We’re excited to announce the return of Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day, our fifth annual entrepreneurial pitch competition! This unique program is led by the Rocket Community Fund’s Entrepreneurship team and is a key part of our strategy to elevate Detroit as a destination for small businesses and high growth startups. Through Detroit Demo Day, we invest more than $1M into Detroit-based, early-stage companies looking to scale.
Since its inception, Detroit Demo Day has invested more than $4.4M in capital and support resources for Detroit-based businesses. Last year, we reimagined Detroit Demo Day with expanded categories and criteria to meet the needs of entrepreneurs during the pandemic. This year, Detroit Demo Day is leaner and even more impactful than ever before! We’ve added a new category and have adjusted the format of this event to ensure that entrepreneurs and their businesses receive the most support possible.
Categories and Requirements
Entrepreneurs interested in applying to Detroit Demo Day will choose one of four categories: Start, Pivot, Scale, or Youth. These categories are based on the company’s revenue, total capital raised, and plans for continued operations and growth. The Youth category is new as of this year’s competition, and it is designed to spotlight entrepreneurs ages 8 to 18. Below is more information about each category.
- Start: For companies introducing their product or service to market.
- Pivot: For companies looking to pivot to meet the needs of the new marketplace.
- Scale: For businesses that are more established and are looking to expand nationally.
- Youth: For entrepreneurs aged 8-18 looking to start or scale their business.
Additionally, applicants must be a for-profit business that cannot have exceeded $2 million in annual revenue or raised more than $1 million in capital. Companies must also be based in Detroit or committed to relocating into the city.
In total, 15 businesses will win funding through the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Detroit Demo Day. Winners will be selected by a panel of diverse and accomplished national entrepreneurs and judged on the same criteria as their online applications. In addition to winning funding, all semifinalists will be eligible for a People’s Choice Award of $25,000 in their respective categories. People’s Choice voting and the prize category winners will be announced in September.
We are excited to see the variety of businesses that apply for Detroit Demo Day this year and look forward to helping them scale with capital and supportive resources!