Sahi Cosmetics wins $100000 in Rise of the Rest pitch competition – Crain’s Detroit Business
“Sahi has raised $250,000 total now and we are using the funds to build out a luxury brand,” Sahi said in an email. “Most of our investments go towards creating brand awareness and new product development. We hope to raise $1 million for our seed round.”
Sahi, a former materials engineer at Ford Motor Co., had problems finding makeup that worked for herself and saw an opportunity to use her science background to produce custom blends at scale.
The Rise of the Rest competition is led by Steve Case, the chairman of Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Revolution LLC and co-founder and former chairman of AOL Inc. The judge panel included Case, Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, Revolution partner David Hall, Revolution Vice President Ashley Larson, University of Michigan Ross School of Business Dean Scott DeRue and Troy-based The Kresge Foundation Vice President Robert Manilla.
The pitch competition finalists included the following startups:
- SkySpecs LLC, Ann Arbor – Danny Ellis, CEO: Company automates predictive maintenance of energy infrastructure with drones.
- Pitstop, Ontario – Shiva Bhardwaj, CEO: Pitstop predicts vehicle failures before they happen.
- Genomenon Inc., Ann Arbor – Mike Klein, CEO: Genomenon creates interpretation software for diagnosing and treating cancer.
- Inmatech Inc., Ann Arbor – Les Alexander, CEO: The company commercializes novel high-performance supercapacitors for energy storage systems.
- Warmilu LLC, Ann Arbor – Grace Hsia, CEO: Warmilu provides nonelectric warmth to those who need it most.
- SurClean Inc., Wixom – Susan Sprentall, founder, president and CEO: The company’s laser surface prep removes paint, replacing traditional methods.
- Civionics Inc., Ann Arbor – Gerry Roston, CEO: Civionics improves manufacturers’ profitability by reducing downtime.
Case kicked off the Ann Arbor stop of his Rise of the Rest tour with a breakfast session at which he made his case for why the Midwest should be home to the next wave of tech startups. Later, in a panel discussion that included Detroit billionaire Dan Gilbert, he talked about Ann Arbor and Detroit’s increasingly important role in entrepreneurship and its missing cohesion.