How Rocket Mortgage Demo Day Demonstrates Detroit's Commitment To Entrepreneurship

On Tuesday, Detroit-based Rocket Companies RKT, home to Quicken Loans, the largest retail mortgage lender, announced the finalists of its fifth annual entrepreneurship competition, Detroit Demo Day.

What Happened: Rocket Mortgage, as part of an effort to fuel Detroit’s innovation and entrepreneurship, launched its fifth Demo Day, an annual pitch competition that invests in the city’s growing entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Fifteen finalists were chosen by existing Detroit-based entrepreneurs and past Detroit Demo Day winners; this year’s 15 finalists include 12 Black-owned businesses, and more than half of the finalists are women-owned.

Each finalist starting, pivoting, or scaling their business will walk away at least $25,000. Additionally, through a new youth category, young entrepreneurs ages 8-18 will be provided capital and resources for early success.

The categories offered and respective finalists include the following:

Start: New businesses.

Pivot: Businesses that pivoted to meet the needs of the moment.

Scale: Businesses with unique models or products that will allow their business to expand post-COVID-19.

Youth: Those businesses run by young entrepreneurs.

  • Camani – Artistic and luxury fashion
  • MT's Customs LLC – Custom designs
  • Anansee – Storytelling assistance
  • Global Kid Media CEO – Telling next generation’s stories
  • Carter’s Concessions – Healthy snacks

In a statement, Laura Grannemann, vice president of the Rocket Community Fund said: “Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day personifies our commitment to catalyzing Detroit’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and building neighborhood wealth.

“Access to equitable capital is more important than ever. Providing significant grants to all finalists allows them to invest in their future and puts them on a path to success.”

Bonus: Finalists will also be competing for the People’s Choice grant within their category worth $25,000.

Online voting will open on Sept. 20, and winners will be announced during the event.

Why It Matters: Rocket, alongside the Family of Companies, is credited with empowering the local community with a platform to build.

This year’s Demo Day event reflects the firm’s dedication to legacy and impact.

“With this year’s Detroit Demo Day, we are excited to celebrate the newest cohort of winners, while also reflecting on the impact of this work over the past five years,” said James Feagin, director of entrepreneurship at the Rocket Community Fund.

“Detroit has top entrepreneurial talent, and we are thankful that this platform has been able to elevate them and help them take their businesses to new levels.”

To learn more about the Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day, click here.

Posted In: DetroitDetroit Demo DayJames FeaginLaura GrannemannQuicken LoansRocket MortgageNewsEntrepreneurshipStartupsGeneral

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