Local entrepreneurs to compete for business pitch opportunity
For the Rapids City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Five entrepreneurs will present their business idea in front of a panel of judges and a live audience, during an entrepreneurial pitch competition held at Mid-State on June 20.
HATCH, put on by BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation and NEWaukee in partnership with Current – Wisconsin Rapids, Mid-State Technical College, and Incourage, is a community-based startup pitch platform to help develop “napkin” ideas into early-stage companies.
It was created and produced by the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, along with NEWaukee, a social architecture firm in Milwaukee. Presenters make their pitch for the chance to win $2,000 and participate as a semi-finalist for the regional finale.
During the competition, the audience has a chance to evaluate and vote for their favorite idea alongside the judges.
This year’s presenters include: Mishelle OShasky – Reengineering Employment: An employment agency that specializes in job placement for those who have had past involvement in the criminal justice system; Curtis Manning – Confirmcare: A program that can track caregiver interactions with patients in healthcare settings, such as in nursing homes and assisted living facilities; Mindy McCord, Layne Cozzolino, and Josh Stolzenburg – Siren Shrub Company: Sipping vinegars made with the highest quality, regionally sourced ingredients; Evan Schuelke – Flip’n Easy: Patented powder scooper with a funnel attached by a folding handle; and Eugene Kim – Cleo: Customer service tool using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help businesses and startups prevent customer churn and increase customer satisfaction
The judging panel consists of: Rick Bakovka: president, Regional Economic Growth Initiative (REGI);
David Clark: Corporate Program Management, Renaissance Learning; Dr. Bobbi Damrow: vice president, Workforce & Economic Development at Mid-State Technical College; Doug King: entrepreneur and owner, BluPlay Café; Andy Shrago: board of directors/ Investment Committee, BrightStar; and Zach Vruwink: entrepreneur and Wisconsin Rapids mayor.
The public is invited to attend HATCH in Mid-State’s Urban Forestry lab on June 20, from 6-8:30 p.m.
At the HATCH finale in Stevens Point, the semi-finalists will pitch for the grand prize of $5,000 and other business services. For more information, visit www.hatchwi.com.