Jun 28, 2022 - Business

Vote for entrepreneurs to win $100,000 Hatch Detroit contest

The five finalists are shown in a photo collage next to their branding.

From top left, going clockwise: Colfetarie, Detroit Farm and Cider, Gajiza Dumplins, Little Liberia and Lily's & Elise. Photos courtesy of Hatch Detroit

Five entrepreneurs are competing for $100,000 through Hatch Detroit — and you can help decide who wins.

What's happening: After being whittled down from 10 semifinalists, Hatch announced the finalists Monday for its annual award to help small businesses open in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck.

  • The winner is decided through a public vote and a pitch competition on July 21.

Vote now through July 7 for:

  • Little Liberia: Afro-fusion restaurant focusing on Liberian cuisine.
  • Lily's & Elise: European-style tea lounge on Livernois Avenue.
  • Gajiza Dumplins: Dumpling shop with more than 30 flavors.
  • Detroit Farm and Cider: Farm on the west side aiming to build a cider mill with activities for kids.
  • Colfetarie: Pastry shop downtown with Romanian desserts.

Flashback: Hatch's funder, Comerica Bank, doubled the grant in 2019 because rising construction and real estate costs made the initial $50,000 prize insufficient.

  • Past winners include Sister Pie and Live Cycle Delight in West Village, Baobab Fare in New Center and Meta Physica Wellness Center in Corktown.

💭 Annalise's thought bubble: It's expensive and difficult to open an independent business. Competition winnings offer a boost without the strings of a loan, especially for underserved groups who historically struggle to access capital.

  • But they often take a lot of time, energy and money to prepare and apply for. And while there's small-business funding programs around metro Detroit, the landscape is quite fractured and confusing to navigate.

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