Final Four local businesses compete for $50,000 grand prize

Votes have been cast and the totals have been tallied as the top ten contestants in the 2016 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest have been whittled down to the final four. A clothing boutique, ceramic studio, urban farm-sourced cafe, and wellness center are now the last competitors standing in pursuit of the $50,000 grand prize.

The winner of the contest, which is presented by Opportunity Detroit this year, will be determined by a public vote and a presentation in front of a panel of judges Friday, August 26. The public voting also ends at noon on August 26.

While the panel of judges will help determine the $50,000 winner, Vittoria Katanski, executive director of Hatch Detroit, stresses the importance of the public's role in the process.

"A significant component of this contest is the support of the public," she says. "From the moment the Top 10 are announced to the continued support of our Hatch alumni, the public is our partner. We've had more than 21,000 public votes so far in this year's contest, and we hope the community's support for these businesses continues to grow."

The final four contestants consist of Bird Bee, a clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories boutique; Corbe, a ceramic design and manufacturing studio wanting to open a storefront in the North End; Coriander Kitchen & Farm, an urban farm and catering business seeking a brick and mortar location; and Meta Physica Massage & Sauna, which hopes to open a Wellness Center that includes therapeutic bodywork, infrared saunas, a raw juice bar, herbal apothecary, meditation classes, community workshops, and health-inspired retail.

The winner of the $50,000 grand prize will also receive over $200,000 in pro bono business services from local firms that include GTB, MCCI, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, Hamilton Anderson Associates, and the Hatch organization itself. Hatch has also provided a number of services to previous contestants who failed to reach the top prize.

Vote online here.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.