BrightStar Concludes 4th HATCH event, finale set for November

BrightStar Concludes 4th HATCH event, finale set for November

Todd Sobotka discusses HATCH on GrowthMinded Milwaukee Podcast

MILWAUKEE, Wis., Aug. 7, 2017 – The BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation recently created and sponsored its fourth installment of the HATCH pitch competition in central Wisconsin. HATCH is a community-based startup platform to help develop “napkin” ideas into early-stage companies. Partnering with organizations that include the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and NEWaukee, BrightStar has funded successful pitch competitions in Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Wausau and Marshfield.

Audiences and judges at the past HATCH events embraced the four event winners. At an historic firehouse in Stevens Point, Peter Parker and Landis Brozak of Leak Siphon Flush Value won that event, with their plan to significantly reduce toilet leaks and conserve water. In Wisconsin Rapids, the crowd at the Golden Eagle Log Homes cabin and showroom saw Matthieu Vollmer and Ben Meyers of Arbre Tech win the event there. Arbre Tech aims to automate the data-tracking processes used in tree nurseries.

At the YWCA in Wausau, Daniel Packard and Maurice Woods III pitched the winning idea with their web platform, which is used for building and sharing research projects. In Marshfield at a vintage garage, Jeremy Solin of Tapped was victorious after pitching his flavor-infused maple syrups.

Each of the four winners received a $2,000 grant to pursue their business plan and a chance to compete for a $10,000 prize in the HATCH finale on Nov. 9. BrightStar will announce the Central Wisconsin location of the finale shortly.

The chairman of BrightStar’s investment committee, Todd Sobotka, discussed HATCH and broader Wisconsin early-stage activity on the GrowthMinded Milwaukee podcast with Todd McLees. The podcast is distributed statewide. To listen to Sobotka’s appearance on the GrowthMinded Milwaukee podcast, visit

The HATCH initiative demonstrates BrightStar’s commitment to fostering an environment of cooperation to achieve entrepreneurial growth. Sobotka elaborated on BrightStar’s goals during the podcast.

“With HATCH, we wanted to allow groups that can support startups to communicate with each other and potential new businesses,” Sobotka said. “The more I help BrightStar invest in exciting startups, the more I realize that people invest in people…. It takes time to build relationships, see how people operate, and know with whom you work best.”