Comerica Bank and Hatch Detroit announce the return of the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest and $100,000 donation from Comerica Bank to this year’s winner. The contest, which is returning for the first time since 2019, aims to promote small business economic development in Detroit.
Entrepreneurs with a retail concept looking to open a brick-and-mortar location in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck can now submit their business plans via the Hatch Detroit website through May 12.
“Hatch Detroit has become a vital resource for entrepreneurs and small business incubation over the past decade,” said Mike Richie, Comerica Bank Michigan Market President. “The impact Hatch Detroit has made on growing and developing opportunities throughout Detroit is leaving an indelible mark on the economic revitalization of the city. Entrepreneurs need access to both capital and technical assistance to succeed, and we believe our partnership can continue delivering a proven platform that helps launch new opportunities for business owners.”
The four-month contest includes two rounds of public voting – Top 10 and Top 4 – allowing the community to vote for their favorite businesses to win the $100,000 grand prize from Comerica Bank as well as a package of accounting, legal, IT and public relations support from Hatch Detroit and its partners.
“Our focus from the very beginning of the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest was not only to launch one business, but to create an entire ecosystem of support that stimulates opportunities for entrepreneurs and generate a network of businesses who are prepared to navigate the challenges of launching a new venture in Detroit,” said Vittoria Katanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit. “The past two years have added to those challenges, and we worked closely with our alumni keep their doors open. With the tremendous support of our partners, now is the time to present this contest once again to entrepreneurs and support new business growth in our city and neighborhoods.”
The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest concludes Thursday, July 21 with the annual “Hatch Off.”
Since Comerica and Hatch Detroit’s partnership began in 2012, Comerica Bank and the Comerica Charitable Foundation have contributed $660,000 in startup funding to support the winners of the annual neighborhood retail competition, as well as direct organizational support funding to Hatch Detroit.
COMERICA EXPANDS PROGRAMMING SUPPORT
Comerica is expanding upon its investment of the contest with economic development programming though technical assistance and financial education. Support will occur during the Comerica Hatch Detroit contest and with both Hatch Detroit and TechTown alumni following the contest.
“Developing economic opportunities, especially in our underserved communities, remains a priority and our relationship with Hatch Detroit has been a successful resource in helping launch small businesses in Detroit,” said Linda Nosegbe, Comerica Bank Vice President and Southeast External Affairs Manager. “Beyond investing financially, elevating technical assistance throughout the entire process will aid in the overall impact of the contest and the mission focused on entrepreneurial growth.”
At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Comerica Bank recognized the detrimental impact of COVID-19 on small businesses, and as a response invested $100,000 to Hatch Detroit to support the organization’s alumni businesses that had been financially impacted. The Hatch Detroit Small Business Alumni Relief Fund provided utility assistance for approximately 40 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest alumni businesses. In addition to the $100,000 investment, Comerica Charitable Foundation also provided Hatch Detroit $50,000 in organizational support.
Comerica Charitable Foundation works to partner with communities through investments in education, economic and community development, and human services for those in need.
TECHTOWN DETROIT-HATCH DETROIT PARTNERSHP
The 2022 contest announcement comes on the heels of the newly-formed partnership between TechTown Detroit and Hatch Detroit. The integration into TechTown’s small business services program lineup will provide a sustainable future for Hatch while creating synergies between the two organizations which both champion and support small businesses in and around Detroit. Hatch Executive Director Vittoria Katanski will manage the transition.
“Our new partnership with TechTown Detroit will reinvigorate our incubation of small businesses in the City of Detroit and its neighborhoods,” said Katanski. “By integrating into TechTown’s programming, we believe our relationship will help further stimulate business growth, assist and build upon our networks of alumni, and bring a new level of support to the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest.”
Beyond the contest, Hatch Detroit provides funding, exposure and mentoring in support of its alumni entrepreneurs. Together, Hatch Detroit alumni have opened 49 businesses, employ over 500 people and have invested more than $7 million in their businesses. Over the years, the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest has helped launch some of Detroit’s most successful and well-known businesses, including, La Feria (2012), Sister Pie (2014), Live Cycle Delight (2015),Meta Physica Massage (2016), Baobab Fare (2017) and 27th Letter Books (2019).
KEY COMERICA HATCH DETROIT DATES:
March 15: Submissions begin
May 12: Submission period ends
June 16: Top 10 announced
June 17: Voting begins
June 23: Top 10 voting ends
June 24: Top 4 announced and voting begins
June 30: Top 4 voting ends
July 21: Winner announced at Hatch Off
To learn more, visit hatchdetroit.com or techtowndetroit.org.