Finalists for Hatch Detroit $50,000 contest revealed

Public voting begins Sept. 10 for businesses who want to flourish in the city


DETROITHatch Detroit has announced the top 10 semi-finalists for the 2012 Comerica Hatch Detroit contest.

This year's competition brought in more than 250 business plan submissions, representing a 25 percent increase over last year's contest. From a vegan café with a soulful twist to a business that seeks to bring kayak rentals to the riverfront, this year's semi-finalists represent Detroit's creative entrepreneurship at its best.

The 10 semi-finalists include:

  • 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.

"We're impressed by the volume and quality of this year's submissions," said Nick Gorga, co-founder of Hatch Detroit. "Our board had the tough task of narrowing down the pool of applicants to the top 10. We're excited to introduce the semi-finalists and invite the public to cast their vote for Detroit's next retail development beginning September 10."

Public voting opens Sept. 10 at 12:01 AM and continues through Sept.17 at 11:59 PM at www.hatchdetroit.com.

The top four vote-getters will be announced September 19 and compete in a Hatch Off event on Sept. 26 Comerica Bank will provide the full prize amount of $50,000 for the winning business idea, which will be revealed Sept. 27.