It all starts with an idea... Everyone has an idea, an opinion or a concept on how things can be done better. When discussing a new way to build a startup culture, BrightStar and NEWaukee asked three main questions:
— Can we build an experience that leads to a culture shift of entrepreneurship?
— Is there a way to design a program that rewards ideas, risk taking and progress?
— Can we create an unorthodox development strategy to discover, through trial and error, what a uniquely Wisconsin startup culture would look like?
BrightStar & NEWaukee think the best way to do this is to:
— Create a custom signature experience for entrepreneurs
— Incubate start up activity around the state of Wisconsin
— Connect future startup ventures to community resources
Through a series of five events taking place throughout 2017 in multiple locations throughout central Wisconsin, HATCH aims to act as a pre-seed funding tool that encourages those with a bright idea to consider developing or advancing a business plan.
Program Description: HATCH is a rotating high energy, social networking and idea pitch program. At each program, individuals or teams of individuals have the opportunity to pitch their brightest business ideas. Both the crowd and a program jury of select entrepreneurs, investors, community resource partners select the winning idea.
The winner receives $2,000 in cash and an invitation to attend the annual program to compete against the other winners from previous programs. The final event will offer the opportunity for the 4 semi-finalists to pitch their concepts, hopefully with more articulation, and attempt to win a $10,000 grand prize. In addition, if any of the pitch participants throughout the four events further their idea, they could be selected as a “wild card” semi-finalist for the grand prize.
Event Description: Every HATCH event is hosted in a unique location that distinctly showcases the community in which the event is located. Throughout the room, resource partners have designated areas to display their organization and offerings. The events feature live music, local food and drinks. The audience includes individuals eager to connect to the startup community as well as those curious about innovation.
Following each event, the winners are invited to share their idea formation story with the community. Each winner is invited to attend the grand finale pitch event on November 9. The participants, attendees and resource partners receive updates about the HATCH community through an electronic newsletter to be sent on a regular basis between the final pitch event and the grand finale. This communication platform aims to keep the community connected and to resource aspiring entrepreneurs with the necessary support to launch their napkin idea into a full business plan.
Locations and dates for the HATCH events:
Stevens Point - April 26, 2017
Wisconsin Rapids - May 24, 2017
Wausau - June 21, 2017
Marshfield - July 19, 2017
Grand Finale Event – November 9, 2017 (Location to be determined)
For more information on the HATCH project, please contact:
Fred Raasch – BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation