Hatch Detroit Business Contest Down to Four Finalists; Voting Ends Nov. 2

The ideas have been pitched, the public cast their votes online and through social media for the semi-finalists, and now the Hatch Detroit retail business contest is in its final stage. This is the hard part, where we choose the winner. Will it be the wine bar or the tea room? The pop-up furniture store or the storefront laboratory for local fashion designers?

Through Wednesday, November 2, Detroiters are being asked to vote for one of four brick-and-mortar startups that Hatch Detroit’s contest organizers hope will be yet another piece in the city’s revitalization. At stake is $50,000 in seed money, as well as an estimated $25,000 worth of in-kind services from contest sponsors and a marketing campaign hammered out by Team Detroit.

The contest began in July, when organizers Ted Balowski, an account executive at Troy, MI-based CareTech Solutions, and Nick Gorga, an attorney at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit, began receiving more than 200 business-idea submissions. The 200 were then narrowed down by the public to 10 semi-finalists through online voting.

“You always hear about crowdfunding,” Balowski says, “and we wanted to give the community the opportunity to participate. The response and the amount of positive feedback has been overwhelming. People got behind it very quickly.”

Though the crowd isn’t funding it per se—Balowski and Gorga put up a chunk of the prize money, with individual and corporate sponsors contributing the rest—they have chosen the winners at every step of the way. On October 21, the four finalists gathered for a “Hatch Off,” where they went before judges Torya … Next Page »

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