Public voting begins online and in-person as metro Detroit small businesses compete to win $100,000 grand prize from Comerica Bank
April 4, 2023
The results are in! The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest by TechTown, the small business competition responsible for launching some of the city’s most popular neighborhood storefronts, is excited to reveal its Top 10 semifinalists. These businesses are now in the running to win $100,000 in startup funds from Comerica Bank and make their dream of owning a brick-and-mortar Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park storefront a reality.
Public voting to narrow down the semifinalists from 10 to four will begin Wednesday, April 5, at noon and run through Wednesday, April 12, at noon.
The four finalists of the 2023 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest will then be announced on Thursday, April 13, with the final round of public voting beginning at noon on Monday, April 24 and running through the completion of the pitch competition at the Hatch Off on Wednesday, April 26.
Community members can vote for their favorite businesses once per day by visiting HatchDetroit.com.
In addition to voting online, in-person voting will take place at each of the following locations from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 5 and April 6:
- Black Coffee Café, located at 9405 John R St, Detroit, MI 48202.
- Detroit Pepper Company, located at 17180 E Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48225.
- Detroit Rosa, located at 19180 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48223.
“A key reason we believe our alumni have so much success in Detroit’s small business landscape is the overwhelming amount of support from the community,” said Christianne Malone, assistant vice president for economic development at Wayne State University and chief program officer of TechTown Detroit. “The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest has become a proven launching pad for budding entrepreneurs, not just because of the startup funding from Comerica Bank and expert counsel from TechTown Detroit and its partners, but because the public has a voice in which businesses they’d like to see set up shop in their neighborhoods, and they are dedicated to supporting those businesses.”
Over the years, the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest has helped launch some of Detroit’s most successful and well-known businesses, including La Feria (2012), Sister Pie (2014), Meta Physica Massage (2016), Baobab Fare (2017) and 27th Letter Books (2019).
With this year’s investment, Comerica Bank and the Comerica Charitable Foundation will have committed nearly $1 million to Hatch Detroit since Comerica’s partnership began in 2012.
Below are the top 10 businesses competing to win the 2023 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest:
- Bouncing Around The Motor City: Detroit’s premier one-stop shop for balloons, decor, event planning and party rentals.
- Chi Fan Le: a Chinese food-making experience and fast casual eatery that shares the ingredients, process, and stories behind diverse and nutritious homestyle dishes.
- CLEAN Sneaker Care: Detroit’s premier footwear and accessory restoration service. They also offer a curated assortment of goods, including sneaker storage display cases, cleaning accessories and an in-house Detroit-inspired apparel collection.
- Highland Park Community Kitchen: a space to support food entrepreneurs in every stage of their businesses, doubling as a gathering spot to evoke culinary curiosity and foster strength in the community.
- Ice Cream Detroit: Detroit’s only liquor-infused frozen dessert company. They infuse handcrafted ice cream and sorbet with your favorite liquor, beer or wine, and they also offer virgin flavors.
- JP Makes & Bakes: is about sharing their love for sweets and Filipino heritage with those in Detroit and the metro Detroit area.
- Konjo Me: a unique and vibrant Ethiopian food experience that shares appreciation for the rich and diverse global cuisine with the community it serves.
- Next Chapter Books: a general interest new and used bookstore in Detroit working to reflect and create community, inspire learning and nurture the joy of reading among all ages.
- Sepia Coffee Project LLC: a minority-owned roastery sourcing specialty coffee from farmers throughout Africa, the Americas and the Indian-Pacific regions.
- Shell Shock’d Tacos: a Latin-inspired Detroit-style street food that is an escape from the ordinary.
“Comerica Bank is proud to contribute to an organization that rewards ingenuity and helps incubate promising small businesses with big plans,” said Linda Nosegbe, Comerica Bank National Community Impact Manager. “The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest is truly the epitome of what we envision when we think of ‘The American Dream’ – these top 10 candidates will have a chance at winning $100,000 in startup funding, which will ultimately help them make their dreams of opening their own storefront in Detroit a reality.”
2023 Hatch Off
On April 26, the four finalists will have the opportunity to present their business pitch to a panel of judges and a live audience, “shark tank” style, for a shot to win the grand prize at the Hatch Off competition. The winner of the 2023 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest will be chosen through a combination of the public’s vote and judges’ deliberations.
Tickets are now available to witness the top four business pitches and see the winner of the Hatch Off competition crowned. The Hatch Off takes place on Wednesday, April 26 at 6 p.m., located at the Wayne State University Industry Innovation Center at 461 Burroughs Street in Detroit. To purchase your ticket to the Hatch Off, visit HatchDetroit.com.