BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation today announced the expansion of HATCH, a community-based startup pitch platform that aims to convert strong “napkin” ideas into business plans that launch new companies. The application for idea submissions is now open to the public at

HATCH is a rotating, high-energy, and idea pitch program designed to facilitate connections between prospective entrepreneurs and those within the community who support them such as industry experts, professional service firms, banks, non-profits, business leaders and investors. At each program, several individuals or teams of individuals have the opportunity to pitch their brightest business idea to a panel of judges while allowing substantive connections and networking to occur between attendees during the event.

“What we saw after one year was an ecosystem begin to develop across the central Wisconsin region in ways that hadn’t happened before,” said Scott Larson, executive director at the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce. “The connection and communication that occurred at these events drove further activity and resulted in more events, programs and entrepreneurial support. The response was incredible.” View the release here.