What do you get when you combine entrepreneurial ingenuity, capital investment, and a public eager to support new endeavors? The answer is Hatch Detroit. The competition recently announced its Top 10 semi-finalists, and now it’s your turn to weigh in and help determine which new brick and mortar business you most want to see added to the landscape of Detroit.

Each of these businesses is competing for $100,000 in startup funding, courtesy of Comerica Bank. Last year’s winner was Little Liberia, headed by talented chef, Ameneh Marhaba. She has been delighting tastebuds around the city ever since, with her flavorful Liberian cuisine. While all ten semi-finalists will obviously not be recipients of the grant money, each is still attempting to open its business, and is worthy of ongoing financial support. Will it be another culinary champ this year, or perhaps a sneaker cleaner? You can help decide with your vote. Public voting is now open and will run through Wednesday, April 12 at noon. You can vote online for up to four businesses once every 24 hours. This year’s Top Ten are:

Bouncing Around the Motor City

Bouncing Around the Motor City is Detroit’s premier one-stop shop for balloons, decor, event planning and party rentals.

Chi Fan Le

Chi Fan Le is a Chinese food-making experience and fast casual eatery that shares the ingredients, process, and stories behind diverse and nutritious homestyle dishes.

CLEAN Sneaker Care

CLEAN Sneaker Care is Detroit’s premier footwear and accessory restoration service. They also offer a curated assortment of goods, including sneaker storage display cases, cleaning accessories and an in-house Detroit-inspired apparel collection.

Highland Park Community Kitchen

Highland Park Community Kitchen is a space to support food entrepreneurs in every stage of their businesses, doubling as a gathering spot to evoke culinary curiosity and foster strength in the community.

Ice Cream Detroit

Ice Cream Detroit is Detroit’s only liquor-infused frozen dessert company. They infuse handcrafted ice cream and sorbet with your favorite liquor, beer or wine, and they also offer virgin flavors.

JP Makes & Bakes

JP Makes & Bakes is about sharing their love for sweets and Filipino heritage with those in Detroit and the metro Detroit area.

Konjo Me

Konjo Me is a unique and vibrant Ethiopian food experience that shares appreciation for the rich and diverse global cuisine with the community it serves.

Next Chapter Books

Next Chapter Books is a general interest new and used bookstore in Detroit working to reflect and create community, inspire learning and nurture the joy of reading among all ages.

The Sepia Coffee Project

The Sepia Coffee Project is a minority-owned roastery sourcing specialty coffee from farmers throughout Africa, the Americas and the Indian-Pacific regions.

Shell Shock’d Tacos

Shell Shock’d Tacos offers Latin-inspired, Detroit-style street food that is an escape from the ordinary.

In addition to casting ballots for your favorites, you can also attend the big finale event. The Top 4 finalists will be announced Thursday, April 13, with the final round of public voting beginning Monday, April 24 and running through the completion of the pitch competition at the Hatch Off on Wednesday, April 26.  There the final four finalists will go head-to-head with one Shark Tank-style pitch in front of a panel of judges and attendees. Watch the winner’s dreams come true before your very eyes.

Tickets for Hatch Off are $25 each and proceeds will directly support the next generation of Detroit retailers. The event will feature a cash bar (all drinks $5) and complimentary small bites provided by Hatch alumni businesses. Grab a front row seat to the economic future of Detroit.

Author: Lisa Diggs

Lisa Diggs is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, business consultant, avid traveler, and founder of The Catalyst Company, LLC, Michigan Positivity Project, and Buy Michigan Now.