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White House honors Detroit entrepreneurs

The White House has honored two Detroit-based entrepreneurs as Champions of Change.

Josh Linkner and Torya Blanchard were two of 11 young entrepreneurs who shared their stories about starting businesses in Washington, DC Thursday.

Linkner runs Detroit Venture Partners and e-Prize, a digital marketing and promotions agency. Blanchard owns the Good Girls Go To Paris crepe shop in midtown Detroit.

Linkner joked that age 41, he may have wandered into the wrong event. But he says he’s now been around long enough to notice a few trends in entrepreneurship.

“What really gets people’s attention, in not just capital but also consumers, is when people do things that are remarkable. And they solve problems in a new and compelling way. So I would suggest to any aspiring entrepreneurs that rather than just launching another something else, is to find a way where you can really be different.”

The White House says Linkner, Blanchard and the other entrepreneurs honored in Washington represent the future of an innovation-based economy, and can serve as an inspiration to other young people.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.