Entrepreneurs can now submit an application to compete for one of seven awards totaling $1.2 million of funding at the 3rd Annual Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day. Application forms can be submitted through April 22 at DetroitDemoDay.com. Fifteen finalists will be chosen to pitch their business live on stage at The Fillmore in front of a capacity crowd on Friday, June 14.
The funding will be presented as a grant, interest-free loan or an equity investment ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 for each winner. The audience at The Fillmore will also take an active role in the competition, voting on three “People’s Choice” grant recipients.
“Entrepreneurs and startup businesses are rebuilding the economic ecosystem throughout Detroit, from Downtown to Midtown, to Corktown and the neighborhoods,” says Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans. “We make this commitment to these young, growing businesses because we believe that their success is critical to creating new jobs, economic activity, increasing the tax base and being a clear, identifiable example for future venturesome go-getters. Wealth and new jobs are created by people. Continuing to improve the environment for those willing to go all-in on their entrepreneurial dream is imperative for achieving the vision that we all have for the future of Detroit.”
To be eligible, companies must be based in Detroit or committed to relocating into the city. They also must be a for-profit business with a product or service that is available for sale. Additionally, the business cannot have exceeded $2 million in annual revenue or raised more than $1 million in capital.
Once applications close on Monday, April 22 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, the Demo Day Team will review all submissions to determine the top 100 semi-finalists.
Next, a group of diverse, prominent Detroit-based business leaders and entrepreneurs representing a variety of industries will select the 15 finalists. The finalists will be announced Tuesday, May 28.
The finalists will pitch their company live on stage at The Fillmore Detroit on June 14. A panel of nationally-recognized successful entrepreneurs will select seven winners from the 15 finalists to receive awards totaling $1.2 million.
At last year’s Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, seven winners out of over 500 applicants received $50,000-$300,000 in funding in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people. The businesses were:
- Cynt-sational Popcorn, a vegan gourmet popcorn vendor
- Lush Yummies Pie Co., a homemade pie company
- Michigan Farm to Freezer, a company that makes frozen fruits and vegetables harvested from Michigan farms
- Bloomscape, a potted plant delivery service
- Plum Health, a subscription-based health care provider
- Tait Design Co., an independent design studio
- The Ten Nail Bar, a modern nail salon
“Detroit Demo Day has not only given my business a ton of exposure, but it has provided priceless resources that have helped propel us to the next level,” said Jennifer Lyle, owner of Lush Yummies Pie Co. “Quicken Loans and the Detroit Demo Day team has stood behind and given me limitless access to people, places and opportunities. You cannot underestimate the value this brings.”
The eight winners of the inaugural Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day in 2017 enjoyed tremendous success as a result of the investment and mentorship Quicken Loans provided. These businesses grew their annual revenue 41 percent in 2018 and expanded their employment base by 51 percent, with the vast majority of staff also residing in Detroit.
“Detroit Demo Day has had a tremendous impact on our business,” said Sebastian Jackson, co-owner of the Social Club Grooming Company, a barbershop where people come together to bond, socialize and exchange ideas. “Funding and support from Quicken Loans has allowed us to expand our barbershop to a second location, seizing opportunities like partnering with the NFL and the credibility to raise additional capital for our business—helping us plan and execute on growth opportunities.”
Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day was created out of an understanding that the lifeblood of a growing business is capital, and all flourishing cities need a thriving, job-creating entrepreneurial core.
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.
3rd Annual Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day Timeline
Thursday, March 21, 2019 – Monday, April 22, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EDT
- Applications are submitted through an online entry form at DetroitDemoDay.com
Wednesday, April 23, 2019 – Saturday, May 25, 2019
- All online applications will be reviewed, considered and narrowed to the top 15 finalists by the Demo Day Team, community partners and Detroit-based business leaders.
- Finalists announced on Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Detroit Demo Day
Begins Friday, June 14, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. EDT
- Seven winners will be chosen from the 15 entrepreneurs that pitch their companies live to a panel of nationally-acclaimed entrepreneurs at the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day at The Fillmore in Downtown Detroit.
Applications will be judged on:
- Team – Leadership with the necessary skillset and experiences to execute their strategies and grow the business
- Advantage – The factors that differentiate the company from its competition and make it uniquely positioned to succeed
- Scale – The company’s long-term vision for growth, job creation and delivering positive return on investment
- Strategy – The viability a company has to achieve its immediate plans using the sought-after funding
For more information, please visit DetroitDemoDay.com.