From compost to photo keepsakes, Milwaukee-area startups dominated the Business Services category at the 2017 Governor’s Business Plan Contest. Hear Melissa Tashjian, president of Compost Crusader, and Ann Matuszak, co-founder and CEO of Pixologie, pitch their startups at the Thursday, July 13 meeting of the Tech Council’s Innovation Network in Wauwatosa.

Business Services category winner Compost Crusader provides a cost-effective pick-up service to organizations and municipalities that want to divert organic material from the landfill. The Milwaukee company has already landed municipal and business customers, including the 2017 U.S. Open golf tournament.

Pixologie, an Oak Creek firm that tied for third place, offers photo organization, media digitalization and backup services for consumers to get passed on to the next generation by using cloud-based services.

Both are women-led businesses that made it to the final round in the 2017 Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which culminated June 7 at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

The July 13 event will take place at UW-Milwaukee’s Innovation Accelerator, 1225 Discovery Parkway. Registration, networking and hors d’oeuvres start at 11:30 a.m. and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for students and Bunker Labs members, $25 for individual members, $35 for non-members and included for Tech Council corporate members. Click here to register.

“These companies are excellent examples of how technology can leverage businesses that may seem traditional from the outside, but which are innovative on the inside and in how the relate to customers,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

The meeting is held in cooperation with BizStarts and sponsored by UW-Milwaukee and UWM Research Foundation.

The Wisconsin Technology Council is the independent, non-profit science and technology adviser to the governor and Legislature, with events, publications and outreach that contribute to Wisconsin’s tech-based economy. To join, go to or call 608-442-7557.