Can you share your business idea using only your voice in 53 seconds?

We’re challenging Michigan women to record their best business idea for a chance to win cash prizes. All you need is a recording device (a phone works well!), 53 seconds, and a great idea!

Please note our 2023 Challenge Applications are closed. Please stay tuned for 2024 information.

53 Voices Winner Reveal

Tune in at 10/17 at 6:00pm for the 2023 53 Voices Challenge Winner Reveal to find out which 3 entrepreneurs will win the grand prizes of $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500! 

Live Broadcast via YouTube

Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Time: 6:00pm-6:30pm

About the Challenge:


  • The top 53 ideas will receive $200
  • The top 10 ideas will receive an additional $750
  • The final prizes (as decided by public votes) are $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500!


To apply, your businesses must be at least 51% women-owned, located in the eligible* geographic region in Southeast Michigan, and you have a great idea for a new business (start-up) or to grow your existing business. Top 10 finalists from previous 53 Voices Challenges are not eligible to apply.

*Eligible geographic regions include: Detroit, Monroe, Flint, Pontiac, Brighton, Woodhaven, Novi, Troy, Trenton, Saint Clair, Southfield, Shelby, Romeo, Riverview, Kimball, Owosso, Clinton Twp, Milford, Marysville, Marine City, Livonia, Howell, Hamburg, Grand Blanc, Gilbraltar, Fort Gratiot, Miller Road, Flat Rock, Fair Haven. Durand, Sterling Heights, Mount Clemens, Clarkston, Royal Oak, Warren, West Bloomfield, Chesterfield Twp, Armada, Wixom, Ann Arbor, Port Huron.

How the contest will work:

Round one: Record your idea & submit a concept paper

Record your business idea in 53 seconds using your phone or another recording device and prepare a one-page concept paper outlining your business idea. Our application will accept .wav, mp3, and .mp4 formats for your recording. You will need to download a third party recording app on your phone.

How to record on your phone:
In order to record in the proper format, you will need to download an app to record your idea. Do not use the “Voice Memos” app on your phone. We recommend the following free apps:

Tips for your 53 second recording:
You only have 53 seconds, so make it count! We recommend that you speak from the heart about your business idea. We want to hear about your product/ service, why it’s needed, and why you think it’s deserving of funding.

What’s required in your 1-page concept paper:
The application will ask you to answer the following in 500 words:

  1. Contact information (name, address, email, and phone number)
  2. Describe the product or service you will offer and the market that you serve. Identify your customers and how you are addressing an unmet need.
  3. Describe the advantages or unique qualities of your product and service. Identify the specific market segment(s) addressed by your business and its approximate size.
  4. Describe the current management team and include a brief description of the team’s relevant experience.
  5. Explain how your business currently generates or will generate revenue, and explain any future sources of funding.
  6. Describe any key partnerships that your business requires to operate (examples: vendors, suppliers, distribution partners)

Round two: Top 53 ideas will attend three workshops & win cash prizes

The top 53 ideas will be selected to win $200 and invited to participate in 3 mandatory workshops. Attendance in these workshops is required to win the $200 prize and move on to the next round.

About the three mandatory workshops:

August 31 – First TA Session 9:00 – 10:30 AM IN PERSON in Detroit
September 6 – Second TA Session 9:00-11:00 AM VIRTUAL
September 13 – Third TA Session 9:00 – 10:30 AM VIRTUAL

Round three: Top 10 ideas will create a 53 second video and win more cash

Out of the top 53, 10 finalists will be asked to create a 53 second video pitching their business idea. These 10 finalists will all receive an additional $750.

Note: The Top 10 Finalists will have a mandatory virtual meeting on September 18 from 9:00-10:00am.

Round four: Community Vote on social media

The community will vote for their favorite idea on social media over a two week period. The 3 ideas with the most votes will receive the grand prizes!

October 17 – WINNERS ANNOUNCED (in-person event in Detroit)

Still have questions?

For questions on content of your application and video, contact
For any technical questions, contact Elly Drain