Brick-And-Mortar Small Business Contest Returns To Detroit

Metro Detroit Business NewsDetroit, MI - /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank and TechTown Detroit are gearing up for the return of the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest, a small business competition that awards in startup funding from Comerica Bank to one winning entrepreneur seeking to open a Detroit brick-and-mortar storefront.

The competition, first launched in 2011, bolsters small business development in and will take place over the next four months, announcing this year's winning business in the spring.

Entrepreneurs with a retail concept looking to open their first brick-and-mortar location in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park can submit their business plans via the Hatch Detroit website now through Feb. 16 at noon.

The small business contest includes two rounds of public voting to determine the Top 10 and Top 4, allowing the community to vote for their favorite business to win the $100,000 grand prize from Comerica Bank as well as a business support package from TechTown Detroit and its partners.

The contest will culminate on Thursday, May 9 with the annual "Hatch Off" where the Top 4 entrepreneurs present their business plans in front of a panel of expert judges and live audience and the winner is announced.

"As a Detroit-founded bank with 175 years of commitment to Michigan communities, Comerica is dedicated to supporting the development and reinvigoration of the city's entrepreneurial growth," said Meghan Storey, Comerica Bank Senior Vice President and Michigan Director of Small Business Banking. "A true amalgamation of the American dream, the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest go steps beyond financial investment and directly supports these small business owners by providing vital access to capital, technical guidance and business counsel for them to thrive."

This year, Comerica Bank is celebrating 175 years of serving its communities, making it Michigan's longest-serving bank. Comerica was founded in 1849 in Detroit during a time when all banks in the city were exclusive to the business community. This was the motivation behind Comerica's decision to gear its banking for the people and for those who wanted to secure their personal and financial future. Since its inception, Comerica has grown in Michigan and throughout the country by focusing on the customer first and offering personal, small business and commercial banking services, as well as wealth management services.

Throughout its history, Comerica has partnered with nonprofit and community organizations to improve financial education, support critical community needs and provide colleagues with volunteer opportunities.

"When it comes to serving entrepreneurs in our community, TechTown has a proven track record of dedication and success. We are proud to be doing our part in the cultivation and reviving of Detroit's small business development with initiatives like the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest," said Christianne Malone, Assistant Vice President for Economic Development at Wayne State University and Chief Program Officer of TechTown Detroit. "As an established launching pad for small businesses, Hatch Detroit continues to attract community-minded entrepreneurs who are strengthening Detroit's small business economy, and we look forward to continuing to help incubate the unbelievable entrepreneurial spirit that lives in Detroit."

Over the years, the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest has helped launch some of Detroit's most successful and well-known businesses, including 27th Letter Books (2019), Baobab Fare (2017), Meta Physica Massage (2016), Sister Pie (2014), and La Feria (2012).

Winner of the 2023 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest was Cathryn Coleman, founder and owner of Detroit's premier one-stop shop for balloons, decor, event planning and party rentals, Bouncing Around the Motor City. Together, Hatch Detroit alumni have opened 50 businesses, employ more than 500 people and have invested more than $7 million in their businesses.

"As a relationship-based bank, we are incredibly passionate about our longstanding partnership with Hatch Detroit that allows us to further assist local entrepreneurs in accessing the capital and technical support required to get their dreams off the ground," said Linda Nosegbe, Comerica Bank Vice President and National Community Impact Manager. "A value of ours is cultivating economic opportunity, and the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest has served as an amazingly effective conduit for these budding entrepreneurs to find opportunity and grow their business to the next level, contributing to the revitalization of Detroit's small business economy."

With this year's investment, Comerica Bank and the Comerica Charitable Foundation will have committed more than $1.1 million to Hatch Detroit in direct funding since Comerica's partnership, along with additional in-kind support that includes technical services. The program is one of Detroit's most successful small business incubators since it first began in 2011 with Comerica partnering with Hatch beginning in 2012.


  • Jan. 3: Submissions begin
  • Jan. 18: Informational session
  • Feb. 16: Submission period ends
  • April 11: Top 10 announced
  • April 12-18: Top 10 public voting period
  • April 22: Top 4 announced
  • May 1-9: Top 4 voting public voting period and media tour
  • May 9: Winner announced at Hatch Off

Comerica Bank, a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated, has served Michigan longer than any other bank with a continuous presence dating over 174 years to its Detroit founding in 1849. It is the largest bank employer in metro Detroit and has approximately 4,500 employees (FTE) statewide. With one of the largest banking center networks in Michigan, Comerica nurtures lifelong relationships with unwavering integrity and financial prudence. Comerica positively impacts the lives of Michigan residents by helping customers be successful, providing financial support that assists hundreds of charitable organizations, and actively participating in Detroit's downtown revitalization. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Comerica, X (formerly Twitter: @ComericaBank and Instagram: @comerica_bank.

TechTown Detroit, Wayne State University's entrepreneurship hub, is a nonprofit business service organization that provides programs, education and resources for early- to growth-stage small businesses and tech entrepreneurs. By building bridges for entrepreneurs to succeed, TechTown is accelerating an inclusive economy for Detroit and Southeast Michigan. Since 2007, TechTown has supported more than 6,090 companies, which created 2,277 jobs and raised more than $406 million in startup and growth capital. For more information, visit techtowndetroit.org.

Hatch Detroit supports both existing and new retail initiatives in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. Hatch Detroit was founded in 2011 to give residents and aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to have a voice in neighborhood retail development and joined TechTown Detroit's suite of entrepreneurial programs and services in 2022. Beyond the contest, Hatch Detroit provides funding, exposure and mentoring in support of its alumni entrepreneurs. With support from Hatch Detroit, 50 alumni have opened businesses. They employ over 500 people and have invested over $10 million in economic development. To learn more, visit hatchdetroit.com.

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