A Detroit School for Digital Technology was born out of founder Jamie Kothe’s desire to use the Detroit tech boom to bring gainful employment to locals.
Kothe started DSDT as a school for film production and creative visual effects in Farmington Hills, Mich. Over the years, she added additional curricula in digital media, digital graphics, and technology, and eventually relocated to southwest Detroit. Now, 90 percent of DSDT’s students are Detroit locals – and Kothe projects that 94 percent of them will find jobs or opportunities for further study in Detroit within six months of graduation.
DSDT is especially sensitive to the needs of veterans, active-duty members of the military, low-income individuals, and formerly incarcerated individuals. The school gives Detroit locals the chance to pursue career paths that they might not otherwise have access to, and ensures that they will benefit from, rather than be displaced by, the surge in the tech industry in their city.
DSDT has been featured in various media, including Detroit’s local Fox affiliate, Michigan LIve, and others. In 2018, DSDT was named an American Small Business Championship finalist.
Kothe received mentoring from SCORE mentors David Broner, Kevin Kelly and Dan Brophy. This SCORE team helped her submit her application for a building loan. SCORE also helped Kothe train her sales staff. Kothe says one of her employees trained “lacked the soft-skills and the sales mentality” but has now grown into “one of my most valuable employees and student recruiters.”
Kothe says, “Having a SCORE mentor can help you to recognize holes or gaps in your business most small business owners have blinders to and not enough time to analyze.”