Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest kicks-off June 1

Posted Jun 16, 2014

Contest adds Detroit Lions as presenting sponsor, seeks next Detroit retail business

DETROIT/May 27, 2014 – Comerica Bank and Hatch Detroit are partnering once again for the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest and will begin accepting applications on June 1. New this year, the Detroit Lions have joined the cause to expand support for the contest and Hatch alumni entrepreneurs.

“Since its beginnings, Detroit has been a destination for savvy entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals seeking opportunity, not the quickest route to a buck,” said Vittoria Katanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit. “Those passionate, determined people are exactly who we’re seeking to submit a retail business idea to this year’s Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest presented by the Detroit Lions.”

Comerica Bank returns for the third year as the contest’s flagship sponsor, providing the $50,000 prize, along with significant in-kind support. In 2014, the Detroit Lions will provide both financial and ancillary support to the Hatch Detroit alumni who’ve followed through on the business plan laid out during the contest but need further assistance to open their doors or improve their business. Hatch Detroit and the Detroit Lions will allocate the additional support based on individual need, with an emphasis on the 10 finalists from previous contests.

“Watching the previous Hatch winners and others turn their ideas into brick-and-mortar retail shops has been inspiring, and certainly representative of Detroit’s entrepreneurial spirit,” said Michael T. Ritchie, president of Comerica Bank-Michigan. “Witnessing so many contest success stories has reinforced our decision to support Hatch Detroit. We look forward to seeing this year’s applications and continuing to build Detroit’s entrepreneurial community.

“This furthers our commitment to Detroit’s neighborhoods and broadens our collaboration with Hatch Detroit,” said Tom Lewand, Detroit Lions team president. “The growth of small business in Detroit continues to be a significant part of the city’s resurgence and is an important part of the Lions community engagement strategy.”

 In addition to the $50,000 cash prize, the winner will also receive a package of services including legal, marketing and advertising, accounting, public relations and IT support from Hatch Detroit and its partners. All applications must be submitted online at For complete submission guidelines and contest rules, visit The deadline for submissions is July 16, 2014.

Since its inception in 2011, Hatch Detroit has experienced overwhelming success in championing entrepreneurship and small business throughout Detroit. The inaugural contest garnered hundreds of Detroit retail business ideas and ignited tremendous community support for the finalists, culminating in thousands of public votes cast for first-year winner Hugh, a home furnishing shop for the stylish bachelor that opened its doors in 2012. The contest’s popularity has picked up momentum in subsequent years, garnering more than 700 submissions and 130,000 votes cast in its first three years. Notable alumni include 2012 winner La Feria, 2013 winner Batch Brewing Company, 2011 finalist Detroit Institute of Bagels, 2012 finalists Detroit Vegan Soul and Rock City Eatery, 2013 finalists HenriettaHaus Coffee Roasters and 2013 semi-finalist Busted in Detroit.

 About Hatch Detroit
Hatch Detroit is a Michigan based 501(c)(3) organization that champions and supports independent retail businesses in Detroit through funding, education, exposure, and mentoring.  Hatch Detroit was co-founded by Nick Gorga and Ted Balowski, Detroit natives who are passionate about the revitalization of the city and inspiring others in the community to create change.

About Comerica Bank
Comerica Bank, with 214 banking centers in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated. Founded in Detroit in 1849, Comerica continues to invest in Michigan. Comerica’s $17 million renovation of its building at 411 W. Lafayette in Detroit was completed last year and the renamed Comerica Bank Center is now the bank’s Michigan Market headquarters. Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. To find us on Facebook, please visit Follow us on Twitter at @ComericaCares.

About Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit. The team located to Detroit in 1934 and is the National Football League's fifth oldest franchise. The Detroit Lions most recently made the NFL playoffs in 2011, when they finished with a 10-6 record. In addition to professional football, the Detroit Lions have a very visible and active community relations role in the Detroit area. With a focus on health and wellness and community revitalization, the Lions have contributed $7.2 million through philanthropic efforts since 1991. For more information, visit

Hatch Detroit Media Contact
Vittoria Katanski
(248) 766-6485

Comerica Media Contact
Kathleen Pitton
(313) 584-4523

Alternate Media Contact
Dan Stocking
(313) 567-5094