Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. will invest up to $85,000 in a local startup company through a reverse pitch competition.

The competition, which aims to solve one of five business challenges for the insurer, will kick off during Milwaukee Startup Week on Nov. 6, said Matt Cordio, an organizer of the week and president of Startup Milwaukee and Skills Pipeline. On that day, Northwestern Mutual will present to interested startups its five ideas:

  • Legal automation: A way to automate the procurement contract process by disaggregating key components and virtually red-lining language of concern in contracts – an efficiency win for any corporate law department and procurement professional.
  • Referral friction: A creative solution to overcome the friction its financial representatives encounter in acquiring referrals and new leads.
  • Compliant communication in the digital world: A way to allow clients to reach their advisor using their preferred digital communication method while remaining compliant.
  • Salesperson market potential: An automated way to identify prospects based on a financial representative’s publicly available social media contacts.
  • Real-time spending capture: Software to act as a platform linking several cards a customer already uses to capture real-time transactions and offer the ability to automate future credit card actions through the platform, based on business logic.

The competition is open to interested individuals, teams and existing startups. There will also be kickoff events in Chicago and Madison to attract regional participation. The goal of the program is to attract and hopefully retain a startup in Milwaukee, Cordio said.

After Reverse Pitch MKE on Nov. 6, teams will have until Dec. 10 to apply for a Pitch Back to Northwestern Mutual’s team. Finalists will be selected from those entries, and then a Startup Pitch Day will be held Jan. 8 at Northwestern Mutual to select the winner.

The winning team will receive a $10,000 prize, free space in the new Northwestern Mutual Tower in downtown Milwaukee for up to one year, mentorship from the company’s executives and Startup Milwaukee’s network, and the opportunity for follow-on investment from Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures. The additional potential $75,000 would be an equity investment in the startup. Read the full story here.

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