Local startups attract funding and mentorship on ‘Project Pitch It’

Project Pitch It Season 5 moguls Jerry Jendusa, JoAnne Sabir, David Gruber and Peggy Ann.

Six local startups attracted funding and mentorship from moguls on the latest episodes of ‘Project Pitch It,’ WISN-TV Channel 12’s Shark Tank-style show.

For each episode, area entrepreneurs pitch their startup ideas to moguls, who either offer mentorship, cash, or a combination of both.

Entrepreneurs can receive the following awards:

  • Project Pitch It Award – $10,000
  • The Jendusa Lubar Entrepreneurship Center Award – Offers workshops, programming and support services including investment guidance and mentoring from UW-Milwaukee’s Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and $5,000.
  • AmFam Award – The American Family Insurance award includes pairing the entrepreneur with a leader at American Family to support growth in all aspects of the business including marketing, IT, human resources and finance.

Here’s a list of startups that received awards on the last two episodes of Project Pitch It:

The Classic Shoppe

The Classic Shoppe is a clothing store and streetwear brand located in the Sherman Phoenix business hub in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood. Founded by Marie Carter, the startup works to create a line of clothing and brand that promotes a universal and lasting respect for African American culture. The startup received the AmFam Award and $5,000 from the Project Pitch It Award.

Octane Coffee

Waukesha-based Octane Coffee developed a drive-thru coffee shop business model that is completely automated. The startup, founded by Adrian Deasy, hopes to launch its first coffee drive-thru this summer in the City of Pewaukee. Octane Coffee received the Jendusa Lubar Entrepreneurship Center Award.

Valor Aquaponics

Waukesha-based Valor Aquaponics is a commercial aquaponics farm. The business raises both rainbow trout and yellow perch and grows basil and microgreens, including broccoli, lettuce and sunflower seeds. Valor Aquaponics sells its products at Good Harvest Market in Pewaukee. The company received the AmFam award and $5,000 from the Project Pitch It Award.


Milwaukee-based washbnb is a wash-and-fold laundry service for Airbnb hosts. With a subscription, a host can rent luxury hotel-quality bedsheets and bath towels. Once guests have left, washbnb will retrieve the dirty linens and deliver new ones that are clean and folded. The startup received the AmFam award.

Nourish Natural Products

Nourish Natural Products is a Milwaukee-based wellness company that offers more than 85 different organic products for the body, mind and home. The startup sells its products at events, through its website and at 40 locally owned retail partner locations throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The startup received the Jendusa Lubar Entrepreneurship Center Award.

Tip A ScRxipt

Milwaukee-based Tip a ScRxipt is a peer funded social payment app that allows people to contribute funds to friends and family for medical expenses. Funds in a Tip A ScRxipt account are exclusively redeemable as last dollar payment only for prescribed medication, for medical supplies and for medical equipment at pharmacies. The startup received the AmFam award and $10,000 from the Project Pitch It Award.

Moguls for the fifth season of Project Pitch It include former CEO of EMTEQ and co-founder of Stuck Jerry Jendusa, Sherman Phoenix co-founder JoAnne Sabir, Gruber Law Offices founder David Gruber and former CEO and former owner of Empire Level Manufacturing Peggy Ann.

Project Pitch It airs Saturdays at 10:35 p.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin on WISN-TV 12. BizTimes Milwaukee is a media partner for Project Pitch It.

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