DETROIT (PRNewswire/ AP) – Beginning today, entrepreneurs can apply to compete for their share of $1 million in the second annual Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day competition.  Applications for businesses interested in participating will be accepted through April 22, 2018 at DetroitDemoDay.com and the final pitch competition will be held in downtown Detroit’s Music Hall on June 22, 2018.

“We want to see the most innovative companies led by the most driven entrepreneurs taking the stage at Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day. These are the kinds of companies that help communities throughout Detroit thrive,” said James Chapman, Director of Entrepreneurship for Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (QLCIF). “Each year, this $1 million investment helps open opportunities for entrepreneurs to have access to the capital and mentorship they need to take their businesses to the highest levels, and in turn create jobs and prosperity for Detroiters.”

To be eligible for Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, 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 ready for sales. Additionally, the business may have up to $2 million in annual revenue and have raised up to $1 million in capital.

After the application deadline on April 22, the QLCIF Entrepreneurship Team and community partners will review all submissions and narrow the pool to the top 100 semi-finalists. A group of established Detroit-based business leaders, from a variety of industries and sectors- will then select the finalists who will advance to the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day.

From the hundreds of applicants, 15 entrepreneurs will be chosen to pitch their company live, on stage at the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day competition. After the small business owners pitch their companies, a panel of nationally-recognized entrepreneurs will pick seven winners who will receive a share of $1 million to invest into their business. The winnings will come in the form of grants, interest-free loans or equity-like investments ranging from $50,000 to $300,000. The audience in Music Hall will also vote on the “People’s Choice” grant recipients.

Applicants will be judged on:

Team: Leadership with the necessary skill sets and experiences to execute the strategy.

Advantage: The factors that differentiate a company from their competition and make them uniquely great.

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.

In 2017, eight winners walked away with $50,000 – $200,000 in funding. Demo Day winners included: Social Club Grooming, Detroit Training Center, Ash & Erie, Recovery Park Farms, Eli Tea, The Farmer’s Hand, Social Sushi and Good Cakes and Bakes.

“Along with providing capital, my company also received helpful mentoring and access to opportunity that have made winning Detroit Demo Day a life-changing experience,” said April Anderson, founder of Good Cakes and Bakes on the city’s northwest side. “I was born in Detroit and I love that I am now a part of the growth of the city.”

QLCIF’s Demo Day is a key component of a larger philanthropic strategy to invest in housing stability, entrepreneurship, education and employment, public space activation and community sponsorship in Detroit. Through its for-more-than-profit model, QLCIF brings together for-profit businesses and non-profit investments. The team is dedicated to investing alongside community partners to build financial and opportunities for all Detroiters.

Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day Timeline

Applications Open:

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018 – Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 11:59PM EDT
  • Applicants can complete an online entry form at DetroitDemoDay.com.

Vetting:

  • Monday, April 23 – Monday, June 4, 2018
  • The hundreds of online applications will be narrowed to the Top 15 finalists by the QLCIF Entrepreneurship team, community partners, and Detroit-based business leaders

Detroit Demo Day

  • Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Seven winners will be chosen after the 15 finalists pitch their companies to a panel of nationally-recognized entrepreneurs live at Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day at the Music Hall in downtown Detroit Photos of the 2017 Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day are available here.
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