Detroit Demo Day has begun, with $1.2 million available

The Social Club Grooming Company fosters community conversations through hair cuts.

"In this space, we hire all different types of people then those individuals also have conversations across you know existing barriers," said Sebastian Jackson, of the trendy barber shop.

Jackson's business opened in 2012 and has taken off. But before seeing that success, it received a $25,000 cash award, then another $200,000 cash award from Detroit Demo Day. Meant to give entrepreneuers the financial bump they need, seven more businesses will get a similar prize this year.

"We need more capital for small businesses and risker capital, more flexible capital," said James Chapman and entrepreneur in residence Rock Ventures.

Sponsored by Quicken Loans, cash prizes between $50,000 and $300,000 are on the line for businesses applying. Some conditions apply though: Any application submitted must be for an existing business. 

After 15 finalists are narrowed down, the winners will be announced at the Filmoroe in the summer.