- Top seven pitches will receive funding ranging from $50,000 – $300,000 to grow their businesses
- Quicken Loans announces panel of nationally-acclaimed judges, hosts for competition
DETROIT, June 4, 2019 – Out the hundreds of impressive applications received and vetted, 15 finalists have emerged as the Detroit entrepreneurs who will pitch their businesses on stage at The Fillmore for Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day on June 14. Seven of the entrepreneurs will receive a share of $1.2 million in funding from Quicken Loans. The finalists’ pitches will be judged, and the winners decided, by nationally-acclaimed entrepreneurs from across the country.
A judging panel of 12 local business leaders from diverse industries had the difficult role of selecting these 15 highly driven Detroit entrepreneurs. The finalists have businesses that were deemed the most likely to succeed thanks to their competitive advantage in their field and their skilled leadership team.
The winners are divided into three categories – Start, Grow and Scale. Businesses in the Start category have recently introduced a product or service to market. The Grow category is for companies that are more established and are trying to expand locally. Those in the Scale category have already achieved local success and are working to expand into new markets.
All funding will be provided as grants, interest-free loans or equity investments – depending on the category.
The following companies will compete for the funding:
Start Category: Three winners receive up to $100,000
- Healthy Roots – doll and storybook company
- Gus & Grey – handcrafted delights and jams
- EnBiologics – veterinary burn and wound care
- Pocketnest – financial planning fintech
- Femology – lounge/coworking space for women
- Einstein By Design – children’s STEAM activity center
Grow Category: Three winners receive up to $250,000
- Detroit Body Garage – community gym
- Louisiana Creole Gumbo – Cajun restaurant
- Narrow Way Cafe – stress-free café
- Detroit Dough – cookie dough creator
- Sister Pie – seasonal baked goods
- Eastern Market Brewing Co – craft brewery
Scale Category: One winner receives $300,000
- CrowdFreak – platform linking musicians & gigs
- Ellis Island Tea – homegrown hibiscus tea
- Functional Fluidics – blood function diagnostics
The Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day audience will again take an active role in the competition, voting on an additional $25,000 grant to be awarded to one people’s choice winner in each category.
“This competition provides a unique opportunity to support and celebrate the small businesses that serve as the cornerstones of Detroit, creating jobs and wealth for the entire community,” said James Chapman, Entrepreneur in Residence for the Quicken Loans Community Fund. “Detroit would not be the city it is without entrepreneurs like the ones you will see on stage at Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day. This city was founded by entrepreneurs, and its next chapter will be written by them.”
The evening’s competition will be hosted by Angela Yee, a host on the nationally syndicated morning show The Breakfast Club, and Mike Ellison, a recording artist, slam poet and yearly Detroit Concert of Colors participant. To kick off the evening, the 3rd Annual Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day will feature a discussion between James Chapman and Che Pope, a Grammy award-winning American hip-hop producer and the former president of G.O.O.D. Music.
Once the pitching is underway, the entrepreneurs will have 90 seconds each to present their companies’ successes and growth strategies to the panel of judges made up of nationally-acclaimed entrepreneurs. This year’s panel includes John Henry, an entrepreneur and partner at Harlem Capital who hosts Hustle on Viceland, Suzanne Shank, CEO of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., Jason White, Chief Marketing Officer at Cura Cannabis Solutions and Tony Ambroza, Chief Brand Officer at Carhartt.
The event will wrap up with an exclusive performance by a multiple Grammy Award-winning recording artist.
Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, at the Fillmore Detroit, will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2019. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are still available at DetroitDemoDay.com
The 3rd Annual Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day serves as the kick-off of Techstars Startup Week Detroit powered by Quicken Loans, June 14-21, which aims to increase awareness around the local startup community. More details are available at DetroitStartupWeek.com.
Detroit Demo Day is another opportunity for Quicken Loans, in conjunction with the Quicken Loans Community Fund, to exercise its conviction that Detroit’s resurgence can only be achieved when businesses and residents take every opportunity to lift each other up, and to also provide promising startups the ability to do the same.
Since 2010, Quicken Loans has directly contributed more than $200 million to organizations and programming in Detroit through its philanthropic arm, the Quicken Loans Community Fund. Additionally, the company’s team members have tallied more than 350,000 hours of volunteer service in its hometown city of Detroit.
About Quicken Loans
Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest home mortgage lender. The company closed nearly half a trillion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states from 2013 through 2018. Quicken Loans moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. Today, Quicken Loans and its Family of Companies employ more than 17,000 full-time team members in Detroit’s urban core. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix. Quicken Loans also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction for primary mortgage origination by J.D. Power for the past nine consecutive years, 2010 – 2018, and also ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction among all mortgage servicers the past five consecutive years, 2014 – 2018.
Quicken Loans was once again named to FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2019 and has been included in the magazine’s top 1/3rd of companies named to the list for the past 16 consecutive years. In addition, Essence Magazine named Quicken Loans “#1 Place to Work in the Country for African Americans.”
About The Quicken Loans Community Fund
The Quicken Loans Community Fund is the philanthropic arm of Quicken Loans. Its strategy focuses on investments in housing stability, entrepreneurship, education and employment, public space activation, and community sponsorships in Detroit. Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Quicken Loans Community Fund brings together for-profit businesses and non-profit investments. The team is dedicated to investing alongside community partners to build social and financial equity throughout the Rock Family of Companies’ home cities: Detroit, Cleveland, Charlotte, and Phoenix.
The Quicken Loans Community Fund has organized team members to provide more than 500,000 volunteer hours nationwide, including 350,000 in Detroit. It is a proud sponsor of Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, an entrepreneurial competition; the Built for Zero initiative, which aims to end chronic and veteran homelessness; and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, which educates local homeowners in danger of losing their home to tax foreclosure by providing resources, knowledge, and workshops about property tax exemptions.
The Quicken Loans Community Fund believes in doing well by doing good, and taking an active role in the improvement of the cities and neighborhoods Quicken Loans team members call home. As a direct result of its efforts, 98% of Quicken Loans employees stated they feel good about the ways the Quicken Loans Community Fund contributes to the community, according to a 2018 survey by Great Place to Work.
For more information, visit QuickenLoans.org or see our For-More-Than-Profit booklet here.