DTE provides $5000 to local businesses through Bright Ideas For Neighborhoods program

At a time where entrepreneurship is thriving, DTE is making an impact in the greater community aside from natural resources.

On Dec. 4, DTE held its Bright Ideas For Neighborhoods Pitch Competition. The program centers around providing local businesses in Southwest Detroit the opportunity to present their business to a panel of judges for a cash prize. In the past, the pitch competition was held in the North End neighborhood, but this time, it was held at the Detroit PAL facility.

Just like the hit TV show, “Shark Tank” each contestant pitched a proposal that was evaluated by each judge in front of a live audience of over 175 people. All six contestants received free a free eight-week course presented by CBA Formula. CBA Formula is a consulting firm that teaches business skills and matches participants with financial contracts for maximum success.

The judges included:

  • Trevor Lauer, President, and Chief Operating Officer, DTE Electric
  • Camilo Serna DTE Vice President, Regulatory Affairs DTE Energy
  • Lynette Dowler, President DTE Foundation
  • James Blanks, VP Senior Commercial Lender, First Independence Bank
  • Merlton Brandenberg, Owner – Jorgensen Ford

The winners of the event were:

Olivia Croom, Dancing Zebras, 1st Place ($3,000)

Jesse Thompson, HaggleFree, 2nd Place ($1,000)

Juan Dueweke-Pérez, Featherstone Moments, 2nd Place ($1,000)

This was the second pitch competition that DTE held this year

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