Hatch Detroit offers $50,000 for best new retail idea
In about four months, Joe Posch will open a store in the Auburn Building in midtown Detroit. The business is called HUGH and Joe describes it as a bachelor pad store, “Geared specifically toward a kind of masculine classic style. So it sells cocktail accessories, barware, smoking accessories, some home decor stuff, lighting and a little bit of furniture, too.”
Joe tested HUGH as a pop-up store a couple years ago. Now he’s able to open a full time retail store with the help of the money and support he received as last year’s winner of Hatch Detroit.
Joe explained what it means to win, “First of all it meant I could move forward with my idea to make my pop up store into a permanent store. Second of all it was exciting because the contest really puts its weight behind the idea of independent retail in Detroit.
Nick Gorga, one of the founders of Hatch Detroit says it was founded on the premise that cool and vibrant retail was what makes a neighborhood a place that people want to live.
Ted Balowski, the other founder told us they received more than 200 submissions last year and they ran the gamut for retail thought, “There was everything from bicycle stores to beer halls to breweries and clothing stores.
Potential entrepreneurs can go online between now and August first to apply. A panel of experts will narrow the list to ten and then the public will vote for the winner.
Last year, all the finalists benefited from the experience. Nick said, “The nine others are all on their way to receiving their own funding, many of them are collaborating together, which we think is a beautiful thing.”
And for the winner, along with the $50,000 cash provided by Comerica Bank, there will also be $50,000 in support services. There will be things like marketing help, accounting services, legal and tax advice.
Joe says the benefit of winning the first Hatch Detroit contest is being able to open the store without going to family or banks for cash. He also thinks it will mean a lot to the city, “If you create something that’s compelling, you create something that’s interesting and different than people have everywhere else, then people will put it on their list and make it a destination.”
The Hatch Detroit Contest is open to anyone with an idea for opening a retail business within the City of Detroit. The deadline to apply is August 1, 2012.
Click here for a complete list of contest rules and applications.