‘Sydetasker’ inventor takes home Project Pitch It $10,000 prize

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Milwaukee entrepreneur Colin Milligan and his company Sydetasker won the Peg Ann & David Gruber Project Pitch It $10,000 award during this week’s episode of Project Pitch It.

Milligan created Sydetasker to help homeowners tackle the everyday tasks that they are either too busy to do or unable to do. Sydetasker’s software helps connect users in need of services to local and independent contractors. The app provides a labor force of verified “taskers” that users can choose from.

“I really believe in your service, because I’m a single senior citizen and you can’t get anybody to come to your house and do little jobs,” said Project Pitch It mogul Peggy Ann.

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Sydetasker earned $90,000 in revenue in 2021, taking approximately 17% of each paid job that was completed. When asked how he deals with a crowded market filled with similar home service apps, Milligan said Sydetasker’s base of users is particularly diverse.

“We appeal to different contractors, people who run their own businesses and people who want to have a supplemental income,” Milligan said.

Esperanza Coffee won the Jendusa/UWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center $5,000 award. Founder Sergio Molina, a Kenosha resident, was raised in Wisconsin but both of his parents grew up in Guatemala. Since the country is so well-known for its coffee beans, Molina decided to bring that taste of Guatemala to Wisconsin. Esperanza Coffee is a farm to cup pop-up coffee shop that sources its beans from Molina’s parents’ farm in Guatemala. Molina currently operates at farmers markets in the Kenosha and Racine areas.

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“Any time I’ve talked to people who have been to Guatemala, they just say there’s a passion behind the people (who produce coffee beans). They’re just so kind and I felt it when I went there. There’s just a warmth to the people,” Molina said.

Esperanza Coffee also has a partnership with Milwaukee-based Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., which roasts the Guatemalan coffee beans. Molina wants to build out a trailer that he can sell from at farmers markets instead of the stand he currently uses. Drive-thrus are another way to scale the business.

Milwaukee entrepreneur Taneal Jordan and her company Donna Cazzuto, which is Italian for “badass woman”, took home the Am Fam/We Energies $1,500 award this week. Donna Cazzuto is a women’s empowerment athleisure clothing label that uses positive affirmations within its designs. The company’s staple product is the “ultimate legging.” Jordan created the leggings with the help of fashion designers in Italy and Peru. They removed the inside seam that is typical of most workout leggings and placed it on the outside of the leggings instead, making them more rip resistant.

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“The reason I started the company is I had my own childhood and early adult experiences centered around domestic violence, emotional trauma and pain, but I discovered meditation,” Jordan said. “Mindfulness practices turned my life completely around.”

Jordan donates to domestic violence and other healing programs through the company. She is looking to create a storefront for Donna Cazzuto products where women can also host empowering events and gather.

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 Channel 12. BizTimes Milwaukee is a media partner for Project Pitch It.

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