Rocket Mortgage, the Detroit-based mortgage arm of Rocket Cos., today announced the 15 finalists for its fifth annual Detroit Demo Day competition. The finalists will compete for a share of more than $1 million in funding.
The finalists represent a broad segment of industries chosen by a diverse panel of Detroit-based entrepreneurs and business leaders. This year’s finalists include 12 Black-owned businesses, and more than half the finalists are woman-owned. Finalists are judged by a panel composed of entrepreneurs and past Detroit Demo Day winners.
Each finalist will be awarded a $25,000 grant and could receive up to $300,000 to support their businesses. The winners will be announced on Sept. 24 as part of a virtual event.
“Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day personifies our commitment to catalyzing Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and building neighborhood wealth,” says Laura Grannemann, vice president of the Rocket Community Fund, the philanthropic arm of Rocket Mortgage and Rocket Cos. “Access to equitable capital is more important than ever. Providing significant grants to all finalists allows them to invest in their future and puts them on a path to success.”
There are four categories: start, for businesses launching and introducing their product or service to the market; pivot, for businesses who had to adapt due to the pandemic; scale, for community anchor businesses that are looking to expand; and new this year, youth, created for entrepreneurs ages 8 to 18 looking to start or scale their businesses.
Start Category (Winner receives $125,000 in grant funding):
- Athlytic – Brings athletes and brands together
- Blue Horizon Construction LLC – Demolition construction
- Guilde – App for quoting or estimating renovations
- Neighborhood Grocery – Social conscious grocery
- The Lab Drawer – Subscription box
Pivot Category (Winner receives $200,000 in funding):
- House of Pure Vin – Wine shop
- ILERA Apothecary – Skin care products
- Jo’s Gallery 2 LLC – Art framing
- Soft Goods – Ethical clothing manufacturing
- Tapped Coffee and Craft Beverages – Non-alcoholic craft beverages and food
Scale Category (Winner receives $250,000 in funding):
- Black Girl MATHgic – Subscription box for math learning
- BrandXR – Augmented Reality studio and platform
- Detroit Maid – Cleaning service
- Fierce Staffing & Consulting – Staffing and consulting services
- Narrow Way Cafe & Shop – Coffee delivery
Youth Category (Winner will receive $10,000 in funding):
- Camani – Artistic and luxury fashion
- MT’s Customs LLC – Custom designs
- Anansee – Storytelling assistance
- Global Kid Media CEO – Telling next generation’s stories
- Carter’s Concessions – Healthy snacks
Finalists will also be competing for the People’s Choice grant within their category worth $25,000. Voting for this award will open September 20 on the Detroit Demo Day website and winners will be announced during the virtual event.