Tom Shannon, CEO and co-founder of the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, a unique philanthropic capital investment group, was inducted into the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Investor Hall of Fame at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison on Nov. 15. Mr. Shannon was selected by a panel of 10 judges that included the five past Investor Hall of Fame inductees.
The HATCH Finale was attended by a crowd of almost 300 people who gathered in Stevens Point on Nov. 9. HATCH is a community-based startup pitch platform that aims to convert strong ideas into business plans that can help launch new companies. The program was a collaboration between BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, which supplied funding and leadership, and NEWaukee, which contributed its experience and expertise in executing programs like this. It was this partnership that made the four preliminary HATCH events and the recent finale event huge successes. Other strategic partners included the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Incourage Foundation, the Portage County Business Council, the Marathon County Economic Development Corp., Current Wisconsin Rapids, Ignite, Marshfield Young Professionals, Create Portage County, and Compass Properties, which hosted the event in its private hangar at the Stevens Point airport.
“There sometimes can be questions about what is needed to expand the number of startup companies in Wisconsin,” said NEWaukee’s chief idea officer, Jeremy Fojut. “HATCH was able to spark positive change in central Wisconsin’s startup community through collaboration, cooperation, and building thoughtful in-person experiences that connected entrepreneurs to each other, resources they need, and the community.”
In a surprise ending, the judges were sold on two pitches: Caboosee and Arbré Tech. The winning companies split the $10,000 grand prize.
Feed Manager | Carl Lippert – an app that helps farmers manage their livestock feed.
Arbré Tech | Matthie Vollmer and Ben Meyers – a product built to automate the data-tracking processes used in tree nurseries.
Unpublished.io | Daniel Packard & Maurice Woods III – a web platform for building and sharing research projects.
Cheiks | Elizabeth Olson – women’s underwear with revolutionary sizing.
Leak Syphon Flush Valve | Peter Parker and Landis Brozak – a product to reduce leaky toilets to achieve zero water waste.
Caboosee | Emily Blomberg – baby onesie and pajama technology that make it possible to easily check a diaper without removing the clothing.
Tapped | Jeremy Solin – flavor-infused, natural maple syrups.
For more information about HATCH, please visit www.hatchwi.com.