Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (September 28, 2018) – Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) hosted the County’s first HATCH event on September 27, 2018 at the Chippewa River Distillery in Chippewa Falls. Over one hundred attendee’s participated in the event aimed at strengthening the Chippewa Valley’s ecosystem for business startups.

Similar to the Shark Tank Television Show, a panel of local judges selected the best business idea pitched to them by registered entrepreneurs. The event provided the opportunity for local entrepreneurs to share their fresh and creative business ideas to supportive investors, businesses, and community members.  HATCH, presenters had five minutes to delivery their pitch in front of judges and a live audience. The audience had the opportunity to evaluate and vote for their favorite “business pitches” as well. The Hatch judges selected for Gary Ramsden & Rob Duncan from Silvermine Stone Company and awarded $2,000 to them while the People’s Choice was awarded to Josh Shefner from Blue Mangoes.

Silvermine Stone Company, the winner of the CCEDC’s HATCH event was local entrepreneurs Gary Ramsden and Rob Duncan. Their company produces a patented labor saving product called “Stack-N-Tack” that has built in water seal system that is used for siding on homes and commercial buildings. The company’s product is applied without the use of mortar and this makes it easier and faster to install. Silvermine Stone Company, who received the $2,000 cash prize qualified to present their business idea at the regional HATCH finale and compete for the $5,000 grand prize later this fall on November 8th, 2018 in Eau Claire, WI.

Josh Shefner from Blue Mangoes won People’s Choice and was recognized for his company’s passive solar fruit dehydrators which are designed and sold to customers across the Global South to unitize in transforming their natural abundance of fruits into delicious dried food products that are packaged and resold in western markets.

“The importance that local entrepreneurs have in developing and sustaining the Chippewa Valley economy cannot be over emphasized.” Expressed Charlie Walker, CCEDC’s President and CEO “the HATCH event played an important role in reinforcing our start-up ecosystem and encouraging new business formations.”