A big step has been taken by Chippewa Valley’s own based start-up business. Jim McDougall from UpStream AV has recently been named a finalist among twenty-eight other entries representing sectors as broad as health technologies and innovations in products or services who are all competing in the 17th Annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

UpStream launched in 2019 as a start-up technology business engaging in AV’s most pressing problems with next generation technology. UpStream focuses on developing next generation AV over IP solutions to make systems easier to use, faster to install, and overall, more flexible. This top of the line technology will be used more frequently in convention centers, restaurants, hotels, airports, businesses, houses of worship and various other locations with the systems that businesses need to reach their consumers in ways that work best for them.

CCEDC is proud to share that McDougall was a participant in CCEDC’s Regional Entrepreneurial Pitch Contest, HATCH this fall. The HATCH Program-in its second year- 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. 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. Contestants competed for a reward prize of $5,750.00, the final nine competitors traveled from locations that included Chippewa Falls, Stanley, Menomonie, Eau Claire, Stevens Point and even as far as Saint Michael Minnesota. This fall 2019 McDougall was selected as CCEDC’s HATCH winning contestant bringing home the prize money.

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, private residences and many other businesses. 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.”

Now McDougall again is showcasing what his company can do while surviving two rounds of judging in the contest organized through the Wisconsin Technology Council and its sponsors and volunteers. “It will be young companies such as those advancing in this year’s contest that will help to lead the economic recovery once COVID-19 recedes in Wisconsin and elsewhere,” said Greg Lynch, chairman of the Tech Council and a partner at the law firm of Michael Best. “Our class of 2020 includes finalists in life sciences, advanced manufacturing, consumer products and IT, making them a microcosm of Wisconsin’s strengths.” Finalists will submit 15- to 20-page business plans for review by a panel of more than 100 judges. Each plan describes the core product or service, defines the customer base, estimates the size of the market, identifies competition, list members of the management team and provides key financial data.

CCEDC wishes McDougall and his team the best of luck and applaud him for working towards crafting his business during this pressing time.