TechTown stirs up entrepreneurship in Southeast Michigan with Aug. 3 Startup SOUP pitch competition

Nominations close Sunday, July 1

June 21, 2012


DETROIT, June 21, 2012 — TechTown, Wayne State University’s research and technology park and business incubator, invites metro Detroiters to see what’s brewing among local entrepreneurs at its inaugural Startup SOUP, a novel business plan pitch competition, at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 3, at 2051 Rosa Parks Blvd., Detroit. Participants have a chance to win more than $1,500, plus business training from TechTown. Since 2007, TechTown has provided support to more than 647 companies, which have created more than 1,085 jobs. TechTown’s client companies generated roughly $52 million in revenue last year alone.

Startup SOUP is designed to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses through microfunding. Nominations to pitch at Startup SOUP close Sunday, July 1; interested entrepreneurs can apply at A panel of judges will review the nominations and select three to five businesses to present at the event. Each finalist has up to five minutes to make a business pitch and field questions from the attendees, who will evaluate finalists over a hearty bowl of broth (yes, actual soup) before voting for their favorite.

“Through its partners and programs, TechTown connects small businesses to the customers, talent, capital and location necessary to build a thriving enterprise in Southeast Michigan,” said TechTown President and CEO Leslie Smith. “Startup SOUP reaches those entrepreneurs who can truly benefit from microfunding and community support. We’re certainly eager to shine a light on promising local businesses and aid them in their early stages of growth.” ”

To be eligible to pitch at Startup SOUP, nominees must have registered their business with the state (LLC, etc.) and be based in Southeast Michigan. Businesses may or may not have formally launched but must be in the pre-revenue phase.

The Startup SOUP winner will receive:

o $1,500 generously donated by corporate sponsors Hennessey Capital and Huntington Bank
o The door kitty; admission is $5 per person
o Five business development workshop vouchers from TechTown

All finalists will receive two business development workshop vouchers from TechTown.

Startup SOUP is an entrepreneurial twist on the highly popular Detroit SOUP community fundraising dinner. Detroit SOUP which has partnered with TechTown to host the event, has achieved local recognition for its ability to raise monies for microgrants to support creative projects in Detroit.

The public is invited to attend Startup SOUP; the cost is $5 at the door for soup, salad, bread and a vote. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. To register, go to

For more information on Startup SOUP, contact Diane Love-Suvada at 313-483-1302 or


TechTown works to reignite Detroit's entrepreneurial culture by fueling business growth, job creation and the revitalization of Midtown and beyond. Through its partners and programs, the nonprofit business incubator and accelerator connects small businesses to the customers, talent, capital and location necessary to build a thriving enterprise in Southeast Michigan. Its entrepreneurs also gain unique access to research, academic and technology assets through TechTown's partnership with Wayne State University. To learn more about TechTown, visit