As part of Startup Chippewa Valley Week, this year’s pitch event competition, Hatch, went off without a hitch! The CEDC was thrilled to see so many members of the community attend and support a great Chippewa Valley entrepreneurial event. Over 80 people attended the 2022 event which keeps growing, keeping competition steep amongst the participants.
There were 11 contestants selected out of nearly 30 entrepreneurs that applied to pitch their business ideas in front of the judges. The HATCH Business PITCH Competition utilized stakeholders from University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, Red Letter Grant, COLAB, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation, and St. Croix Business Innovation Center to identify top entrepreneur contestants for the competition. Esteemed local business leaders – Jamie Leibrandt of Northwestern Bank, Susan Marcott of Applied Data Consultants, Steve Gerrish of Badgerland Printing, Ed Holand of C & N Manufacturing, and Sheri Scheidler of Scheidler Solutions represented the judging panel. Meanwhile, Jim Ward, President of Applied Data Consultants and Elite Extra in Eau Claire, WI, delivered the motivational keynote speech.
The pitches varied from unique services to innovative products. Having to choose only one winner to take home the Grand Prize of $5,000 cash was a difficult task for the
judges. Esteemed local business leaders – Jamie Leibrandt of Northwestern Bank, Susan Marcott of Applied Data Consultants, Steve Gerrish of Badgerland Printing, Ed Holand of C & N Manufacturing, and Sheri Scheidler of Scheidler Solutions represented the judging panel.
Although it was a challenge, ultimately the judges awarded Ethan Van Grunsven, creator of Sconny Co., a local clothing company, the title of Grand Prize Winner. Ethan saw a business opportunity when he visited a friend in a local college town and realized everyone was only wearing university affiliated sports attire in basically one color – red. He wanted to represent Wisconsin, but wanted other options. It was then the idea of Sconny Co. sprouted.
After all of the pitches were finished, the audience cast their votes for their favorite. Karli Ertmer, owner of Little Turtles ISR Swim School made a splash with the audience and won them over with her business pitch. Karli teaches children how to help save themselves if they were to fall into water. She hopes to grow her business and bring a highly sought after service to the families of the Chippewa Valley. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for all of this year’s entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to see what 2023’s Hatch Event will bring. Get those gears turning; it will be here before you know it!