Two hours left to vote in Hatch Detroit’s 2012 contest…have you picked your favorite yet? I’m asking because I haven’t.
You know why? Because I got to hear all four candidates talk last night at the Hatch Off Party at the Majestic. And the four candidates – Detroit River Sports, Detroit Vegan Soul, La Feria Tapas and Rock City Pies – did an outstanding job considering the pressure of an audience and four tough judges.
Here’s where I was impressed with all four candidates: They all had their numbers straight. They knew how many pies it would take to become profitable. They understood how to balance a start-up business with long-term success. They had figured out how far the $50,000 prize would take them and where they’d need help. None of these folks are newbies and it showed.
Detroit River Sports talked about “revitalizing the community” and the massive asset that is the Riverfront. Detroit Vegan Soul said how bringing healthy food options to the city would “change the culture” of Detroit. La Feria reminded the crowd about how great food can nurture the city and its residences. And Rock City Pies has pie. Delicious pie. Did I mention pie, available every day, in Detroit? Oh, he also mentioned how his business would give back to the city. And there will be pie.
Here’s where the challenge is…Only one of the four will be the winner. The Grand Prize will be announced at 5 p.m. TODAY. (Look to the Hub for an update straight away; we’ll hopefully have some words from the winner as well). But that means three people walk away without the money, which is what they all need to get started.
So, here is what I propose. We need a collective consciousness to get behind the folks whose bank account will be the same after the 5 p.m. announcement. They all promised the Hatch Off judges they would still open up in Detroit – it just would take a lot longer to do so without the grand-prize money. But if everyone who reads the Hub or Facebook or Twitter throws their support behind these fine candidates (and support could be financial, emotional, what have you) then there is a greater chance Detroit will see four more entrepreneurs opening up here.
Final reminder: You have until NOON to vote. You have until 5 p.m. to wait for the winner. And we all have a duty now and into the future to get some grass-roots love to everyone who tried their best for Detroit.