Job Creation through Capital Donation

Hatch Pitch Program

BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Inc. launched the Hatch entrepreneurial pitch program in 2017 in the central part of the state. That successful launch allowed BrightStar to expand the program in 2018 and 2019. Hatch is a rotating, high-energy idea pitch program designed to facilitate connections between prospective entrepreneurs and those within a community who support them such as industry experts, professional service firms, banks, non-profits, business leaders and investors. BrightStar funds these events with the help of a matching grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the support of local donations and sponsorships.
This year BrightStar is having three regional Hatch finales and multiple local sub-regional Hatch events. The entrepreneurs that move on to the Hatch regional finales will have five minutes to pitch in front of a panel of judges and a live audience for the chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. The events are free and open to the public, but you are requested to register to attend.
The Chippewa Valley Hatch Regional Finale is October 17th at Cowboy Jack's Saloon, 1432 Front Porch Place in Altoona. The program starts at 6:00pm and will last about two hours. It is still not too late to apply to pitch, but time is running out. For more information contact the Chippewa County EDC at      715-723-7150 or via email at
The Central Wisconsin Hatch Regional Finale is November 13th at the Noel Car Barn, 1995 River Bend Road in Plover. The program starts at 6:00pm and will end around 8:30pm. This event is also still accepting pitch applications. Please go to to find the application form and the judging criteria. To register to attend, go to; then click on the “Events” link.
The New North Hatch program will feature four sub-regional qualifying events and a regional finale. In preparation of the regional event, New North is working with its local partners to host various qualifying local events. The deadline to upload your pitch idea is November 1st so go to and select the one registration link that is closest to you. Below are the details for these events:
The Greater Green Bay Chamber Hatch event, The Audible, will be November 12th from 4:30 to 6:30pm at the Urban Hub, 340 N. Broadway Street in Green Bay. There will be a special event to announce the winners on November 14that The Shindig. For additional information please contact Ron Franklin at
The Appleton Hatch event, Fast Pitch, will be November 12th from 5:00 to 8pm at the Fox Club Room at Fox Cities Stadium, 2400 N. Casaloma Drive in Appleton. For additional information please contact Amy Pietsch at
The Sheboygan County Hatch event will be November 14th from 4:30 to 6:30pm at Mily Barn at Nourish, 100 Alfred Miley Avenue in Sheboygan Falls. For additional information please contact Ray York at
The Marinette Hatch event, Invent Your North, is a collaboration with Florence, Marinette and Oconto Counties. It will be held on November 14th from 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Wisconsin Maritime Center of Excellence, 1320 Main Street in Marinette. For additional information please contact Robert Pontius at
The top two finishers at the four New North sub-regional events will pitch at the New North Hatch Regional Finale on December 5th in Green Bay at a part of the New North Summit. For more information on the Summit go to
In addition to these New North Hatch events, UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh have been active in the planning of these New North events and separately will be hosting pitch contests for their students’ participation.

Chippewa Valley Results:

Over a dozen applications were submitted for the pitch event and CCEDC had a challenging task of narrowing down and selecting nine finalists for the Chippewa Valley Hatch Program. The nine participants included, Kraig Schulz from Autonomous Tractor Corporation, Cece Ketchum from Modern Lifestyle Luggage, Jim McDougall from UpStream, Eric Boud from Heart to Heart, Brad Morse from Morse Research, Inc., Nathaniel Hitchcock from Fast Nav, Nate Forster and Justin Manier from J&N Product Design Group, LLC, Greylan Larson and Alex Stout from Clearwater Labs and Jesse Woodward, Alexandra Bauer, and Allison Rigotti from Critical Frame. They each were given five minutes to Pitch or present their idea in front of judges and the live audience.

After a 15 minute deliberation from judges-Paul Madsen of Cowboy Jack’s Saloon, John Walton from Advanced Laser Machining, Stephen Bianchi from CCF Bank, Becca Cooke from Red’s Mercantile and Pete Marsnik from Musky Tank LLC.- an overall business idea was chosen. The judges selected Jim McDougall from UpStream as the 2019 HATCH winning contestant. UpStream is a 100% wireless audiovisual system for homes, conference centers and businesses. UpStream’s technology leverages wireless networks to do what has only ever been done with cabling. Speakers, TV’s, projectors and other content devices are connected directly to their devices and are managed, controlled and synchronized without the need to be physically connected together. UpStream helps eliminate the need for AV wiring with back-end distribution systems that cost thousands without adding value.
McDougall stated that “UpStream’s solution will enable unprecedented flexibility and production values of audiovisual systems for conference and convention centers, retail businesses, the hospitality industry, churches, hospitals, and private residences. These customers purchase AV systems to get their message and content out, but pay thousands in non-value added installation costs and are limited in their approach. UpStream improves the viewer experience and expands the reach of our customer’s content. This will fuel the growth and stability of the business and create dozens of jobs in engineering, customer support, sales, and marketing.”

Those in attendance chose their “favorite”. Eric Boud from Heart to Heart received $500 dollars of professional services from by Badgerland Printing. Heart to Heart that provides a life line that connects NICU parents to their babies by streaming the parent’s heart beat to the infant who is in distress. This is critical as studies have shown that a parents heart beat aids in development, deceases pain perception, provide calming effects and reduce heart and lung problems. Heart to Heart also provides education, community and support for NICU parents.

Check Out The Grand Prize Winner of the Third Annual Central Wisconsin HATCH Regional Finale: