Jump Start Small Business Funding Event Planned


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Hebrew Free Loan and its Marvin I. Danto Small Business Loan Program will host an event for those interested in learning how to become entrepreneurs. Called Jump Start, the networking and funding event will be held  9 a.m. April 13 in the Gallery of the Technology and Learning Center at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

The event will feature a session called Pitch, Hit and Run, where a panel of judges with business expertise will rate the pitch presentations of Detroit-area small businesses and small business hopefuls who will vie for up to $100,000 in interest-free loans to boost their ideas.

Current business owners looking to expand, as well as those who want to launch their dream company from scratch can apply to hfldetroit.org/jumpstart to participate in the pitch session. There are some prerequisites which are listed on the website, including the requirement that the business have at least 51 percent Jewish ownership, and will locate in Michigan. Hebrew Free Loan’s website will allow applicants to fill out an application and upload their supporting business documentation, including an executive summary, financials and any other pertinent documents. Hebrew Free Loan’s Danto Small Business team will vet applications, and those who qualify may come before the judges with a seven-minute descriptive presentation. The judges will rate the value of each presentation and select winners whose ideas will be funded.

Pitch, Hit and Run judges are Michael Banks, executive and Hebrew Free Loan board member; Marla Drutz of WDIV-TV (Channel 4); David Farbman of Nuco Health; Robert Jacobs of Buddy’s Pizza; and Marla Tapper Young of Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry.

Robert Schwartz, manager of the Marvin I. Danto Small Business Loan Program, believes a process like this can be beneficial to anyone considering how to move a business idea from concept to reality. “When you go through the process of creating a business plan, or even of understanding that there is a process, you take your time and consider all the steps to success,” Schwartz said. “We want to support business ventures that will enrich our area, and I think someone in the audience who wants to be the CEO of their own company someday can learn from what they’ll see at Jump Start.”

After the pitch session, Keynote Speaker Hannan Lis will address the group on the benefits of Michigan as a good location for a fledgling business. Lis is a principal at WW Group Inc., Lis Ventures LLC, and Estrakon Inc., and is a promoter of the sound economic future of both Michigan and Israel.

Networking and informational opportunities will round out the day, which event co-chairs Howard Brown, co- founder and CEO of CircleBuilder.com, and Heyden Graham, senior financial analyst at Quicken Loans, hope will be useful to anyone interested in the state of small business in our area.

The public is invited to attend Jump Start for $36 per person. Reservations may be made online at hfldetroit.org/jumpstart.