Abess Makki is the first male from his family to graduate from high school: Dearborn Fordson.
He took it a step further with a degree in nutrition from Wayne State.
Now the 24-year-old University of Michigan grad student is chalking up another first — he’s come up with a way to streamline how Detroit Water and Sewerage customers can pay their water bill without having to stand in long lines or take time off work.
Makki, whose family is from Sierra Leone in West Africa, is the founder and CEO of CityInsight. The east Dearborn native started his company with the goal of helping municipal utilities provide residents with better tools to manger their water usage and costs.
“This vision of the company is to make government digital,” he said. “There’s a big gap there. I started CityInsight to give insight to the citizens. The first product we made, which was the customer portal, was giving that feel you get from cable companies, credit card companies and other utilities. Detroit Water and Sewer wanted to make tools for its citizens, but they didn’t necessarily have the right team in place.”