Neu-Life Community Development project takes prize at micro-granting pitch event

NEWaukee hosts The Big Impact event

A Neu-Life Community Development project that will allow teens to supply baked goods to Milwaukee area businesses received a $4,100 boost after taking home the prize at a NEWaukee crowd-funded pitch event.

The event, called The Big Impact, featured pitches from the organizers of six projects aimed at building community in Milwaukee. Attendees voted on the projects and the winning pitch received all of the money raised through ticket sales.

It was the first in what will become a series of micro-granting pitch events, said Jeremy Fojut, chief idea officer of NEWaukee. Fojut expects the next event to be held in the fall.

The pitches included:

  • Neu-Life Community Development’s Farmfork – Wholesale Baked Goods Project is an extension of the existing Neu-Life Farmfork urban agriculture and culinary arts program that will allow teens to supply wholesale baked goods to businesses in the Milwaukee area. The Farmfork program is a hands-on, urban agriculture and culinary arts program aimed at addressing issues of health and the environment while exposing teens to entrepreneurial opportunities through after-school programming on Milwaukee’s near north side neighborhoods. Neu-Life is seeking funding to complete final licensing and inspections, and purchase commercial grade mixers to launch the new wholesale baked goods project.
  • Menomonee Valley Partners’ Recre(ART)e in the Menomonee Valley project uses art, outdoor furniture and plantings to enhance the recreation space at the Menomonee Valley Community Park, while also providing education about nature and the park’s stormwater recapture project. Organizers are seeking funding to paint two, 1,200 gallon rain barrels and for the construction and painting of outdoor furniture.
  • Alice’s Garden Urban Farm is seeking funding for the installation of an innovative rainwater harvesting system at the two-acre community garden in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood. The system will channel rainwater from Brown Street Academy’s playground, through a bioswale, and into underground storage located below the garden. The water will then be distributed by a solar powered pump to spigots that gardeners will use to access the water for their gardens.
  • Near West Side Partners are seeking funding for the organization’s Near West Side Storefront Build project, which aims to improve the appearance of commercial storefronts along the Vliet and 27th Street corridors. NWSP is looking to transform a block along the commercial corridor by targeting property owners of underutilized and vacant storefronts in need of improvements, including facade work, new signs, landscaping and interior improvements to prepare the buildings for tenants.
  • BeYou mobile career networking platform is an effort to connect high school and college students with professional mentors and companies to help them on their career path. Described as “Snapchat meets LinkedIn,” the mobile platform would allow students to highlight their skills and make career connections with future employers, while also helping employers connect with emerging talent.
  • Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative’s One-Street Outreach initiative is aimed at building and strengthening community relationships and empowering residents and business owners in the Clarke Square neighborhood. The initiative is a collaboration with Safe & Sound community organizers and Children’s Hospital community health navigators to help build relationships with Clarke Square neighbors in the area of South 25th Street, between West Pierce Street and West Greenfield Avenue.

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