Monday, November 05, 2018

Detroit start-ups to compete for funding

Women business owners - Photo from Pixabay
This Wednesday, November 7, 10 woman-owned businesses will go head-to-head in a pitch competition. This event will start at 5:30 p.m. at NextEnergy, which is located at 461 Burroughs in the Midtown neighborhood.  This is a public event that is presented by Michigan Women Forward with support from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The participating companies are divided into lifestyle and growth companies. The 10 finalists have been narrowed from an initial field of more than 140 applicants.

The five woman-owned businesses to make it to the finals in the lifestyle category are:
  • Birch Bride from Whitmore Lake;
  • GreenHouse Soups & Chilli from Allen Park;
  • Jo’s Gallery 2 from Detroit;
  • Buttons 2 Button from Northville; and
  • Team Fit from St. Clair.
The five woman-owned businesses to become finalists in the growth category are:
  • Dough from Ann Arbor;
  • PocketNest also from Ann Arbor;
  • FrontWest Customs Brokerage & Services from Romulus;
  • SignOn from Grosse Pointe Farms; and
  • Dearborn Career Academy from Dearborn Heights.
Each of the ten finalists will receive support services and technical assistance. Winners in each category at each location will get cash prizes ranging from $10,000 to $1,000

Similar competitions are scheduled in Grand Rapids on November 8 as well as in Jackson on November 14.

“We at Consumers Energy are committed to creating opportunities for everyone in our state, particularly female entrepreneurs who can bring new ideas to the table,” explained Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, the Vice President of Customer Experience for Consumers Energy. “The Woman Up Pitch Competitions illustrate the diversity that exists in Michigan’s workforce. When these businesses can thrive, we all win.”

“We are proud to bring this opportunity in Detroit, Jackson and Grand Rapids in 2018,” added Carolyn Cassin, president of Michigan Women Forward. “This influx of capital can make a big difference to our winning companies as they start or grow their businesses.”

Since 2014, MWF has loaned $2,391,200 to 93 businesses, in addition to 74 pitch competition prizes and investments totaling $468,400. The Consumers Energy Foundation has contributed $200,000 to Michigan Women Forward this year toward its Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative.

The session is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.  For information, visit

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