The Detroit-based lending firm, Quicken Loans, and shared workspace firm, WeWork, are launching a $2.5 million funding round for entrepreneurs in the city. The funding is believed to be an initiative aimed at boosting the progress currently being achieved by Detroit’s small business community.
The companies will be combining their events, the WeWork Creator Awards and the Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day, to host the finalists from the competition. The event will be held at the Gem Theatre and Cadillac Square
WeWork will be providing 30 entrepreneurs, non-profits and artists from Detroit with $1.5 million worth of funding while also giving them a chance to progress towards the Creator Awards finals. The finals are scheduled to be held sometime in November.
Quicken Loans, on the other hand, will provide $1 million to 8 small businesses from the city. The lending firm has already received 600 applications.
The Quicken event will see around 20 businesses pitch their ideas to judges. Out of the 20 businesses, Quicken judges will select the best 8 and distribute the $1 million in the form of individual funding. Depending on the scope of their ideas, each business will be allocated any amount from $50,000 to $200,000.
The funding will actually serve as an interest-free loan with a 5-year payment term. However, prior to the beginning of the payment term, companies will be gifted a payment free year to help them develop their business ideas.
There will also be a People’s Choice Award at the Quicken Event.
WeWork’s event will award participants with grants that will typically be divided across 3 categories – incubate, launch, and scale. At the event, a live pitch room will be set up within which the participants will be given 60 seconds to pitch their ideas to the judges via social media.
The Creator Awards is a global event that will see $20 million in grants going out to small businesses, artists, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and even start-ups. The objective behind the Creator Awards is to motivate talented groups of people to benefit their communities with smart and useful ideas.