Fifteen Detroit businesses will compete for a total of $1 million in funding as a part of Rocket Mortgage’s Detroit Demo Day.
This year’s finalists include 12 Black-owned enterprises, and half are women-owned. All will walk away with a $25,000 minimum grant and could receive up to $300,000 to support their business following a virtual event Sept. 24. For the fifth year of the competition, Demo Day also includes a new youth category with five entrepreneurs between the ages of 8 and 18 competing for $10,000.
One winner will be selected from each of the four categories. Finalists also compete for the $25,000 People’s Choice grant within their category. Voting for the People’s Choice awards will open on Sept. 20. Voting will take place on the Detroit Demo Day website when live.
The finalists in the “Start” category are launching and introducing their product or service to the market. The winner receives $125,000 in grant funding.
The finalists in the “Pivot” category had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of this moment. The winner receives $200,000 in funding.
The finalists in the “Scale” category are longstanding community anchors looking to grow. The winner receives $250,000.
The winner of the youth category will receive $10,000.
- Camani – Artistic and luxury fashion
- MT’s Customs LLC – Custom designs
- Anansee – Storytelling assistance
- Global Kid Media CEO – Telling next generation’s stories
- Carter’s Concessions – Healthy snacks
The Rocket Community Fund’s entrepreneurship team also provides ongoing support, networking opportunities and mentorship to Demo Day alumni.
“Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day personifies our commitment to catalyzing Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and building neighborhood wealth,” Laura Grannemann, vice president of the Rocket Community Fund, said in a statement. “Access to equitable capital is more important than ever. Providing significant grants to all finalists allows them to invest in their future and puts them on a path to success.”