Detroit’s Grand Circus to Send Tech Startup to Google Demo Day


Grand Circus, a technology-training institute and co-working space in downtown Detroit’s Broderick Tower, will send a tech-based startup to a Google-hosted Demo Day in April. There, startups will pitch their respective enterprises and receive feedback from a panel of investor judges that includes AOL co-founder Steve Case.

“The exposure is tremendous for a Detroit-based start-up,” says Damien Rocchi, co-founder of Grand Circus with Brad Hoos. “It puts (the selected start-up) on a national or, really, international stage.”

The demo day is part of a series of programs the search engine giant is hosting for its Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network. Grand Circus was one of seven organizations in the nation to be named to the network in September.

“This is possibly the highest profile thing we’ve done since the announcement (of being named a Tech Hub), but there is a lot of real substance to the relationship,” Rocchi says. “A number of startups have benefited from the Google Startup Developer Pack, which is basically technology provided by Google. And we’ve had two Google partner events in our space: Startup Weekend and Startup Grind.”

Rocchi says Grand Circus is working on pairing Google employees with startups as part of a mentorship initiative.

Grand Circus’ demo day startups will take place this month, with applications due Sunday. To participate in the selection process, applicants should have a live product that is getting customer traction. The startup also must be seeking an investment or strongly considering it in the near future.

Tech-based entrepreneurs and startups will participate in a series of competitions, ultimately leading up to the Detroit Demo Day on Feb. 26, when finalists will pitch their companies to Detroit Venture Partners, Invest Detroit, and Bizdom.

For more information, or to apply, visit