A local baking company whose customers include the Milwaukee Bucks took home the largest cash prize during the latest episode of Project Pitch It. Alan Goodman of Milwaukee-based A Goodman’s Dessertswas awarded the Peg Ann/David Gruber Project Pitch It $10,000 cash award.
A Goodman’s Desserts specializes in bread pudding, butter and lemon cookies and lemon pound cake. Goodman began baking at the age of 12. He said initially, baking was a “punishment” for him lying about going to the library. Goodman found his love of baking through helping his mom in the kitchen.
“I was entrusted with the family recipes, and I’ve gone from baking with my mom under duress to baking for the Milwaukee Bucks, the world champs,” Goodman said.
Aside from having a contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, Goodman hopes to scale his business by having a co-manufacturer make his products. He can then focus on continuing to grow his contacts and customer base without spending so much time in the kitchen. He also hopes to retool his packaging so it’s more appropriate for the wholesale market.
“I always look at things as a 10,000-cookie scenario,” Goodman said. “If somebody comes and says ‘Hey, we need 10,000 cookies’, am I prepared to deliver that?”
Goodman was also a winner of Rev-Up MKE in 2019, earning $10,000 to support moving into a storefront on the city's near west side.
Taking home the Jendusa/UWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center $5,000 award the latest episode of Project Pitch It was Ciao Bella Athletics founder Gina Cornell.
Cornell, a Wausau resident, is an entrepreneur who created her business based off solving a problem. She is active on the triathlon scene and found that most sportswear was not as secure as she would like. Cornell would find herself doing everyday activities and her shirt would slide up, exposing her stomach. She created a hook and loop system to solve this problem. It secures a two-piece outfit into a one-piece.
“If you look at any women’s triathlon (online) group, you’ll see I’m not the only one who has this problem,” Cornell said. “I decided I could fix that problem.”
While she has been focused on women’s clothing, Cornell has recently created her first set for men as well. She was candid with the moguls, saying she does not have a lot of background in the business world and that she could really use some mentorship.
“For me this is a whole new world, actually owning something and putting it out to the world,” Cornell said.
The final entrepreneur on the latest episode of Project Pitch It was Harsimran Kalsi of Milwaukee-based Otto Sciences. Kalsi is a first-year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. His co-founder is his brother, a fourth-year student at MCW.
Otto Sciences is an online marketplace platform that accelerates scientific discovery by connecting scientists with the help and equipment that they need. Kalsi explained the company wants to speed up the research process so cures for diseases can be created at a faster rate.
“We were scientists and we started to notice some barriers and inefficiencies in the research process,” Kalsi said. “We saw that led to worse outcomes in the clinic and we just decided to dive into the problem.”
The company is running a pilot platform that has 15 users. Otto Sciences currently takes a 15% buyer side commission fee for each transaction. Kalsi said the company will move to a premium subscription model, similar to Amazon Prime.
He took home the American Family/We Energies $1,500 award on behalf of the company.