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Jeff Sloan and Linda Forte, senior VP of business affairs and chief diversity officer at Comerica Bank, co-host this week’s show to announce the 10 semi-finalists of the Comerica Hatch Detroit contest. Comerica is a great sponsor of StartupNation Radio, and also sponsors the Hatch Detroit Contest, in which one Detroit entrepreneur will win $50,000 toward the startup business of his or her dreams.
Linda and Jeff discuss what Comerica can do for small businesses, including how to get your foot in the door with your local Comerica Bank branch manager. Once you’ve reached that step, the two cover what you and your bank manager should discuss regarding business needs.
Vittoria Kattanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit, joins Jeff and Linda to talk about the contest and to announce the 10 semi-finalists for this year’s grand prize. The semi-finalists are:
- The Natural Market
- Meta Physica Massage and Sauna
- Ash & Anvil
- Brut Detroit Wine Bar
- Bird Bee
- Detroit Dart Club
- Chugga’s Main Street Bakery
- Itadaku Corktown
- Coriander Kitchen & Farm
There were several stipulations for entering the Hatch Detroit contest. In order to enter, businesses were required to be independent brick and mortar operations located in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck.
Vote for up to four businesses in the semi-finalist primaries round, now through Thursday, Aug. 18 at midnight. The top four finalists will then be announced and the round two general election will open on Friday, Aug. 19 at noon! The final four business owners will be in the StartupNation Radio studio next week making their pitch for the $50,000 grand prize.
Carolyn Cassin, president and CEO of Michigan Women’s Foundation, also joined in on the discussion. The Michigan Women’s Foundation is instrumental in in helping small businesses continue to grow. Comerica Bank provided the foundation with $25,000 to be used for micro loans for Hatch Detroit alumni (and while previously only for women, the foundation has opened up loans to men this year). Carolyn calls her program Dolphin Tank, which is a kinder, gentler way for entrepreneurs to receive loans, resources and support from the foundation to help small businesses succeed.
Vote for your favorite startups and start writing your business plan for next year’s Comerica Hatch Detroit contest, and be sure to tune in to StartupNation Radio next week to hear from the final four!