Public Voting Opens for $100,000 Small Business Contest in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park

What is happening: There are just a few days left for the public to vote for the Comerica Hatch Detroit 2022 competition, a competition for small businesses that will award $100,000 to a Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park-based entrepreneur. The ten semi-finalists were announced on Thursday June 16 and voting is now open to the public until Thursday June 23. The top four companies will then move on to the final event, scheduled for Thursday, July 21.

Why it matters: The Hatch Detroit competition has seen 49 of its alumni open businesses since the competition launched in 2011, employing more than 500 people and resulting in an investment of over $7 million. Grand prize winners include recognizable names including Sister Pie (2014), Baobab Fare (2017), and 27th Letter Books (2019).

Top ten: This year’s ten semi-finalists include a range of business type and location. They include Colfetarie, a Romanian dessert and pastry; Craig’s Coffee, a community coffee roastery and coffee bar; Detroit Farm and Cider, a 4.9-acre farm on the city’s west side; Gajiza Dumplins, an Asian street food and dumpling shop; Jo’s Gallery Cafe, a pan-ethnic fusion restaurant; K. Walker Collective, a high street lifestyle clothing store; Lily’s & Elise, a luxury tea room; Little Liberia, an Afro-fusion restaurant; Motor City House of Stone, a supplier of granite, marble, quartz and other stones; and Pong Detroit, a table tennis social club.

How to vote: Voting is open online and participants can vote once a day until the round of semi-finalists. In-person voting events are also scheduled for Tuesday, June 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Eastern Market Shed #2; Wednesday, June 22, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Norma G’s; and Thursday, June 23, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Grandmont Rosedale Farmers Market.

What they say : “One of the reasons this competition has been such a success is the level of support business owners receive from their neighbors and the way it is community driven,” said Vittoria Katanski, CEO of Hatch Detroit. “Every vote they get is someone saying, ‘I want you in my neighborhood and I’ll support you,’ which is incredibly powerful. Not only do they get public support from day one, but they also access to technical assistance expertise from Hatch Detroit and support from our partners at Comerica Bank and TechTown.”

Do you have development news to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or tweet him @mikegalbraith.

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