Derek J. Coppess

Derek J. Coppess

Derek Coppess is an experienced developer, mentor and entrepreneur. Founder of the late 616 Development, Coppess is on a mission to inspire community by rehabilitating underutilized urban spaces around the country. Follow Derek on Medium or Twitter @derekcoppess.


The story behind the story of 616 Lofts’ bankruptcy

February 22, 2019
Ten years ago I stumbled into Grand Rapids — a 25-year-old country kid from Lake Odessa — and founded 616 Lofts. Raised by schoolteachers who built new homes in the summertime, I had the itch and became the first full-time entrepreneur in my family. For eight years (2009-2017), I was 616 Lofts’ CEO. Two years ago I resigned and have since been working on other things, because my journey with the brand I built had come to an end. Read More

Decide or die

May 31, 2017
"You gotta make decisions. You gotta keep making decisions, even if they're the wrong decisions, you know. If you don't make decisions, you're stuffed." -Joe Simpson, “Touching the Void” film Read More

Average or great?

April 26, 2017
Not every entrepreneur starts out knowing exactly how they are going to monetize the innovation they would like to share with the world. Read More

Innovate or die

February 28, 2017
The business or corporate lifecycle is something I re-visit often — mostly because it is a dynamic process that constantly evolves. Read More

It takes a village

February 17, 2017
Early in 2016, I had that sinking feeling you get as an entrepreneur when you realize you completely underestimated your growing organization’s needs. Read More

Another spin around the sun

December 28, 2016
Each year around the holidays, I slow down and ask myself three questions. Read More

Stop selling and begin inspiring

October 31, 2016
The dictionary defines selling as persuading someone in exchange for money. Conversely, the dictionary defines inspiring as filling someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. Read More

Get your hands dirty

September 22, 2016
"Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face and then reach for the stars." -Ben Stein Read More

Are you a creator?

July 31, 2016
Create. Lead. Fail. Fix. Empower....Repeat! Read More

Re-think daily interactions

June 24, 2016
"At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -Albert Schweitzer Read More