Near West Side Partners names Rev-Up MKE finalists

Small businesses compete for $10,000

Pete Cooney, center, was the winner of the first Near West Side Partners Rev-Up MKE startup competition.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:05 pm

Near West Side Partners has announced the six finalists for its Rev-Up MKE small business competition.

Pete Cooney, center, was the winner of the first Near West Side Partners Rev-Up MKE startup competition.

They are:

  • Denari, Joe Erato: A financial technology application to help Gen Z and millennials accomplish personal financial goals through gamification.
  • Forward Food Collective, Brooke McNeill: A co-working space for food and beverage entrepreneurs.
  • Hands in Harmony Piano Studio, Annalies Tilley-Grantz: A musician community and studio that provides free instruments to every student at home.
  • House of Weaving, Latrece Nelson: An affordable fast weave extension salon and beauty supply retailer.
  • Lisa Kaye Catering LLC, Lisa McKay: High-quality, affordable catering for public and private events.
  • Orange Butterfly Personal Concierge Services, Shannon Fasola Mattox: Comprehensive personal assistance and concierge services for busy professionals, businesses and individuals.

Finalists are selected by a panel of judges based on their applications and the quality of their business ideas. All six will receive business training and consulting support over the next few weeks, and will make a live pitch at 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Rave/Eagle’s Ballroom to determine the winner. The winning business receives $10,000, $25,000 of in-kind services, and marketing from Near West Side Partners.

The competition aims to help entrepreneurs expand or start a business. The winner is expected to open a storefront in the Near West Side neighborhood.

This is the second year Rev-Up MKE has been held. Last year, Pete’s Pops was the winner.

For the 2017 competition, NWSP added a free six-week pre-training business boot camp for Near West Side residents prior to the application deadline. And each finalist will be matched with a Near West Side corporate partner for one-on-one mentorship and resource support.

“The Near West Side is home to some of the world’s greatest startups – companies that are now iconic brands like Harley-Davidson and MillerCoors,” said Keith Stanley, executive director of NWSP. “Based on the great ideas and high-quality applications we received this year, it is clear that entrepreneurial spirit continues to thrive in the Near West Side.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.