10 women entrepreneurs to compete in Detroit for cash prizes

Ten women entrepreneurs from Southeast Michigan will compete Nov. 9 for up to $10,000 in prizes at the fifth annual Entrepreneur YOU Pitch Competition at the Detroit Opera House.

More than 160 women entrepreneurs submitted business plans for the 2016 Dolphin Tank, a contest modeled off the television show "Shark Tank" in which entrepreneurs pitch business plans before a panel of potential investors. Women business leaders, including Crain's Detroit Business Publisher Mary Kramer, will judge the presentations and award cash prizes as well as pro bono support services and technical assistance.

Winners will be selected in two categories: growth and lifestyle. The first-place winner will receive an award of $10,000; second-place, $5,000; and third-place $2,500. This year the audience also will vote for “Best in Tank,” a $1,000 prize.

The event is presented by the nonprofit Michigan Women’s Foundation along with Washington, D.C.-based Springboard Enterprises. Consumers Energy Foundation sponsors the contest.

A similar competition for women entrepreneurs in West Michigan is scheduled for Nov. 10 at Grand Valley State University in Allendale.

This year's semifinalists for Southeast Michigan are:

  • Clare Fox, 41, of Ferndale for Mutual Adoration, a design house and experimental craft workshop based in Detroit that focuses on transforming locally sourced reclaimed wood into handcrafted furniture, frames and housewares.

  • Natalia Petraszczuk, 37, of Sterling Heights for VizBe, a Software as a Service and employee engagement program.

  • LeeAnn Hamilton, 32, of Novi for Grace Production Services, which manufactures and markets small injection molded and chrome plated parts.

  • Deidra Hogue, 42, of Sterling Heights for Traveling Pants Co., a mobile fashion boutique that is fully equipped with a dressing room, full-length mirrors and traditional boutique decor.

  • Jane Larson, 32, of Detroit for Sfumato Fragrances, a fragrance company that makes all-natural, small-batch scents in Detroit, sold through retail boutiques and its online shop.

  • Katie Mann, 29, of Livonia for 4th Wall Theatre Co., a mobile theater for people with disabilities that travels to student venues to teach singing, acting and dancing before putting on a final show.

  • Kimle Nailer, 53, of Detroit for Nail-Rite Construction, a construction company that provides subcontract services for residential and commercial projects.

  • Tami Powell, 49, of South Lyon for Oxford Recovery Center, a functional therapy facility located in South Lyon and Troy that features a combination of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, intense neuro-physical therapy, nutrition coaching and neurofeedback.

  • Lisa Rockwell, 48, of New Hudson for ADA Candy Florist, which combines chocolate and flowers into one product.

  • Sandy Stolkovski, 42, of Northville for iServe Inc., a soft-serve dessert making system for the home that combines premium ice cream/frozen yogurt and single-serve technology for dispensing machines and pods.

The competition, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.

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