HATCH is a community-based startup pitch platform that helps develop “napkin” ideas into early-stage companies and acts as a pre-seed funding tool that encourages those with a bright idea to consider developing or advancing those ideas into business plans. HATCH is produced by BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, along with NEWaukee. We don’t restrict the type of idea you can submit, but it’s important to remember we are looking for high-growth ideas that have scale.
In 2017, we successfully launched the HATCH entrepreneurial pitch program in the central part of the state with events in Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Wausau and Marshfield. In 2018, HATCH is expanding to include 3 regions across the state of Wisconsin. HATCH events will take place in each region during the months of May, July, and September with regional finales happening in November.
Through HATCH we created a custom signature experience that incubated startup activity. It connected future startup ventures to community and statewide resources. We also use this program to engage potential co-investors to bring much needed capital to the early stage space and to identify new donor prospects to support BSW’s mission of investing in Wisconsin start-ups that have the potential to create many high-quality jobs in our state.
The rules are simple. At HATCH, presenters have five minutes to pitch in front of judges and a live audience for the chance to win $2,000 and be selected as a semi-finalist for the HATCH regional finale. The audience has a chance to evaluate and vote for their favorite idea alongside the judges. Beyond the prize money, this is your chance to get the business idea that has been rattling around in your head, out in front of a supportive investors, businesses, and community members. HATCH events are fun, highly social and inspirational.
In each region, the HATCH finale will include all semi-finalists and they will pitch for the grand prize of $5,000 and other business services for the most articulated and furthered business idea. There may also be one or two wildcard slots for presenters that have furthered their business idea.
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.
Locations and dates for the HATCH events:
Central Wisconsin Region HATCH Schedule:
May 16th - Stevens Point
June 20th - Wisconsin Rapids
August 22nd - Wausau
September 26th - Marshfield
November 7th - Stevens Point ***Finale***
Northwest Wisconsin Region HATCH Schedule:
July 19th - Eau Claire
August 23rd - Menomonie
September 27th - Chippewa Falls
November 8th - Eau Claire ***Finale***
Southeastern Wisconsin Region HATCH Schedule:
May 24th - Kenosha
July 25th - Racine
September 20th - Kenosha
November 1st - Racine ***Finale***
Cost: Free and open to the public!
Who Should Come: Entrepreneurs, creatives, business professionals, organizers, and investors
What to expect at Hatch events:
• Network of Wisconsin’s most creative and dynamic individuals
• Collection of Wisconsin’s most innovative startup resources
• Access to an exclusive and unexpected venue
• Complimentary food
• Complimentary beer & wine
For more information on the HATCH project, please contact:
Fred Raasch – BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation