NEIdeas Applicants Come Together for an Evening of Celebration


Approximately 200 businesses came together last month at the Book Cadillac in Detroit to celebrate their participation in the 2014 NEIdeas competition. NEIdeas is a program of the New Economy Initiative (NEI) and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) that is operated with assistance from Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC).

NEIdeas celebrates existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park by offering support and rewarding those with the best ideas for growth. In total, NEIdeas has $500,000 in cash rewards for local businesses – $300,000 of which has already been awarded to 30 existing businesses. The recipients of two more $100,000 awards will be announced early this month.

The winning ideas were impactful, courageous and interesting; ideas that truly stood out and demonstrated strong growth potential. All of the business ideas submitted in 2014 ranged greatly in scope and complexity, and all brought creativity to the table and demonstrated the spirit of growth that’s alive and well in metro Detroit today.

While the event was the next step in DEGC’s ongoing technical assistance for those who won awards, it also was an opportunity to provide additional value and resources to all applicant businesses who were not selected as winners. This event was focused on connecting those businesses to capital, as well as other organizations that can better position them before they seek other funding sources.

One great aspect of NEIdeas is that it benefitted businesses at various points of their development. Even businesses that weren’t quite ready to pursue funding were connected to resources that will help them get ready to make that next step. Events like this one are helping to foster healthier businesses in metro Detroit, and DEGC was glad to be a part of it.

NEI, CFSEM, DEGC and all other supporters of NEIdeas were happy to provide valuable resources and connections to all of the businesses who applied for NEIdeas. We’re looking forward to watching these businesses continue to grow in 2015!

Spencer Olinek

Business Development Manager

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