The purpose of Detroit Demo Day is to deliver a showcase that celebrates our local entrepreneurs, infuses capital for business growth, and promotes Detroit companies to investors from all over. Our goal is to have the most sector inclusive demo day in the country. There will be a total of $1.2 million in funding distributed by way of equity for capital, loans, convertible notes, and in-kind grants, to over 20 businesses. How those funds will be allocated, are as follows:
  • 10 companies win 50k in In-kind Grants (mentorship, space, technology, and marketing)
  • 4 companies receive 50k
  • 3 companies receive 100k
  • 2 companies receive 150k
  • 1 company receive 250k
Not only will we be bringing money to the table, but we also plan to make it easy for other investors from around the country to get in on the action that day as well. Investors will have the ability to follow-up with businesses after Demo Day, as well as offer and negotiate deals with them at the event.


This event will be powered by Rock Ventures. We are devoted to creating structures for economic growth. That is why we have set a bold goal to bring 1,000 new business ideas to action every year. Other initiatives include partnering with and investing in local entrepreneurial service providers, and working with local government and community partners to decrease regulatory barriers of launching a business.

Our belief is that if we create a landscape where anyone who has an idea for business can have that idea vetted and assumption-tested, a stronger and smarter entrepreneurial ecosystem will take form. The more ideas that enter into the pipeline, the greater chance we have for solid and sustainable businesses to be launched. Rock Ventures LLC is the umbrella entity that provides operational coordination, guidance and integration of Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate purchases.

Detroit Demo Day is for existing for-profit businesses physically located and operating in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. Business owners must be legal U.S. residents 18 years of age or older, able to travel on their own to present at Detroit Demo Day, be willing to work with us to perfect their pitch, and be in good standing with the IRS. Eligible businesses must also meet the following criteria by October 21, 2016:
  • Detroit based or willing to relocate business to Detroit.
  • Established for-profit business entity i.e. Sole Proprietorships, General Partnerships, Corporations (Inc., Corp.), Limited Liability Companies (LLC), or Limited Liability Partnerships (LP, LLP).
  • Product or service ready for sales.
  • The following are NOT eligible to apply:
  • Franchises are not eligible to apply.
  • Low-Profit Limited Liability Companies (L3C) are not eligible to apply.
  • Not-for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.
  • Business owners who are: employees of Rock Ventures or Detroit Venture Partners are not eligible to apply.

Rock Ventures is engaged in economic and real estate development, marketing and communications, philanthropy and government relations. Whether it is investing capital to create more jobs, bringing new life to a building, or activating a public space, our philosophy is simple, if we can do something that will affect positive change in the communities that matter so much to us, then we will do it.

Expectation of Winners
Winners will be expected to attend events where they will be connected to other winners and resources. They will also may be asked to share their story through a variety of media opportunities. These types of opportunities will be determined after winners are announced. Applicants selected to pitch at Detroit Demo Day are expected to:
  • Travel to and present at Detroit Demo Day on the designated day and times
  • Practice their pitch in front of our Judges
  • Stay throughout the day's events to engage with attendees outside investors
  • Utilize the funding in an agreed upon manner and time frame
  • Send regular reports on the status of their business and use of funds