DTE awards $5,000 in Bright Ideas in Business Pitch Competition in Detroit

"Bright Ideas for Neighborhoods" Selects Five Corporate and Community Leaders to Establish Businesses in the Southwest Detroit
By: DTE Bright Ideas for Neighborhoods
LtoR: Jim Blanks;Merlton Brandenberg;Olivia Croom;Lynette Dowler;Trevor Lauer
LtoR: Jim Blanks;Merlton Brandenberg;Olivia Croom;Lynette Dowler;Trevor Lauer
DETROIT - Dec. 10, 2019 - PRLog -- For the second time this year, DTE hosted its Bright Ideas For Neighborhoods program to give local business owners an opportunity to promote their companies and potentially receive a cash infusion for their business. This event, which was held at Detroit PAL, 1680 Michigan Ave, focused on business owners in Southwest Detroit creating a positive impact.

 Six contestants participated in a "Shark Tank" like business pitch competition in front of a panel of judges who evaluated each proposal in front of an audience of local peers and community members on Wednesday evening, December 4.

All participants receive free enrollment in an eight-week course offered by CBA Formula, a leadership and consulting firm where they will learn business skills and are matched with financial contacts to further build their businesses.

More than 175 people attended the competition. The winners include:
  • 1st Place ($3,000): Olivia Croom, Dancing Zebras
  • (Two) 2nd Place Prizes ($1,000 each): Jesse Thompson, HaggleFree and Juan Dueweke-Pérez, Featherstone Moments

 The five judges for the event:
  • Trevor Lauer, President and Chief Operating Officer, DTE Electric
  • Camilo Serna DTE Vice President, Regulatory Affairs DTE Energy
  • Lynette Dowler, President DTE Foundation
  • James Blanks, VP Senior Commercial Lender, First Independence Bank
  • Merlton Brandenberg, Owner – Jorgensen Ford

The implementation of Bright Ideas For Neighborhoods program aligns with DTE's core values by encouraging investment in local businesses to help create safe and beautiful communities for families to live, work and play. DTE has previously hosted these events in Detroit's historic North End neighborhood.

About DTE Energy
DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.2 million customers in Southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE portfolio includes energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects; renewable natural gas; natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage; and energy marketing and trading. As an environmental leader, DTE utility operations will reduce carbon dioxide and methane emissions by more than 80 percent by 2040 to produce cleaner energy while keeping it safe, reliable and affordable. DTE Electric aspires to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. DTE is committed to serving with its energy through volunteerism, education and employment initiatives, philanthropy and economic progress. Information about DTE is available at dteenergy.com, empoweringmichigan.com, twitter.com/dte_energy (http://www.twitter.com/DTE_Energy) and facebook.com. (http://www.facebook.com/brightideasforneighborhoods)

Contact: Amanda Passage, DTE Energy, amanda.passage@dteenergy.com


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