The competition promotes the incubation of small businesses in the city
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Comerica Bank and TechTown Detroit to announce the return of Comerica Hatch Detroit A competition from TechTown that provides $100,000 in seed funding from Comerica Bank to an entrepreneur seeking to open a custom business in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park. The competition promotes small business economic development and will run for the next four months, with this year’s winner announced in the spring.
Entrepreneurs with a retail concept looking to open physical locations in Detroit, Highland Park or Hamtramck can now submit their business plans through Hatch Detroit website until February 21. Two information sessions will be held both in person at TechTown Detroit and virtually on February 2nd and February 9th to answer questions about the application and selection process. Interested entrepreneurs can sign up for information sessions at hatchdetroit.com.
The four-month competition features two rounds of public voting – Top 10 and Top 4 – allowing the community to vote for their favorite business to win a grand prize of $100,000 from Comerica Bank, as well as a package of accounting, legal, IT and public services. relationship support from TechTown Detroit and their partners.
The Comerica Hatch Detroit competition culminates on Wednesday, April 26 with the annual “Hatch Off,” during which the top 4 pitch their business plan to a panel of judges and a live audience, and the winner is announced. New this year: public voting for the Top 4 will be live during the Hatch Off.
“This community competition helps bring an aspiring business owner’s dream closer to reality and serves as a vital resource for aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Steve Davis, president of Comerica Bank Michigan Market. “Hatch Detroit has had a lasting impact on Detroit’s economic recovery by fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, rewarding innovation and fostering small business growth. Through our partnership with TechTown, we are proud to help local entrepreneurs access the capital and technical assistance they need to take their small businesses to the next level and thrive.”
Over the years, the Comerica Hatch Detroit competition has helped launch some of Detroit’s most successful and well-known businesses, including, La Feria (2012), Sister Pie (2014), Metaphysical massage (2016), Baobabs (2017) and 27thousand Literary books (2019).
Last year’s winner was Amene Marhabachef and owner of an afro-fusion pop-up Little Liberia. Hatch Detroit provides funding, exposure and mentorship to support its graduate entrepreneurs. Together, Hatch Detroit alumni have launched 50 businesses, employ more than 500 people, and invested more than $13 million in their businesses.
With this year’s investment, Comerica Bank and the Comerica Charitable Foundation will have committed approximately $1 million to Hatch Detroit since Comerica’s partnership began in 2012. The program has become one of Detroit’s most successful small business incubators since its launch in 2011.
THE NEXT EVOLUTION OF HATCH DETROIT BY TECHTOWN
In 2022 TechTown Detroit and Hatch Detroit entered into a partnership that brought Hatch Detroit together TechTown’s suite of entrepreneurial programs and services, creating a sustainable future for Hatch with another Detroit-based nonprofit that also advocates for small businesses and local entrepreneurs.
In 2023, Vittoria Katanski, who served as Hatch Detroit’s executive director, will take on a new role at TechTown as a strategist in the Small Business Services department to continue to support businesses that are part of the Hatch Detroit Alumni Network. Day-to-day operations of Hatch Detroit will be led by Christian Malone, assistant vice president for economic development at Wayne State University and chief program officer of TechTown Detroit.
From the beginning of the Comerica Hatch Detroit competition, Katansky’s focus has not only been on helping one business launch, but on building an entire ecosystem of support that fosters opportunities for entrepreneurs and creates a network of businesses ready to tackle the challenges of starting a new venture in Detroit.
“During her 10 years as executive director, Vittoria worked very closely with Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest alumni and had a lasting impact not only on the business owners, but on the program itself,” said Malone. “The tremendous support and continued success of Hatch alumni is a testament to the sense of community and commitment to innovation that Vittoria has cultivated through founding and working at Hatch Detroit. We are grateful for her commitment to the city and its entrepreneurs, and we are excited to build a sustainable future for the pageant by working with Vittoria to continue the legacy of her work.”
Now a proven successful launch pad for aspiring business owners, this new iteration of the Comerica Hatch Detroit competition, sponsored by TechTown Detroit, aims to make an even bigger impact on Detroit’s small business economy while boosting its entrepreneurial spirit.
COMERICA PROGRAMMING SUPPORT
Over the years, Comerica has continued to increase its investment in competition through economic development programming through technical assistance and financial education. Support will be provided during the Comerica Hatch Detroit competition, as well as with Hatch Detroit and TechTown alumni after the competition.
“After a decade of Hatch Detroit competitions, we are still amazed at the pioneers that have come through this competition and the success that this competition fosters,” said Linda Nosegbe, Comerica Bank National Community Impact Manager. “Our priority is to develop economic opportunity, especially in our underserved communities, and the Comerica Hatch Detroit competition has served as a successful incubator and resource for Detroit businesses. Beyond financial investment, helping these entrepreneurs by providing them with access to capital, technical assistance and business advice to set them up for success is what makes this competition such an effective channel for entrepreneurial growth.”
KEY DATES OF COMERICA HATCH DETROIT:
January 24: The submission of materials begins
February 2 and February 9: Information sessions
February 21: The submission period is ending
April 4: Top 10 announced
April 5: Voting for the top 10 begins
April 12: Top 10 voting ends
April 13: Top 4 announced
April 26: Winner announced at Hatch Off
Comerica Bank, a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated, has served Michigan longer than any other bank, with a continuous presence of more than 173 years since its founding in Detroit in 1849. It is the largest banking employer in metropolitan Detroit and has more than 4,500 employees (FTE) nationwide. With one of the largest networks of banking centers in Michigan, Comerica maintains lifelong relationships with unwavering integrity and financial prudence. Comerica positively impacts the lives of Michigan residents by helping customers succeed, providing financial support to hundreds of charitable organizations, and actively participating in the revitalization of downtown Detroit. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA ) is a financial services company that is strategically comprised of three business segments: Commercial Banking, Retail Banking and Wealth Management. Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ComericaTwitter: @ComericaBank and Instagram: @comerica_bank. Download a new one Comerica Bank corporate logo.
TechTown is a nonprofit business services organization that provides programs, training and resources for small businesses and early-stage technology entrepreneurs. By building bridges for entrepreneurial success, TechTown accelerates an inclusive economy in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Since 2007, TechTown has supported more than 5,200 companies that have created 2,100 jobs and raised more than $207 million in seed and growth capital. For more information, visit techtowndetroit.org.
Hatch Detroit supports both existing and new retail initiatives in the cities of Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck. Hatch Detroit was founded in 2011 to give residents and aspiring entrepreneurs a voice in neighborhood retail development, and joined TechTown Detroit’s suite of entrepreneurial programs and services in 2022. In addition to the competition, Hatch Detroit provides funding, exposure and mentorship to support its graduate entrepreneurs. With the support of Hatch Detroit, 50 graduates have opened businesses. They employ more than 500 people and have invested more than $13 million in economic development. To learn more, visit hatchdetroit.com.