching accessory.

    3 claimed
  • $25USD
    Ponyride T-shirt

    What better way to show your support than by wearing a t-shirt. For $25, you get a Ponyride t-shirt, produced by Detroit-based Wet House Screen Printing.

    38 claimed
  • $25USD
    Party Time

    "Ain't no party like a Ponyride party!" This is our general admission to our Indiegogo wrap party and includes refreshments and food from Slows. It's always a good time and your supporting the RIDE at the same time. But if you want VIP, check out the $65 level.

    23 claimed
  • $40USD
    Detroit Denim Tote Bag

    Have you seen people walking around with a denim tote bag and wondered where they got it from? Look no further because you can own your very own bag from Detroit Denim.

    16 claimed
  • $40USD
    Limited Edition Print

    Need some art for your home or office? Get a limited-edition print by Stukenborg Press, made exclusively for this campaign at Ponyride. This print is 9x12" and is entitled "Convergence"

    7 out of 150 claimed
  • $50USD
    Ponyride Membership

    Become an official Ponyrider and get invites and information about special happenings at 1401 Vermont St. As a member, you will also receive your choice of a Ponyride t-shirt, tote or special-edition Stukenborg print. (a $75 value)

    36 claimed
  • $60USD
    Limited Edition Pendant

    Show your love for Detroit and Ponyride with this limited edition pendant necklace made by the Smith Shop. This sleek washer pendant is embossed with the Ponyride logo and strung on a leather cord.

    4 claimed
  • $65USD
    Ponyride Party!!

    2014 is the Year of the Horse! We will be kicking off the new year and celebrating our Indiegogo campaign. This is your ticket to our first "social gathering" of the year. If you haven't heard, "Ain't no party like a Ponyride party!"

    1 claimed
  • $80USD
    Ponyride Gift Pack

    Can't decide on what perk you like the best? Get this package which includes Ponyride stickers, Tote, t-shirt, a Stukenborg print, Anthology Coffee and a Beard Balm. (valued at $130)

    17 out of 30 claimed
  • $125USD
    Detroit Denim Gift Pack

    Made in Detroit, this gift pack includes a hoodie, tote bag and keychain.

    6 claimed
  • $225USD
    Custom Men's Jeans

    Valued at $250, don't pass up this opportunity to have a pair of jeans custom made for you by Detroit Denim.

    8 claimed
  • $500USD
    Day at Ponyride

    Our multi-purpose dance studio is the perfect location for a meeting or workshop. Host your next event at Ponyride and give your guests an experience that they won't forget. Includes lunch and tour of the building. (events with a maximum 40 people, 5 hours)

    1 claimed
  • $500USD
    Detroit Denim Private Class

    You and five of your friends will get to create custom Detroit Denim tote bags during this day long workshop. At the end of the day, your group will walk away "stylin' and profiln'" with your own creations. This workshop includes lunch and refreshments for your group.

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • $1,401USD
    Super Ponyrider

    This ultimate per pack includes many of the perks above including: membership, Smith Shop pendant necklace, t-shirt, tote bag, Stukenborg print, Beard Balm, Anthology Coffee, and exclusive invites to special events. Your name will also be added to our Wall of Support and website.

    1 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    The "Deal Closer" Dinner

    Want to impress your clients? Ponyride's Clandesdine dinners are legendary and can help you close the deal. Let us host your own private dinner for 15 and we will create an experience they wont forget. Includes a three course, wine paired meal prepared by one of our favorite chefs.

    1 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    Detroit SOUP

    Sponsor a Detroit SOUP dinner at Ponyride. Detroit Soup is a micro-granting organization that funds local entrepreneurs and initiatives. Your support will go a long way to support Detroit initiatives and programs, in addition to Ponyride.

    0 claimed
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