HATCH startup contest expanding to southeastern Wisconsin

Pitch events give entrepreneurs a chance to compete for cash prizes

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:04 pm

HATCH, a startup pitch series that gives Wisconsin entrepreneurs a chance to compete for cash prizes, will expand to southeastern Wisconsin, program organizers BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation and NEWaukee announced Thursday.

The Milwaukee-based venture philanthropy organization and Milwaukee social architecture firm, which together launched the HATCH program last year, plan to bring the pitch events to the greater Racine and Kenosha areas, as well as Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie, this year.

HATCH events were held in four central Wisconsin cities, including Marshfield, Stevens Point, Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids, during the program’s inaugural year.

“There are entrepreneurs, creators and creatives in all parts of the state and our goal in year two of HATCH is to help provide a platform for them to grow their ideas into companies,” said Jeremy Fojut, chief idea officer at NEWaukee. “That takes the support of an entire community.”

At the events, presenters have five minutes to pitch in front of judges and a live audience. The winner of each event receives $2,000 and qualifies as a semi-finalist for the regional finale. The winner of the finale takes home $5,000 and other business services.

HATCH events will be held in the southeastern, central and northwestern Wisconsin regions during the months of May, July, and September. Regional finales will be held in November.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.