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Michigan Women’s Foundation, in partnership with Springboard Enterprises, is pleased to announce the 2016 Dolphin Tank Business Plan and Pitch Competition.  Dolphin Tank was established in 2012, as a gentler version of the hit TV show Shark Tank, to showcase the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Michigan.  Winners will be awarded cash prizes up to $10,000, support services and technical assistance.


  • Submit a two (2) page concept paper by midnight Friday, May 27, 2016

  • 51% Women Owned and/or Operated

  • Open to Established or Start-up Businesses in Michigan

  • Open to Social Enterprise and For-Profit Businesses

  • Applicant demonstrates significant role in conception of venture

  • Applicant holds key management position and actively involved in day to day operation of business

  • Previous Michigan Women’s Foundation Dolphin Tank first place pitch competition winners are not eligible to apply


  • Concept papers are a maximum of two pages.  All concept papers that exceed two pages will not be submitted for reviewed. 

  • Concept papers must be submitted online at with a $10.00 nonrefundable processing fee.  Concept papers submitted without processing fee will not be submitted for review.

  • 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. Concept Paper Summary Template 


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 expands to multiple locations to become a chain or franchise.  A third example is a manufacturing business that grows its number of employees to over 100.  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 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.

To apply, you must create a new FluidReview account. Account registration can be found in the upper right-hand side of this page. Current and previous microloan applicants must also create a new account in order to apply for the 2016 Dolphin Tank Business Plan and Pitch Competition.

You will be asked to select one of the four categories you are applying for:

  • 2016 Dolphin Tank Business Plan and Pitch Competition-Growth Companies (West Michigan)

  • 2016 Dolphin Tank Business Plan and Pitch Competition-Growth Companies (SE Michigan)

  • 2016 Dolphin Tank Business Plan and Pitch Competition-Lifestyle Companies (West Michigan)

  • 2016 Dolphin Tank Business Plan and Pitch Competition-Lifestyle Companies (SE Michigan)

You do not have to complete the application in one sitting, but you will have to log into your FluidReview account each time (so be sure to save your account login info.).

Please contact Han Peng at or 313-962-1920 if you have any questions.

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