GrowthChart Inc. wins $10,000 on Project Pitch It

Project Pitch It 2020 moguls Jerry Jendusa, Dr. Debbie Allen, David Gruber and Peggy Ann.

Childcare software development company GrowthChart Inc. earned a $10,000 prize in the third episode of “Project Pitch It” season 4 on WISN-TV Channel 12.

GrowthChart’s hands-free voice assistant lets early childhood educators capture anecdotal observations for daily sheets, child portfolios, parent teacher conferences and assessments through smart speakers.The report is then documented through a mobile or web-based app.

Brent Benner, who co-founded the company, realized there was a need for such an app when he saw his wife, a preschool teacher, recording her observations on paper after work. Benner also discovered that many childcare professionals are not using screen-based apps because they avert their attention from children.

“Do you now how much time it actually saves a teacher to use this device?” asked Peggy Ann, Project Pitch It mogul.

“Some of those developmental reports they have to put together, like my wife was doing, they used to take 20 minutes per report whereas now she does it in under 4 minutes,” Benner said.

GrowthChart costs $2 per child per month with childcare providers being the primary customer. However, some childcare providers have implemented an annual $25 media fee to the family, Benner said.

GrowthChart also recently won the Governor’s Business Plan Contest. The company is now looking to ramp up its overall sales, bring on the company’s chief technology officer full-time and add more sales associates.

Later on in the show, the four moguls enjoyed friendly competition after the Bussie family introduced DoodleMash, a drawing-based board game in which players draw one new creature combining the features of three different animals.

Once finished, the player hands the drawing to their teammate and they have to guess which three animals were included in the drawing.

Jake and Lindsey Bussie set out to build a game that bridges the gap between games for kids and adults, Lindsey Bussie said.

“I can see how it creates opportunity for a lot of interaction and a lot of fun,” said mogul Jerry Jundusa.

DoodleMash earned the Stritch Pitch award, which includes up to 3 courses at Cardinal Stritch University, access to innovation space and faculty and staff mentoring for one year.

The board game is available on the company’s website, Amazon and select brick and mortar board game stores in Wisconsin.

The third startup on the show, Stonehouse Water Technologies, “makes the unthinkable, drinkable,” said Anne Wick, Stonehouse vice president. The Milwaukee-based company, located in the Global Water Center, developed a water purification system with patented technology called the “Water POD.”

“It’s like having a mini water treatment facility in your home, commercial building, office, apartment, village, hut or yurt,” Wick said. “Wherever you have water problems we can bring the Water Pod to you.”

POD stands for purification on demand because the water treatment system gives users instant purified water. Water POD connects to mobile devices, which allows users to keep track and monitor water quality and their treatment system.

Stonehouse Water Technologies manufacturers its product at a facility in Saukville, which was built from scratch following a $2.5 million investment, said Dr. Moe Mukibi, president and chief technology officer.

Each residential POD costs $4,850. The company has 45 residential units around the world including in Wisconsin, Alabama, New Mexico, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

“I think our biggest need is to know how to scale up from a marketing standpoint,” said Hensley Foster, Stonehouse Water Technologies chief executive officer.

The company was awarded the Get Unstuck Award, which includes $5,000 and one year of business coaching and strategy deployment.

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