Fireside Chat with Dan Gilbert
Dan Gilbert is Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s second largest mortgage lender. He is also Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity for his portfolio of business and real estate investments, and majority owner of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Rock Ventures and its more than 100 affiliated companies across the country employ more than 30,000 team members.
Between 2013 and 2016, Detroit-based Quicken Loans closed more than $300 billion in home loan volume across all 50 states, and in 2016, for the seventh consecutive year, earned J.D. Power’s highest rating for client satisfaction among all U.S. mortgage lenders. Quicken Loans is No. 1 on Computerworld magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work in IT” and has been named one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 14 consecutive years.
Dan is also a shareholder in several sports-related consumer and technology businesses, including a leading wall graphics company (Fathead), electronic ticketing company (Flash Seats) and innovative sports equipment helmet maker (Xenith). In February 2016, Dan co-founded Detroit-based StockX, the world’s first ‘stock market of things.’ StockX develops, markets and operates an online and app-based live marketplace for the sale and distribution of high-demand consumer products, including sneakers, watches and handbags.
Dan began moving his Family of Companies to Detroit’s central business district in 2010 in an effort to help lead the transformation of a great American city. In January 2010, Dan co-founded Bedrock Detroit, a full-service real estate firm specializing in acquiring, leasing, financing, and managing commercial and residential space. Since then, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested more than $5.6 billion in acquiring and developing more than 100 commercial properties accounting for more than 16 million square feet in the city’s urban core. Thousands of jobs have been created, and today nearly 17,000 Rock Ventures team members work in downtown Detroit.
Dan also founded JACK Entertainment, a developer and owner of unique urban casinos in downtown Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore. In 2013, the company also acquired Detroit’s Greektown Casino-Hotel, which will be renamed JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel in May 2018.
In March 2013, Rock Ventures, in collaboration with the Downtown Detroit Partnership and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, unveiled and implemented a visionary placemaking and retail plan centered on creating activity and vibrant, distinct destinations to draw people to the region using a multifaceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces.
Dan is a Founder and Principal of Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), a venture capital firm that funds startup and early-stage technology companies in Detroit. He is also a Founding Partner of Detroit-based private equity group Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC, which invests in growing businesses in the financial services, Internet technology, consumer-direct marketing and the sports and entertainment industries across the United States.
In September 2013, Dan was named co-chair of the Blight Removal Task Force. The group, appointed by the Obama Administration, published a detailed plan in May 2014 to remove all blighted structures and lots in the city of Detroit. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the M-1 RAIL initiative. The 6.6-mile modern streetcar system, known as QLINE, is designed to spur economic development and improve downtown and midtown Detroit’s transportation infrastructure.
Dan serves on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic, the Washington D.C.-based Children’s National Medical Center and the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which is focused on finding a cure for the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Wayne State University.
Jonathon is the founder and managing partner of Ludlow Ventures and Sandwich Fund. Prior to launching Ludlow, Jonathon worked as creative director for New York’s Discovery Productions. He founded and operated Triest Group, a design firm with a deep UI/UX focus. Jonathon is a Kauffman Fellow and a board member of The Trico Foundation and Venture for America. In addition to his venture work, Jonathon is a producer of the web-series Computer Show (www.computer.show)