12 local entrepreneurial pitch winners advance to Dec. 2 NEW Launch Alliance regional pitch competition

Posted November 24, 2021

12 local entrepreneurial pitch winners advance to Dec. 2 NEW Launch Alliance regional pitch competition

Local contest winners demonstrate variety of creative business ideas in New North region

NEW NORTH, November 24, 2021 – Twelve entrepreneurial pitch winners who advanced from local pitch competitions hosted by a collaboration of several local partners will vie for additional prize money at a regional pitch competition hosted by New North Inc. The NEW Launch Alliance HATCH Event will take place on Thursday, December 2, at 5 p.m. at the Urban Hub, located at 340 North Broadway, Suite 200, in Green Bay. Participants will have a chance for broader investor attention, along with prize money of $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place.

The top winners will be invited to give an update to an even wider investor/business audience during the New North Summit, scheduled for June 9, 2022, at Lambeau Field.

“We were excited by the wide range of creative business ideas shown at these local pitch events,” says Barb LaMue, president and CEO of New North Inc. “It demonstrates the vibrancy of the entrepreneurial community across the New North region.”

Seven local partnering organizations hosted four different events during Startup Week in Wisconsin, November 15-19. First-place winners at the local level received $1,000 cash, while second-place finishers and judges’ choice designations were given $500 each.

In all, 32 entrepreneurial pitches were made during the local qualifying events. These events – Audible, Fast Pitch, LevelUp and Accelerate – were hosted by the Greater Green Bay Chamber, FVTC Venture Center, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, Envision Greater Fond du Lac, Progress Lakeshore and Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp.

Details of the 12 companies that will advance are as follows:

Alto Gear, presented by Benjamin Leibham: Outdoor products to store and protect ice climbers’ equipment, manufactured from repurposed billboard vinyl, making each wrap unique and saving vinyl from entering landfills.

AppEase, presented by Nicole Tilot: Automatically transfers electronic medical records between medical providers and insurance companies for the purpose of underwriting life, disability and long-term care insurance applications.

Blank Sheet Fabrications, presented by Mark Blank: Provisional patent for a custom tailgate handle for classic pickup trucks, which fits into the original and aftermarket tailgates while keeping the original look and function of the vehicle.

Blossom Baby, presented by Marissa Dyess: Offers sustainable baby clothing to save parents and grandparents time and money; expandable baby clothing caters to the growth of infants.

Brat Wave LLC, presented by Jesse Foster: Patent pending contoured cooking sheet for cooking the curves of a bratwurst.

Divorcist, presented by Elizabeth Paulson and Eliza Cussen: Online gift registry and community of support for those experiencing divorce and breakups.

Doggy Dupa Dog Leash, presented by Brian Jankowski: Patent-pending double leash solves the problems with walking two dogs with a double bungee leash that swivels and does not tangle because it is slack free, allowing dogs to independently roam up to 6 feet, cross under each other freely without tangle, with lead length changing as the dogs walk.

GoGuide, presented by Carter Brown: A software and platform that connects customers of guided trips to guides and instructors for a wide range of outdoor activities, creating a more personal booking experience by enabling customers to research, compare, communicate and book by guide rather than booking a faceless company and getting matched with a guide after the fact.

Homeschool Art Box, presented by Sarah Harmeling: Monthly subscription box which is an ‘open and go’ homeschool art curriculum. It includes a full art history lesson, art appreciation, and instructions and supplies to complete a related art project. Targeted for Grades 1-8, it completes the prep work for parents of research, gathering supplies and creating art projects.

INKBOX, presented by Bill Zimmermann: Secure, vandal-resistant and climate-controlled vending machine that dispenses best-selling printer ink cartridges, placed outside high-traffic locations in communities that are underserved by brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Sativa Building Systems, presented by Zachary Popp: Sustainable green-building materials with the Z Panel, a patented, hemp-based wall panel that is 100 percent breathable and non-toxic, as well as mod-, rot-, pest- and fire resistant, in addition to being carbon negative.

The High Lift LLC, presented by Emilee Rysticken: A modern coffee shop and community gathering space, located in a former, renovated auto body shop in a rural community with a wide range of hours, ample seating, outdoor green space and a drive-thru for a place to relax, study and gather with friends.

“The qualifying pitch events would not have been possible without the support of our local partners,” LaMue adds. “Their input and collaboration have been invaluable to making a successful competition.”

Sponsorship has been provided by New North Inc., the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation and Wisconsin Business Development (WBD).

While there is no charge to attend the event, registration is requested and available at the following link:


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About New North, Inc.

New North, Inc., is a 501(c)3 non-profit, regional economic development corporation fostering collaboration among private and public sector leaders throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin, known as the New North region. The New North brand unites the region both internally and externally around talent development, brand promotion and business development, signifying the collective economic power behind the 18 counties. The counties include Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Waupaca, Brown, Shawano, Oconto, Marinette, Door, Kewaunee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Florence, Menominee and Waushara.

About the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Inc.

BrightStar is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation created to facilitate job creation and increase Wisconsin’s economic activity by deploying donated funds into equity stakes in early-stage, rapid growth companies. This unique approach is enabling the formation of new investment capital in Wisconsin through charitable donations to the foundation. Contributions to BrightStar are tax deductible.

About Wisconsin Business Development, Inc. (WBD)

WBD, Inc., is a business finance resource that provides the knowledge, services and access to capital needed to create jobs, grow businesses and build communities, primarily through their Service Company and SBA’s 540 loan products.

Media Contact: Jeff Blumb, 920.328.5454 or [email protected]


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