In this episode, Danielle Olson sits down with Amy Kaherl, founder of Detroit Soup. In 2010, Amy was able to transform a small potluck-style event for funding the arts into a larger funding mechanism for community projects aimed to do good for Detroit. For as little as $5, attendees eat, hear pitches from entrepreneurs, vote for a winner to receive the cumulative funds, and ultimately create change.

Detroit Soup has hosted 151 meetings as of this podcast and has become an international movement, with communities developing their own unique flavor of this original event (including our own here at HatchLab, The Social Pitch). Added to that, Detroit Soup has managed to raise over $132,000 dollars directly from the Detroit community, directly for the Detroit community. Listen in to Amy’s inspiring thoughts about its journey, and how entrepreneurship and community-building intersect.


Danielle Olson, Program Manager, Hatch Innovation


Amy Kaherl, Founder of Detroit Soup

More about Amy Kaherl:

I love Detroit. Detroit is unique as it is enormous. People here are passionate without large egos and are eager to problem solve with amazing and unique ideas. I started with SOUP in 2010 with some fiercely passionate ladies who were excited to try out an idea in a loft above a bakery. Never in my wildest imagination did I think it would grow to become a staple to the flow of the city. I studied theology and popular culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA after growing up and going to college in Michigan. I wanted to study connection and meaning in our everyday experiences and since departing in 2008 I have found the ability to do that here in Detroit. SOUP is a place for connecting with people who begin as strangers and become friends, a safe space to explore what matters to us as individuals and as a community, and a place to practice democracy. When I am not running SOUP, I help curate events at The Jam Handy and DJ as Amy Dreamcatcher with the monthly Nothing Elegant! If you have further questions or want to connect, please feel free to email me!

In this episode you’ll learn

  • The origin story of Detroit Soup and how it has become an international movement.
  • Amy’s thoughts on what community is, and how events like Detroit Soup can help to cultivate it.
  • Lessons learned from the years of hosting community pitch events
  • A step-by-step process on how Detroit Soup runs their event.
  • How the Soup community events can cultivate synergies between entrepreneurs.