8 local entrepreneurial pitch winners advance to Dec. 5 HATCH regional final

Will compete for additional funding, broad investor attention as part of New North Summit

Published Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Eight entrepreneurial pitch winners – two each from four different local areas – will compete for additional prize money at the New North HATCH Regional Final, which is part of the program at the 16th annual New North Summit, set for Thursday, Dec. 5, at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay.


New North worked with the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation to bring their HATCH program to its communities in the region. At the HATCH Regional Final, the eight local winners will compete for additional funding for their business ideas, along with broad investor attention. BrightStar, in cooperation with a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, furnished the prize money for the local events and also will provide the cash prizes of $5,000 for first place and $3,000 for second place at the regional final, with New North providing the matching funds.


Online registration for the 2019 New North Summit, including the HATCH Regional Final, is available at www.newnorthsummit.com.


“We are excited to bring the entrepreneurial pitch winners to the New North Summit,” says Barb LaMue, executive director. “Not only will event attendees enjoy the presentations, it will provide the entrepreneurs with the opportunity to expose their ideas to a large audience. We thank our local partners for staging four great events across the New North region, along with BrightStar Wisconsin, WEDC and C.D. Smith Construction for their support of the upcoming event.”


New North collaborated with its local partners to host four qualifying events during Start-Up Week earlier this month. At the local competitions, the top two finishers advanced to the HATCH Regional Final. Each first-place winner received prize money of $2,000, while the second-place finisher won $1,000.


In all 35 entrepreneurial pitches were made among the four local, qualifying events. Details of the eight winning presenters are as follows:


Green Bay, hosted by the Greater Green Bay Chamber

Mouhibs E-sports, presented by Yassine Jedir

Established in January 2019 by four co-founders who were compelled to find out how unemployed youth spend their time, they used their discovery that the majority spend their time playing video games to create a process that not only teaches individuals ages 12-35 how to improve their video-game skills, but also become professional at it, then links those youth gamers with professional e-sport teams.


QOLOS, presented by Chad VanCalster

Established in June 2018 by Chad VanCalster, this startup intends to radically change how small businesses view their websites. The goal of QOLOS is to simplify and condense the digital operations of small businesses through one centralized database. This change saves crucial administrative time and allows businesses to scale and grow.



Sheboygan, hosted by Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation

Sheboatin’, presented by Justin Vannieuwenhoven

This venture puts a nautical theme on a prior startup of Justin Vannieuwenhoven: Shebikin’ Pedal Tours, a 15-person pedal-powered vehicle for moving celebrations. Sheboatin’ takes the pedal tavern experience onto a custom-fitted pontoon boat with a pedal drivetrain to create a “tiki bar pedal boat.”


Mash Machine, presented by Michael Jaber

Designed for businesses, educators and “anyone who loves making music,” Mash Machine is a piece of technology which involves social music creation and requires no musical background or expertise. Consisting of 40 individual blocks that are each tied to a different musical loop, the blocks are placed on a light table made of glass, a camera reads the block QR codes and plays the music loop associated with the code.



Appleton, hosted by Fox Valley Technical College Venture Center

BAKKAB® Safe Backing system, presented by Luke Haen

This idea was borne from a life experience of its inventor, Luke Haen. During a career change which included participation in a CDL training program, he dealt with a challenge for every commercial driver: frequent backing into difficult places with a large rig. He was inspired to create a device that helps heavy equipment operators and truck drivers enhance their safety while also reducing company insurance premiums.


Proceed, presented by Andrew Schmitz

This endeavor creates a modern solution for retaining and sharing institutional knowledge of an organization. An app, it allows for the sharing of information during the on-boarding process for new employees, training sessions and more. Employees are encouraged to capture what they know firsthand. Rich, visual documentation is created on the app with simple updates.


Marinette, hosted by inVenture North  

Designs by Ines, presented by Ines Baker

This idea centers around expansion of the entrepreneur’s current business, located in rented space within a bridal boutique. Through the transition into a large-scale seamstress shop, the goal is to specialize in creation of individually tailored dresses and other sewn products.


NBM Salon, presented by Nathan Bihini

This idea derived from the inability of the entrepreneur, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to find a place that could properly attend to his hair needs, which had ethnic textures and natural, unyielding curls. Realizing that others needed this service as well, he strives to open a salon that addresses diversity and provides “clean cuts and straight shaves.”


New North, Inc., the regional marketing and economic development organization for the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin, is working in conjunction with the Foundation to BrightStar Wisconsin to

support the local and regional pitch competitions. BrightStar Wisconsin is a non-profit foundation with a goal to deploy donated funds into equity stakes in early-stage, rapid-growth companies.


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.