Building A Strong Application

NEIdeas is not interested in just giving out cash. NEIdeas is interested in inspiring and enabling your ideas. Applications must consider the purpose of the program: to sustain businesses, strengthen neighborhoods, diversify economies, and grow jobs for residents of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. The best applications will have ideas for growth, consistent with this purpose, that are:

    1. Impactful – Tell us how your idea will – first and foremost – grow your business. Then tell us how that growth can impact where you are located and who you are serving. The idea that increases your business’s bottom line may also be one that positively effects your customers, clients, or community; and/or one that can positively change your building, block, neighborhood, or city.
    2. Courageous – Tell us how your idea reinforces the passion for what you do. It may be one that allows your business to take a little more risk; one that challenges your vision for growth; or one that encourages innovation. Don’t be afraid to be practical. Practical ideas are courageous too.
    3. Interesting – Consider your competition. There are likely many applicants that have the same type of business. Show us an interesting idea that sets you apart from the others and you are more likely to get our attention.
    4. Achievable – You only have a certain amount of time and money to turn idea into reality. Choose your ideas wisely. If they are grand or complex, pick apart the most manageable parts and make your pitch. If it is uncommon or unconventional, consider the legality of the proposition.
    5. Clear The jury who reviews your idea is made of a diverse group of individuals who may or may not be familiar with your industry or your request. Describe your idea for growth clearly so that anyone can understand it.

Here is some basic advice:  We do not know your business like you do so, whatever the idea, it’s up to you to tell us. Follow the directions and make sure your application is complete. Be concise, specific, and honest. If you have questions, attend an NEIdeas Information Session & Workshop or reach out to an NEIdeas Ambassador for help. 

Please note the following:

  • On an NEIdeas Application, the “Business Street Address” should reflect where a business is physically located and operating. This may be different from where a business is registered or incorporated.
  • On an NEIdeas Application, businesses should consider the number of years operating when listing “Date Business Founded.” This may be different from the number of years registered or incorporated.
  • On an NEIdeas Application, businesses may “Designate a Contact Person” who is not a business owner. In cases where an individual has assisted on an application or applied on behalf of a business owner, NEIdeas recommends that they are listed as the designated contact person.
  • Businesses can apply to either the $10k Challenge or the $100k Challenge – a business can not apply to both.
  • Businesses are limited to one application. If a business submits multiple applications, they will be removed from award consideration.

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