Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:04 pm
Amber Rivard and Josh Burgos co-founded Daync on Milwaukee’s East Side in 2016. They met five years ago at a salsa lesson.
“Little did we know that we had more in common than just passion for salsa dance,” Rivard said. “We were looking to add positivity to our lives, to be a part of a bigger community and to do something that would help boost our self-esteem.”
Daync’s founders requested funding to be able to sell dance apparel and shoes at the studio. They also plan to expand into other communities, Burgos said.
Rivard said customers consistently ask about where they can get shoes like the ones she wears, but they’re not easily able to determine their size so she would like to offer them in-studio.
“I’m not against you bringing in shoes. You’ve got to watch the inventory,” said Jim Lindenberg, one of the business mogul judges on “Project Pitch It.” “You have an audience that’s asking you about it, so why not sell it?”
Alana Platt, CEO and co-founder of Whitefish Bay-based Classmunity LLC, also presented her business, which is fundraising management software for schools.
“We all know that schools are being asked to do more with less resources. As a result, they’re increasingly turning to fundraising to fill in those budget holes. The problem is that existing methods for fundraising are inefficient and insecure,” Platt said.
Classmunity has been working with 15 Wisconsin school districts and has helped them manage $2.1 million in funds to date. It needs help spreading the word about its product, she said.
“There’s so much potential here outside of the school,” said Deb Allen, former president and CEO of Nevada Corp. and one of the judges.
And Jeff Smith, president and co-founder of Hartland-based RapidForce, presented his pain relief product.
His wife injured her knee skiing, but couldn’t find a device that provided the support and pain relief she needed.
So Smith, an engineer, and his wife, an ultrasound specialist and physical therapist, developed an adhesive product called RapidForce Shapes that acts as an external, ultra-strong muscle that has the benefit of a brace’s strength and a tape’s flexibility. The Shapes remain on the body for five days.
“They are placed over the point of pain and designed to reduce the swelling, decrease the pain and improve the fluid flow in the area,” Smith said.
He is seeking $200,000 to move forward with a full-scale digital marketing and social media campaign.
In the end, Daync Studio MKE earned the $10,000 cash prize; Classmunity received the business classes, office space and mentoring from Cardinal Stritch University; and RapidForce got investment advice, mentorship, introductions to local investors and strategy development from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Lubar School of Business and Stuck.
“Project Pitch It,” Wisconsin’s version of “Shark Tank,” airs Saturdays on WISN 12 at 6:30 p.m.