- 15 finalists competing for more than $1 million in funding
- Every finalist in Start, Pivot and Scale categories to walk away with minimum of $25,000 in grant funding and could receive up to $300,000 to support their business.
- New “Youth” category available for emerging entrepreneurs aged 8-18.
- Winners to be announced at a virtual event on September 24.
DETROIT, August 24, 2021 – Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day today announced the 15 finalists competing for a share of more than $1 million in funding in their fifth annual entrepreneurship competition – one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. Each year, Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day aims to celebrate Detroit entrepreneurs and simultaneously attract diverse businesses to grow their business in the city.
The 15 finalists, representing a broad segment of industries, were chosen by a diverse panel of Detroit-based entrepreneurs and business leaders. This year’s finalists include 12 Black-owned businesses, and more than half of the finalists are woman-owned. The finalists will be judged by a panel composed of acclaimed entrepreneurs and past Detroit Demo Day winners.
In addition, each finalist will be awarded a $25,000 grant, ensuring everyone receives funding and can use critical funds to continue supporting their business.
“Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day personifies our commitment to catalyzing Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and building neighborhood wealth,” said Laura Grannemann, Vice President of the Rocket Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT). “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.”
This year’s competition features four categories: Start, Pivot, Scale and Youth. One winner will be selected for each category.
- Start: For businesses launching and introducing their product or service to the market.
- Pivot: For businesses who had to adapt to the pandemic to meet the needs of this moment.
- Scale: For longstanding, community anchor businesses that are looking to grow.
New this year, the Youth category was created to foster the ambitions of young entrepreneurs with capital and supportive resources to set them up for early success. Businesses in the Youth category are for emerging entrepreneurs aged 8-18 that are looking to start or scale their business.
The following companies will be competing for more than $1 million in funding:
Start Category (Winner receives $125,000 in grant funding):
- Athlytic – Brings athletes and brands together
- Blue Horizon Construction LLC – Demolition construction
- Guilde – App for quoting or estimating renovations
- Neighborhood Grocery – Social conscious grocery
- The Lab Drawer – Subscription box
Pivot Category (Winner receives $200,000 in funding):
- House of Pure Vin – Wine shop
- ILERA Apothecary – Skin care products
- Jo’s Gallery 2 LLC – Art framing
- Soft Goods – Ethical clothing manufacturing
- Tapped Coffee and Craft Beverages – Non-alcoholic craft beverages and food
Scale Category (Winner receives $250,000 in funding):
- Black Girl MATHgic – Subscription box for math learning
- BrandXR – Augmented Reality studio and platform
- Detroit Maid – Cleaning service
- Fierce Staffing & Consulting – Staffing and consulting services
- Narrow Way Cafe & Shop – Coffee delivery
Youth Category (Winner will receive $10,000 in funding):
- 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
Finalists will also be competing for the People’s Choice grant within their category worth $25,000. Voting for the People’s Choice awards will open on September 20 and winners will be announced during the event. Voting will take place on the Detroit Demo Day website when live.
“With this year’s Detroit Demo Day, we are excited to celebrate the newest cohort of winners, while also reflecting on the impact of this work over the past five years.” said James Feagin, Director of Entrepreneurship at the Rocket Community Fund. “Detroit has top entrepreneurial talent, and we are thankful that this platform has been able to elevate them and help them take their businesses to new levels.”
The Rocket Community Fund’s Entrepreneurship Team provides critical ongoing support, networking opportunities and mentorship to Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day alumni, positioning them for long-term success.
For more information, visit detroitdemoday.com.
About Rocket Mortgage
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest home mortgage lender, enables the American Dream of homeownership and financial freedom through its obsession with an industry-leading, digital-driven client experience. Rocket Mortgage closed $320 billion dollars of mortgage volume across all 50 states in 2020. In late 2015, it introduced the first fully digital, completely online mortgage experience. Currently, 99% of all home loans originated by the company utilize Rocket Mortgage technology.
Rocket Mortgage moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. Today, Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Companies employ 24,000 full-time team members nationwide. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix and operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit. Rocket Mortgage ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction for primary mortgage origination by J.D. Power for the past 11 consecutive years, 2010 – 2020, and also ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction among all mortgage servicers the past seven straight years, 2014 – 2020.
Rocket Companies, Rocket Mortgage’s parent company, ranked #5 on Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2021 and has placed in the top third of the list for 18 consecutive years.
For more information and company news visit pressroom.rocketmortgage.com.