2022 Michigan Business Challenge Spotlight – Great Quality Developments

Shannon Beeman
February 10, 2022

MBC Seigle Impact Track Spotlight

The Michigan Business Challenge (MBC) takes participants through the entire cycle of new venture creation from creating a strong pitch to conducting a marketing and financial assessment and writing a comprehensive business plan. University of Michigan student entrepreneurs are one step closer to over $100,000 in cash prizes. Meet these innovative Wolverines in our spotlight series.

Startup Description

Great Quality Development is a community focused, mixed-use development company that specializes in integrative developments that increase affordable housing, homeownership, and community resources in Detroit, MI. Hattie McKinney (BA ’16, JD ’22).

What was the origin of this venture? How was the problem or opportunity discovered?

Great Quality Developments was founded out of a desire to respond to the affordable housing crisis and provide Detroit residents with a pathway to actively participate in the development of their neighborhoods. Housing is a highly determinative aspect in a person’s life; it influences a person’s financial, medical, and educational outcomes. To that end, we were inspired to increase opportunities for Detroit residents to engage in placemaking and neighborhood development.

What do you think will be the long-term impact of launching your venture?

We hope to promote greater engagement between developers and communities in Detroit without marginalizing those already present. Great Quality Developments aims to serve as a leading example of partnership placemaking. Additional long-term benefits of our company are increased affordable housing stock and economic development throughout the city of Detroit.

How has participation in MBC helped move your venture forward?

MBC has given me the confidence and network to advance Great Quality Developments. I began this venture as a founder of one. Through this process, I have acquired a community of mentors, friends, and advocates who are championing this venture with me. The judges’ feedback has helped strengthen my business proposal, develop industry knowledge, and gain confidence. Lastly, MBC introduced me to key stakeholders in the development space who have given me invaluable advice to advance my venture.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the MBC experience (so far)?

The biggest lesson that I have learned from the MBC experience is to trust the process. When I began this journey, I did not expect to walk away with lifelong friends but that is one of the unexpected — but extremely valuable — benefits of this opportunity. In addition to enriching my network with incredible people, the workshops have helped me develop smarter strategies to advance my venture.

What are your plans following MBC? How would prize money help your venture?

Following MBC and my graduation from law school, I will continue to develop my skills and become a better asset to my community. A portion of the prize money will be put towards purchasing the land necessary to establish this venture. While the remainder will be used to conduct market studies with block clubs to better understand the neighborhoods and how to create a successful foundation.

What advice do you have for other student entrepreneurs?

My advice to other student entrepreneurs is to follow your passion! There is a wealth of resources at your disposal as a student – use them. Do not be afraid to ask for help and pursue an idea that interests you.

2022 Michigan Business Challenge Finals 

Learn more about these impact-driven University of Michigan student startups by following the 2022 Michigan Business Challenge Finals on February 11 on ZLI social media. Cheer for your favorite team during the MBC final presentations and applaud the winners!