Press Release

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, WEDC, and NEWaukee Announce $2,000 Pitch Event Winner

HATCH Event Awards Prize to

By - Jun 28th, 2017 09:29 am

Wausau, Wis. – A large crowd gathered at the YWCA for the Wausau HATCH event on Thursday, June 22nd. Four businesses pitched their ideas to compete for a $2,000 prize. The winning pitch was made by Stevens Point based

HATCH is a community-based startup pitch platform that aims to convert strong ideas into business plans, which launch new companies. Partnerships across the state made this third HATCH event a success, bringing together Brightstar Wisconsin Foundation, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, NEWaukee, and MCDEVCO. Other strategic partners include Current Wisconsin Rapids, Ignite, Marshfield Young Professionals and Create Portage County.

A panel of four local judges and a BrightStar executive deliberated on the winning pitch. Audience members also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite pitches and played a part in deciding the outcome. The jurors were: Dan Timm – Vice President SBA, Government Lending, River Valley Bank; Ann Werth – former City of Wausau Economic Development Director; Kevin Eichelberger – Owner, Red Eye Brewing Company and Patina Coffeehouse; Kimberly Reed – Business Instructor, Northcentral Technical College/Former Owner, Wausau to Go; Tom Shannon – President & CEO, BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation; and Erik Rajek – Assistant Vice President, Business Development Officer, Byline Bank.

“By taking a collaborative and experiential approach to building an ecosystem around ideas and entrepreneurship, we are seeing that community support continues to grow,” said Chief Idea Officer of NEWaukee, Jeremy Fojut. “It was the third installment of Hatch Wisconsin and it was great to see interest not only from Wausau but from the rest of Central Wisconsin and beyond. Not only are ideas being hatched on stage, they are forming in the room throughout the event.”

The winning pitch,, is a web platform for building and sharing research projects. will advance to the HATCH finale and pitch for $10,000 on November 9th, 2017.

Other pitches included:
PynPoints | Scott Gile – An app that delivers time and location-relevant messaging/advertising.

Gater App | Marko Knezic – A social media aggregation app that makes it easy for users of all experience levels to create topical, timely and dynamic content for all their social media channels simultaneously by bringing the most popular content creation features and information together in one utility.

Imaginar Mobile Escape Room | Rachel Jean Davis – A modular and movable escape room experience.

The HATCH series continues with the next event on July 19th in Marshfield, Wisconsin at 12 N. Central Avenue, Marshfield WI, (formerly Hudson’s Classic Grill). Submissions of ideas for the remaining Hatch events are accepted on a rolling basis with the deadline for Marshfield on July 12th. The finale is scheduled for November 9th, 2017, and the location will be announced at a later date.

For more information about HATCH, to submit an idea, or to become a resource partner, please visit:

BrightStar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation created to facilitate job creation and increase Wisconsin’s economic activity by deploying donated funds into equity stakes in for-profit early-stage, rapid growth companies. This unique approach enables the formation of new investment capital in Wisconsin through charitable donations to the foundation. For more information, please visit:

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive environment. WEDC provides resources, operational support and financial assistance to companies, partners and communities in Wisconsin. WEDC achieves its mission through initiatives driven by five strategic pillars: business development; community and economic opportunity; strategic economic competitiveness; state brand management and promotion; and operational and fiscal excellence. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit to learn more.

NEWaukee is a social architecture firm that specializes community-based signature experiences centered on high-profile issues of importance for cities across the country. NEWaukee also provides consumer, employer brand and talent engagement services to major employers looking to attract and retain talent necessary to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit:

MCDEVCO invests in business development and community growth through the integration of resources. For more information, please visit:

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