About NEIdeas

We believe that a great idea can help a good business grow. NEIdeas is a program that celebrates existing businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park – rewarding those with the best ideas for growth. There will be a total of $500,000 in cash awards, in addition to business support, to over 30 existing businesses in 2016.

NEIdeas has two types of awards:

The $10k Challenge -provides awards of $10,000 each to 30 businesses that gross under $750,000 annually with ideas to grow

The $100k Challenge – provides awards of $100,000 each to 2 businesses that gross over $750,000 and under $5 million annually with ideas to grow ‘big.

NEIdeas is about more than just the money. NEIdeas is intended to help all applicants – those that win and those that do not win. All businesses that apply are welcomed into the NEIdeas network, where they may access further opportunities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. NEIdeas All-Applicant Assistance offers (1) catered matchmaking to small business service providers; (2) workshops around business growth topics; and (3) connections to other applicants and NEIdeas Ambassadors.

NEIdeas is a program of the New Economy Initiative (NEI) and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM), operated with assistance from Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC).


NEIdeas: Rewarding Ideas for Business Growth is made possible through the support of foundations and corporations. Funders to date include:

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (Detroit)
Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation (Southfield)
Ford Foundation (New York)
Hudson-Webber Foundation (Detroit)
W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek)
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (Miami)
The Kresge Foundation (Troy)
McGregor Fund (Detroit)
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (Flint)
Skillman Foundation (Detroit)
Surdna Foundation (New York)
The William Davidson Foundation (Troy)