SOUTHFIELD, Mich.Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The Mars Agency and MarsVentures have recognized the growing interest in “American-Made” products. There is a passion to rebuild and to reclaim what Detroit stands for: excellence in innovation, manufacturing and making. People are starting small businesses and creating game-changing products. Co-working spaces and incubators are popping up from downtown Detroit to Ann Arbor’s campuses. Detroit’s skilled and eager workforce is waiting to get back to work, and the Born and Built in Detroit initiative aims to help these businesses by establishing their brands, providing business and financial guidance, and preparing them to sell their products to national retailers.

“To inspire Americans to buy American-made products you need a good story and products that are share-worthy,” said Ken Barnett, global CEO of The Mars Agency. “There is no better story than that of the underdog: Detroit. Modern manufacturing was born in this city, and remains a part of Detroit’s DNA. We want to reach out to this city and, together, build more success stories to bring to national retailers.”

The Mars Agency is holding an open call to all Detroit-area businesses with a Request For Information document (RFI) available for download on its website at:

Interested businesses can submit their RFI documents until November 7, 2014 to All short-listed businesses will be contacted for an in-person pitch in downtown Detroit on November 14, 2014.

“Both The Mars Agency and MarsVentures were born and built in Detroit – resulting from a 42-year history of entrepreneurial drive,” said Rob Rivenburgh, COO, The Mars Agency. “We’ve been involved in a lot of changes in our industry and in our hometown ofDetroit, but we have never been as excited about an opportunity as we are today. The number of game-changing technologies and products impacting the retail industry are growing exponentially, and we’re excited to help bring these products, made right here inMichigan, to all Americans.”

The Born and Built in Detroit initiative was created to leverage the power of location-specific American-Made stories and the passion of makers to deliver American-Made Products affordably and with pride.

About The Mars Agency

The Mars Agency is a leading shopper marketing agency that designs brand experiences that create impact. Founded in 1972 as MARS Advertising Inc., the agency has more than 42 years of experience and a proven track record for creating big ideas and results that accelerate sustainable, profitable growth for clients. Known for driving consumer desire and shopper behavior, The Mars Agency has been rated one of the top shopper marketing agencies for the past seven years, according to The Hub Magazine. The Mars Agency is proudly certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the U.S.

For more information about The Mars Agency, visit or connect with The Mars Agency on FacebookTwitterand LinkedIn.

About MarsVentures

MarsVentures is the venture & innovation arm of The Mars Agency.

We believe strongly in an “outside-in” approach to innovation, which calls for big brands partnering with small, nimble startups to drive disruptive thinking and new ideas. To that end, we identify and vet promising early-stage marketing, retail and eCommerce technology startups from all over the country (through relationships with accelerators/incubators, investors, universities, etc.). Then, we cherry-pick the best ones and pair them with The Mars Agency clients for low-risk, low-cost test & learns. In some cases, we even invest capital and/or agency resources for an equity stake in the company.

Since October 2012, we have evaluated more than 400 startups, executed numerous client test & learns and invested in 3 companies.

Media Contacts:
Kathleen Curran The Mars Agency / 248-936-2611

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SOURCE The Mars Agency