Javier Evelyn is one of millions worldwide who suffer from severe and sometimes life-threatening food allergies. Searching for solutions led the young Black entrepreneur to quit his day job in insurance and launch Detroit-based Alerje to help others minimize food allergy risks and live a healthy lifestyle. Starting out, he worked closely with mentors at Wayne State University’s TechTown business accelerator. After creating a business plan, he drew on TechTown resources to apply for a $7,000 MEDC-backed grant. Next came an innovation competition that resulted in a $50,000 grant — then an infusion of cash from a new investor, introduced by an MEDC partner. All told, the company had raised $760,000 by mid-2020.
How did Alerje do it? Evelyn shares what he learned and offers advice for other startups in our new White Paper focusing on access to capital for startups. Download it here.