Entrepreneurs Compete For $50K At “Hatch Detroit”

Detroit Free Press

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Several Detroit entrepreneurs battled it out for a 50k grand prize at the Hatch Detroit Pitch contest. “Hatch Detroit” was founded in 2011 by Nick Gorga, a lawyer who hopes to revitalize the city.


Meta Physical Massage & Sauna beat three other retailers Friday evening to win the $50,000 prize in Hatch Detroit, an annual pitch contest aimed at helping to redevelop Detroit that includes public votes and presentations to a panel of judges.

Meta, which is moving from Midtown to Corktown, aims to expand and transition to Meta Physical Wellness Center and offer saunas, a juice bar, herbal apothecary and health-inspired retail.

Meta said in its written pitch posted on the Hatch Detroit Web site that it has outgrown its one-room studio in Midtown and needed to expand its location and mission.

The other three finalists were:

* Bird Bee, a pop up clothing boutique opened last year. It sells “a mix of modern bohemian, vintage inspired and contemporary clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories,” or, as the retailer put it, “a little bit of the West Coast to the Midwest.”

* Corbé, a ceramic design and manufacturing studio, in the North End of Detroit. The company sells simple porcelain wares. The items made at the studio are sold mostly online and through markets, trade shows and fairs.

* Coriander Kitchen and Farm, an urban farm and catering business that the founders aim to turn into a cafe at the at the Detroit River Sports Marina. The business wants to be a place “where the community can be in touch with the outdoors and eat casual, healthy, and sustainable food.”

“Each year these entrepreneurs bring forth something new to Detroit,” said Linda Forte, a senior vice president at Comerica Bank, a contest sponsor. “We know independent small business growth is what keeps cities unique, vibrant and relevant and we are that much closer to finding out which business will continue Detroit on this path.”

The judges, combined with public votes, determined the winner.

In addition to $50,000 from Comerica Bank, the winner was to be awarded a branding and design package from GTB — formally Team Detroit — a 30-second social media advertisement from MCCI, legal services from Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, architectural renderings from Hamilton Anderson Associates.

Hatch Detroit, a nonprofit organization, started in 2011. It was founded by Nick Gorga, a lawyer who seeks to revitalize the city. The contest was base on an idea called crowd entrepreneurship, which asks residents to help pick the type of retail they want in their community and determining who will get money to develop it.

Since starting, six winners have been announced, and 14 businesses have opened up storefronts.

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