Generation Startup focuses on several young entrepreneurs as they attempt to achieve their dreams in Detroit. Though the project is ultimately an inspiring one, the film doesn’t sugarcoat the struggles that each of these individuals face. One prime example is its look at Avery Hairston’s decision to join Banza Pasta in 2014, and the film doesn’t shy away from documenting Banza’s painstaking (but ultimately rewarding) path to making the perfect chickpea pasta for consumers.
Filmed over 17 months and directed by Cheryl Miller Houser and Cynthia Wade, Generation Startup is a labor of love on both sides of the camera. For example, Houser launched the documentary six months after starting her own business.
“I was so incredibly inspired buy these young people who were already outside their comfort zone just by virtue from graduating from college,” says Houser. “It’s the first time in their lives when they didn’t have this prescribed path. All of us, when we come out of college, it’s a scary time. So they were accentuating that not taking a conventional or secure path.I was really inspired by that and what Venture for America was doing.”
Kate Catlin, who was part of the Venture for America class in 2013, worked in Detroit and in the startup Grand Circus. While she delved deeper into the world of coding, Catlin also started her Women Rising, a non-profit, mentorship program which connects women in the tech and business world.
Click on the media bar to hear Kate Catlin talk about her participation with Venture for America, an experience which helped her streamline her own startup passions:
Generation Startup opens Friday at the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angeles and October 7 in Detroit. For more information, please go to the film’s official site.