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Michigan Women’s Foundation, in partnership with Springboard Enterprises, is pleased to announce the 2017 Dolphin Tank .  Dolphin Tank was established in 2012, as a gentler version of the hit TV show Shark Tank, to showcase the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Southeast and Western Michigan.  Three winners will be awarded, from each region (Southeast Michigan, West Michigan, and Jackson area), cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 will be awarded at each competition, as well as support services and technical assistance.


  • Submit a two (2) page concept paper by midnight Wednesday, May 31, 2017
  • Must be 51% Women owned and/or operated
  • Open to all State of Michigan businesses
  • Applicant demonstrates significant role in conception of venture
  • Candidate holds key management position and is actively involved in day to day operation of business
  • Agree to participate with Michigan Women’s Foundation for marketing purposes
  • Previous Michigan Women’s Foundation Dolphin Tank Winners are not eligible to apply
Concept Papers
  • Concept papers are a maximum of 2 pages.  All concept papers that exceed 2 pages will not be submitted for review. 
  • A $10.00 Non-Refundable Processing Fee is required.  Concept papers submitted without processing fee will not be reviewed.
  • Concept papers must include the following: business summary, product/service description, market/industry analysis, revenue/business model, competition, management team, financials and use of funds.  Additional details provided at under the resources tab.

All businesses will be reviewed utilizing the same criteria and organized into two categories:

GROWTH BUSINESS – A business that has the potential to scale significantly in size and revenue.  An example of a growth business is a technology-based startup that has the potential to be acquired or go public.  Another example of a growth business is a retail or food establishment that can expand to multiple locations to become a chain or franchise.  A third example is a manufacturing business that grows its number of employees to over 50.  Growth businesses can be attractive to outside investors.

LIFESTYLE BUSINESS – A business which is run by its owners to suit their lifestyle and provide them with income.  In general, the business owner is not interested in growing the company into a larger enterprise that would need many employees, a management team, and more resources.  Examples of lifestyle businesses include an independent coffee shop or retail store, an artisan producing and selling the artisan’s own goods, and a professional consultancy.  Lifestyle businesses tend to not attract outside investors.


You may start your application by registering for a FluidReview account and select one of the following categories based on your business location and type. If you already have an existing account with MWF, you must log in and click on "Create New submission" and select a category based on your business location and type.

  • 2017 Dolphin Tank -Lifestyle Companies (SE Michigan)
  • 2017 Dolphin Tank -Growth Companies (SE Michigan)
  • 2017 Dolphin Tank -Lifestyle Companies (West Michigan)
  • 2017 Dolphin Tank -Growth Companies (West Michigan)
  • 2017 Dolphin Tank -Lifestyle Companies (Jackson)
  • 2017 Dolphin Tank -Growth Companies (Jackson)

MWF has the right to disqualify any applicant and/or reject what they believe are not in compliance with the contest rules, any applicant that does not meet the eligibility requirements as set forth under “contest rules and eligibility” and/or any entry that violates local, state or national laws and/or appears to be unethical in nature.

Please contact Women's Entrepreneurial Initiative Team if you have any questions:
313-962-1920 or 616-765-4230