Chippewa Falls, WI – The Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) won a Silver Rank for its Chippewa Valley Round-Up HATCH Pitch Competition, a project in the category of Entrepreneurship of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).  The honor was presented today at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference, which is currently underway.

“We are honored to hold this event yearly for our entrepreneurs and business community, and further honored by the recognition we have received from the IEDC,” expressed Deb Chilson, CCEDC Board Member and Chair of the HATCH Committee. “The Round-Up HATCH Pitch Competition was a success, thanks to the team that organized it and thanks to the many Chippewa Valley professionals that attended, pitched, or judged.”

The CCEDC continues to pave the way for local entrepreneurs by assisting them in bringing their business ideas to life by organizing and hosting the Chippewa Valley HATCH Program. This program is aimed at fostering startup entrepreneur job creation within the Chippewa Valley, which allows for increased tax base and prosperity in the county. For the past couple of years, CCEDC has teamed up with the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Inc., Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Chippewa Valley Angel Network, and several other local businesses to organize and host HATCH. The event returned in 2021 for the purposes of further developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Fest Valley Events in Cadott, WI on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

Since its inception in 2018, the Hatch Pitch Competition has assisted entrepreneurs in the Chippewa Valley in receiving funding for their next stage of expansion. For instance, seventeen-year-old Will Wanish, of Wanish Sugar Bush, in 2018, started tapping trees and making maple syrup with his uncle Jon. In 2020, he was able to obtain capital through the CCEDC to expand his distribution of maple syrup. In 2021, he pitched at the Round-Up HATCH event and won the audience favorite. Another Hatch winner was Joshua Shefner, CEO and co-founder of Agricycle, who stated that “The HATCH was the first real pitch competition Agricycle competed in. The feedback we received helped shape our later pitches to investors and partners.”

The impact that this program has on the Chippewa Valley and its tax base cannot be understated. The CCEDC is humbled to be recognized as one of the leading economic development organizations that fosters opportunities for entrepreneurs and executives alike. Join us on November 16th from 5-9 pm at the River Prairie Center in Altoona for our next Hatch Pitch Competition, which is in celebration of Startup Chippewa Valley Week, a week that holds special events for entrepreneurs and startups. Learn more by going to