Just about this time last year in 2018, Matt and I applied for and ended up being one of the winners of Quicken Loans Detroit Demo Day – a pitch competition here in Detroit! We walked away with a $200,000 Grow Award to take our business to the next level. On June 14th, we had the chance to see 2019s’ entrepreneurs compete, and thought it was a great time to share how we chose to use our own award.
If you’d like to watch our 90-second pitch, you can check it out below!
1. Streamline Our Manufacturing. Before Detroit Demo Day, we were still making the majority of our products by hand at our studio, start to finish. The demand for our goods had grown to the point where we were truly at capacity with our production capabilities. After we won, we used a portion of the funds to outsource the manufacturing of our products’ components to local specialized vendors in the US. This has given us the ability in our supply chain to simply make a phone call or email when we’re running low on a product component. All the hand assembly and quality control still happens at our studio in Detroit, but being able to outsource other components has freed up significant time for our product design team to work on what’s next.
2. Grow Our Team. As we’ve expanded our business, getting to add team members has been an important part of our growth. We used a portion of the Detroit Demo Day funds to create several new positions on our team, including our first official Production Manager and Head of Business Development roles.
3. Expand Our Studio. With the increased need for storage of raw materials and inventory, as well as adding two new team members – we needed more space! After winning Detroit Demo Day, we were able to effectively double our studio space. We created a permanent photography studio and office, as well as a larger area for prototyping new products.
Winning Detroit Demo Day was a massive boost for us, allowing us to strengthen our internal business infrastructure, add new team members, and have more physical space to work from. Congratulations to this year’s winners – we highly recommend anyone in the Detroit entrepreneurship community apply next year.
Thanks for reading!
Audrey / Co-Founder