NEIdeas was launched in 2014 to provide funding for well deserved entrepreneurs, with a mission to help small businesses in Detroit and neighboring communities, the organization has done just that.
In its second year, the organization announced this year’s winners of it’s 10k Challenge. Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park were the primary cities of those awarded.
“We saw many great success stories from the first NEIdeas in 2014, from the hiring of new employees, to building improvements and increased service offerings, which all provide a critical boost for these economic drivers in our community,” said David O. Egner, NEI executive director. “We were thrilled to see the diverse range of ideas and businesses that came from this year’s NEIdeas applicants and can’t wait to see their businesses grow and the ripple effect it will have on Detroit’s neighborhoods and economy.”
This year’s winners represent various segments of business, including: retail, urban farming and manufacturing.
“Detroit’s turnaround won’t mean anything if longtime Detroiters aren’t a part of it,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to the New Economy Initiative’s efforts to support small businesses in our city, we are seeing real growth in business expansion and job creation.”
NEIdeas was operated in partnership with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). DEGC participated in the jury process and lead an outreach program that featured more than two dozen “Ambassador” organizations and institutions throughout all three cities, providing small businesses with information and guidance throughout the application process.
“Over the past two years, NEIdeas has given us the opportunity to connect with more than 1,100 small businesses in the city,” said Rodrick T. Miller, president & CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. “NEIdeas, with its focus on existing businesses is a critical piece of Detroit’s small business support system. This system is essential in helping every Detroiter participate in our economic expansion.”
2015 NEIdeas $10k Challenge winners include:
Anew Life Prosthetics and Orthotics – Custom Prosthetics and Orthotics, Detroit}
Idea: Purchase a new digital scanner to improve modeling, efficiency and effectiveness of artificial limb production.
Astro Coffee LLC – Coffee Shop, Detroit
Idea: Building renovations including expansion of the outdoor seating area, new front awning and improved retail display.
Benkari LLC – Plumbing Contractor, Detroit
Idea: Invest in new software to help automate bidding process and increase efficiency.
Black Pride Beauty – Hair Weave and Extensions Manufacturer, Detroit
Idea: Purchase sewing machines and new equipment to expand and scale manufacturing of proprietary hair extensions in Detroit.
Blessed and Highly Favored Juice Bar – Specialty Beverage Shop, Detroit
Idea: Upgrade equipment, operational inventory, and marketing materials to improve service and reach.
Brooklynn Brownies with Love – Bakery, Detroit
Idea: Purchase new equipment, expand inventory and hire new staff to keep up with increased demand.
Building Hugger – Design-Build Contracting Firm, Detroit
Idea: Improve workshop and purchase equipment to secure industry expertise and expand their capacity and efficiency.
Cyberoptix – Custom Silkscreened Clothing, Detroit
Idea: Purchase new printing equipment to expand customer offerings and build competitive market advantage.
DAC Marketing (DBA Crescent PreNeed Funeral Services) – Muslim Funeral Services, Detroit
Idea: Purchase new vehicle and outfit staff with new uniforms to boost appearance and assist in expansion of the business.
Detroit Denim Co. – Men’s Clothing Manufacturer, Detroit
Idea: Purchase new equipment, train staff and hire marketing representative to expand denim repair service.
Detroit Farm and Garden – Landscape Retail Facility, Detroit
Idea: Purchase a delivery vehicle and materials to expand storage and delivery capacity.
Detroit Vegan Soul – Restaurant, Detroit
Idea: Expand catering service and increase brand visibility through the purchase of a commercial vehicle.
Fill Good Dental Center – Dental Practice, Detroit
Idea: Add a new dental chair and X-ray sensor to expand services to youth and offer additional hours of operation.
Goodwells Natural Foods Market – Organic Food Market, Detroit
Idea: Purchase new equipment, grow inventory and marketing services for new bulk herbal apothecary offerings.*
Guerrilla Food – Catering and Pop-Up Food Business, Detroit
Idea: Build, operate and promote a geographically fixed pop-up food space to increase revenue and expand market.*
JP’s Hand Car Wash and Detailing Center, Auto Wash and Detail Shop, Detroit
Idea: Purchase prep equipment to increase efficiency and capacity and improve building facade to boost business visibility and safety.
Livingston Family Dentistry – Dental Practice, Highland Park
Idea: Renovate building exterior to improve the street front appearance and increase business awareness and visibility.
Motor City Popcorn – Gourmet Popcorn, Detroit
Idea: Purchase new cooking and labeling equipment to boost production and bring down wholesale costs allowing for expansion to new markets.
Ocelot Print Shop – Community Screen Print Shop, Detroit
Idea: Buy new computers, graphics software, driers, vacuum table and other equipment to expand offerings and services to new and existing members.
Pot & Box – Floral Design & Décor, Hamtramck
Idea: Upgrade vehicles to expand delivery, retail and floral service catering to local markets.
Prop Art Studio – Industrial/Commercial Art Studio, Detroit
Idea: Purchase a 3D printer to allow low cost prototyping and increase capacity for detail-oriented work.
Sha-Sha’s Kiddy Korner – Child Care, Detroit
Idea: Build a brand new computer lab to better serve the current and potential children and families, providing knowledge and internet access to low-income families.
Singing Tree Garden – Urban Farm and Tree Care, Detroit
Idea: Purchase and add production and storage equipment to expand commercial urban lumber program.
Tamaleria Nuevo Leon – Handmade Tamales – Detroit
Idea: Purchase new equipment to expand market and offer Detroit made tamales nationally and internationally, as well as hire social media and advertising service to spread the message.
Textures by Nefertiti – Full Service Salon, Detroit
Idea: Develop and market a new ethnic hair care product line, build new ecommerce site and market the product through trade shows and social media services.
The Hub of Detroit – Bike Repair Shop, Detroit
Idea: Make improvements to storefront space, including wheelchair accessibility as well as increase capacity and visibility.
The Kid Network Daycare, LLC – Child Care and Development Facility, Detroit
Idea: Purchase and implement a new creatively focused curriculum and make external improvements to the facility, including updates to playground and planting a garden.
The Social Club Grooming Co – Barbershop and Community Space, Detroit
Idea: Build and stock a retail product area, and add equipment and staff to increase capacity.
White One Auto – Automotive Service, Detroit
Idea: Purchase new state of the art wheel alignment system, expand service offerings and add new technicians to meet demand.