Road to Readiness is a comprehensive, 5-part business education series on financial management and capital readiness.  Topics covered are as follows:

October 1 - Capital readiness, break even points, and basic projections

October 8 - Record keeping, financial statements, and taxes

October 15 - Pricing strategy, linking money to marketing, tracking ROI

October 22 - Types of capital, individual assessments, 1-1 consultations

October 29 - Financial resources fair, 1-1 consultations with finance experts

To be accepted into the Road to Readiness program in October 2018, your business must involve making or manufacturing a product and must be in market generating revenue.  We are looking for established product based companies with an interest in exploring growth potential and strategies.  

Full attendance and active participation are required to get maximum benefit from this program.  Please only apply if you are committed to attending all 5 sessions.

Participants will be billed $100 course fee upon acceptance.  Scholarships are available.


Instashot! Architectural Photography Competition

Purchased in 2017 by Hill Harper, the Charles T. Fisher Mansion, the largest residence in the Boston Edison neighborhood in Detroit, has been undergoing a historic renovation for more than a year. Interior and landscape designers have been meticulously selected to design the space, which will debut to the public during Detroit’s Month of Design, as part of The Junior League of Detroit Designers’ Show House. 

In celebration of the debut, Design Core Detroit is hosting the The Instashot! Architectural Photography Competition and is seeking photographers who can best capture the completely renovated Fisher Mansion. 

Competition Schedule

The Competition will occur between September 4-13, 2018. Below is a tentative schedule that is subject to change based on the accessibility to the home. 

Weds., Sept. 4
Photographers onsite to capture home 

Thurs., Sept. 5
Photo editing and upload onto Submittable

Fri., Sept. 6

Jury review and voting 

Sat., Sept. 7

Winners notified 

Thurs., Sept. 13: Winner revealed at Blogger Breakfast on Thursday, 9/13

Thurs., 9/13 - Sun., 9/16): Social media campaign to promote winner, Show House and Month of Design.

The photography competition is open to invited photographers only. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. By entering this competition, the photographer is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. Images from the competition will be shared by Design Core Detroit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Design Core’s website, Junior League of Detroit, and ASPIRE Home & Design website.  

Entry Deadline: Monday, July 30th, 2018

If you have any questions, please email Kiana Wenzell at and put "Instashot Photo Competition" in the subject line.


  1. To enter the Competition, photographers must accept an invitation from Design Core Detroit. 
  2. Photographers will then be invited to join Submittable and complete a contact form.
  3. Once pictures are taken photographers must upload their five best high resolution images to Submittable within 24 hours after photographing the showhouse for review by the judging panel. 
  4. All competition photos must be uploaded onto Submittable in jpeg or png format.
  5. The images must include; 
    1. (1) exterior front view image of the home;
    2. (2) exterior garden image; and
    3. (3) Images of any other rooms in the home.
  6. By submitting an entry to the Competition, photographers grant Design Core Detroit, Junior League of Detroit and ASPIRE Home & Design Magazine the following rights:
    1. Permission for your entry to be published on Design Core Detroit, Junior League of Detroit and ASPIRE Home & Design Magazine, website and social media platforms including but not limited to,,;
    2. Permission to use and publish your competition entry in any/all media (including in electronic format, hard copy and in Design Core publications) for purposes connected with the competition; 
    3. And the right to use your name for the sole purpose of identifying you as the author of your entry and/or as a winner of the Competition.
  7. You own the copyright to your competition entry as its author. 
  8. Your entry must be your own work, must not be copied, must not contain any third-party materials and/or content that you do not have permission to use, must not include any trade marks or watermarks.


  1. A panel of judges made up of (1) person from Design Core, (1) person from Junior League of Detroit, (1) person from ASPIRE Design & Home Magazine will vote on the winner.
    1. When choosing the winner and runners up, the judges will be looking for the most well composed, artistic and original images that evokes the best interpretation of the home.
    2. The photographer with the top 6 photos will win Photo Competition.
  2. The winner will be notified by phone and email within 2 days of the competition closing date and will be invited to attend the Blogger Breakfast to claim their prize. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 3 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  3. The winner will be announced during the Junior League of Detroit’s Blogger Breakfast on Thursday, September 13th.


  1. Cash Prizes:
    1. 1st Place: $300
    2. 2nd Place: $200
    3. 3rd Place: $100
  2. Winner will receive mention on digital platforms:
    1. Aspire Design & Home Website (
    2. Junior League of Detroit Website
    3. Junior League of Detroit Digital Brochure
    4. Official Junior League of Detroit Showhouse Website
    5. Design Core Detroit Instagram 
    6. Swag Bag created by Junior League of Detroit 
    7. (2) Tickets to the Junior League Showhouse (a $70 value)
    8. The Winner will have their picture and displayed alongside their selected photo in September Design Core newsletter.

This competition is a Detroit Month of Design signature event and is powered by Design Core Detroit in partnership with the Junior League of Detroit and ASPIRE Home & Design Magazine.

 To honor Detroit's designation as a UNESCO City of Design, the Detroit Design Festival will transition from a weeklong series of events to recognizing September as Detroit’s Month of Design. The celebration will be an opportunity for designers, design enthusiasts and the general public to experience Detroit design and showcase what's happening in Detroit locally and globally. 

We can help to put your brand in the middle of one of the country’s largest and most dynamic design experiences. Whether you’re launching a new product or looking to expand your market reach, we can help you amplify your impact. Please connect with us today through this link, or contact Melinda Anderson directly, at for sponsorship details. 

Please note that there are eight ways to get involved with Month of Design:

1.) Join our talent pool 

2.) Enter into the Urban Furniture Competition

3.) Enter into the Designer Putt Putt Competition 

4.) Apply to host an Independent Happening 

5.) Become a sponsor

6.) Become a Design Ambassador

7.) Apply to participate in Youth Day

8.) Submit your venue to be a part of the Detroit Month of Design

Applicants are not limited to one submission. Please fill out another application to be considered for other opportunities. Happenings are independently planned, produced and funded by the individual or organization submitting this application. 

Plus and Premier members of the Detroit Design Network are welcomed to share their industry expertise at one of five Design and Dine lunch lectures.   Designers can apply to develop and deliver a 50 minute lecture, program, or workshop.  The series aims to connect designers, share knowledge, and help attendees build a wide range of design-based skillsets.   

Topics can be on a variety of subjects.  Some key areas that members have expressed an interest in for future sessions include copywriting and content, business skills, graphic design, marketing, and more.

Proposal review:

Each proposal is reviewed for the following criteria:

  • Diversity of design disciplines
  • Interest and relevancy of the subject matter
  • A thoroughly developed proposal idea

Session agenda:

  • 11:30am - 12:00pm:   Registration and lunch
  • 12:00pm - 12:50pm:   Presentation
  • 12:50 - 1:00pm:   Q & A

Designers will...

  • prepare presentation curriculum
  • draft a program description and titles for promotion

Design Network staff will...

  • pay a $500 facilitator stipend
  • promote the lecture
  • manage registration
  • secure event space
  • order lunch

Session Schedule:

There will be five opportunities to present at a Design and Dine Lunch Lecture series.  The 2018 schedule is as follows:

  • April 25, 2018
  • June 27, 2018
  • August 30, 2018
  • October 31, 2018
  • December 19, 2018
Plus and Premier members of the Detroit Design Network are welcomed to share their industry expertise at one of four Design Guide for Neighborhood Business workshops.  Designers can apply to develop and deliver an interactive presentation and workshop.  The series aims to bring the Design Guide for Neighborhood Business to life through a series of workshops for small business owners. 

The Design Guide is a workbook aimed to empower and inspire Detroit's brick and mortar business owners through information, examples, exercises, and more.  Through a combination of case studies, worksheets, and guided instruction, business owners will gain an appreciation for design as an effective business tool and build the confidence to manage design projects for their business.

The target audience for each workshop is Detroit small business owners.  Workshop topics must apply to one of four categories, consistent with the chapters of the Design Guide for Neighborhood Business:
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Web and Digital Design
  • Architecture and Interior Design
  • Merchandising and Implementation

Proposal review:
The goal of the series is to walk the audience through each unique design process with hands-on learning activites.  Proposals are reviewed for the following criteria:
  • Interest and relevancy of the subject matter
  • A thoroughly developed proposal idea
  • A highly interactive proposal idea
  • Demonstration of inclusive design principles and processes

Session format:
This workshop/charrette series will focus on an instructional session related to one of the four topics described above.  Each session must include an active audience participation component, with a hands-on learning activity from a real world situation, leaving time afterwards for discussion and Q&A.

Designers will...
  • prepare presentation curriculum
  • prepare promotional materials
Design Network staff will...
  • Provide a $500 facilitator stipend and reimburse for up to $250 in material costs
  • promote the workshop
  • manage registration
  • secure event space
  • order food

Session Schedule:
There will be four opportunities to facilitate a Design Guide for Neighborhood Business workshop.  Workshops will take place from 6pm - 8:30pm.  The 2018 schedule is as follows:
  • May 21, 2018
  • June 18, 2018
  • July 23, 2018
  • August 20, 2018

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