Quicken Loans Announces Finalists Competing for a Share of $2.5 million in Capital as Part of Detroit Demo Day and the Creator Awards
Back in April we reported about the $1 million dollar Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day startup contest. A lot has changed in six weeks. The WeWork Creator Awards has joined forces with Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, bringing the total in capital to $2.5 million for startups, small businesses and non-profits in the Detroit area and beyond.
“We want to show Detroit that anyone can be an entrepreneur. Quicken Loans, and all of our companies, were started with just an idea and a drive to bring a product or service to the clients who need it. Quicken Loans Demo Day is about celebrating all of the city’s entrepreneurs and providing support to a handful of our most passionate and successful business owners,” said Josh McManus, COO for Rock Ventures, part of the Quicken Loans family of companies. “Our companies operate as ‘for more-than-profit’ businesses – meaning we take our business success and reinvest it into our community. This partnership with WeWork allows us to deliver on this mission by providing more opportunities for entrepreneurs and promoting togetherness in Detroit’s business community.”
Starting at 4:30 p.m. on May 25, Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day and WeWork’s Creator Awards at Detroit Demo Day will take place concurrently at downtown Detroit’s Gem Theatre and Cadillac Square. The event will end with a party and concert in Cadillac Square featuring a Grammy Award-winning recording artist.
The top eight companies in the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day competition, as voted by a panel of nationally-recognized business leaders, will receive capital in amounts ranging from $50,000 to $200,000 – totaling $1 million. The capital will be provided in the form of an interest-free business loan with a five-year term after a one-year payment-free holiday. A people’s choice award will also be presented. The people’s choice winner will be chosen by the audience at the event by voting with a mobile app. In addition, WeWork will be awarding grants to business and organizations in its incubate, launch and scale categories – totaling $1.5 million.
“We’re excited to partner with Quicken Loans to bring the Creator Awards to Detroit. The Creator Awards is a global initiative that will grant over $20 million to entrepreneurs, small businesses, growing companies, non-profits, artists and other creators having a positive impact on their communities,” says Jennifer Skyler,” Global Head of Public Affairs for WeWork. “This day-long event will feature a job fair, creators’ market, master classes, live pitches from candidates and will celebrate the entrepreneurship and innovation that has fueled the “Motor City” and its neighboring economic hubs for over a hundred years.”
Between the awards from both companies, Quicken Loans chairman Dan Gilbert will interview WeWork Founder and CEO Adam Neumann at the Gem Theatre. The fireside chat-style conversation will focus on both leaders’ business experiences, their thoughts on Detroit’s business atmosphere and advice for entrepreneurs.
Here are the 20 companies that have been announced as finalists in the event, the largest capital event for small businesses and startups in the region.