Voting begins Monday for Hatch Detroit contest

Contest seeks to champion independent, small businesses

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DETROIT - Voting begins Monday for the 2012 Comerica Hatch Detroit contest, where a $50,000 grand prize is at stake for those pitching business ideas for the city.

Hatch Detroit seeks to champion and support independent retail businesses in Detroit with contests, education, exposure and mentoring. More than 250 business ideas were submitted for this year's contest, and online voting runs through Sept. 17 to help choose the winner from among 10 entries.

  • Detroit River Sports – Kayak rentals to city-goers, offering tours through the canal districts of Belle Isle, Downtown and other parts of the city.
  • Detroit Vegan Soul Café – Vegan food with a soul twist, currently operating as a catering and food delivery business, looking to open a store in Midtown.
  • La Feria – A wine bar featuring authentic Spanish tapas in a relaxed yet upbeat setting, looking to open in Midtown.
  • Motor City Design – A custom denim specialty retail store featuring Made in Michigan products where customers can watch garments be made right in the store, looking to open Downtown.
  • Pho da Nang – A Vietnamese restaurant based in Clawson looking to open another location in Midtown.
  • Rock City Pies – A handmade pie company specializing in unique combinations such as Salty Apple Carmel Pie and Blueberry-Custard Pie, looking to open in Midtown.
  • Tashmoo Biergarten – Based on the biergartens in Germany, operating as a pop-up in West Village, looking to open a permanent space in the neighborhood.
  • The Collective Tap – High-end beer retailer offering classes and food parings, looking to open Downtown.
  • Vividbraille Studio Boutique – Fuses high-end fashion and design with USA manufacturing in a retail setting, offering customers some of the finest Made in the USA fashion goods, currently operating in Chicago and looking to expand to Detroit.
  • Whip Hand Cosmetics – A cosmetic company, currently operating online, looking to open its manufacturing and retail facility Downtown.

The top four vote-getters will be announced Sept. 19. They'll compete Sept. 26 for the top prize funded by Comerica Bank. The winner will be revealed Sept. 27.

Ideas up for vote include a business that seeks to bring kayak rentals to the riverfront in Detroit, a wine bar, a pie company and a cosmetics business.

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