Brightstar’s 2018 Hatch program starts off with two successful events—11 more planned statewide.

MILWAUKEE, June 11, 2018 – BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation had a successful start to the 2018 HATCH entrepreneurial pitch program. HATCH 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. BrightStar funds these events with the help of a matching grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the support of local donations and sponsorships.

The Stevens Point Hatch kicked off the year on May 16. The event was held at Eron’s Event Barn, a unique venue just west of the city. Over 120 were in attendance to hear five entrepreneurs present their business ideas. The winner was Michael More of Stevens Point, the inventor of The Scape, a product that combines aspects of mobiles, light projectors and sound machines to lull infants to sleep. Michael won $2,000 and will be back at the Central Wisconsin Regional Finale on November 7 to compete for a $5,000 prize.

The second program of the year was in Kenosha on May 24 and was held at the historic Southport Beach House on the shores of Lake Michigan. Over one hundred people listened to pitches from five entrepreneurs. The winner of the $2,000 prize was Toby Thomas from Pleasant Prairie. His idea, called FreshEx, is an FDA-approved food packing product that helps stop mold from forming on products such as fresh berries, cheese and bread. Toby will present again and compete for the $5,000 Southeastern Wisconsin Hatch Regional Finale prize money on November 1.

New date announced for Eau Claire Hatch event

The date for first Chippewa Valley Hatch event in Eau Claire has been moved to July 21 and will held at the historic State Theater. The deadline for submitting an idea to present at this event is June 22. Go to, scroll down to the “Submit an Idea” link, and fill out the application. You can also register to attend the event at this website by clicking on “Upcoming Events” and scrolling down to the “Register Now” button. This event and all of the other events are free and open to the public. They start at 6:00 pm and end at roughly 8:30 pm.

Remaining 2018 Hatch Schedule:
June 20 – Wisconsin Rapids at Mid-State Technical College Urban Forestry Lab, 500 32nd Street North, I Building, Room 142.
August 8 – Wausau (venue to be determined), hosted by the Entrepreneurial & Education Center
September 26 – Marshfield (venue TBD), hosted by the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry
November 7 – Regional finale in Stevens Point (venue TBD), hosted by Central Wisconsin HATCH

Northwest Wisconsin region schedule:
July 19 – Eau Claire at the State Theater, 316 Eau Claire Street, hosted by the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp.
August 9 – Menomonie (venue TBD), hosted by the Dunn County Economic Development Corp.
September 27 – Chippewa Falls (venue TBD), hosted by the Chippewa County Economic Development Corp.
November 8 – Regional finale in Eau Claire (venue TBD), hosted by Chippewa Valley HATCH

Southeastern Wisconsin region schedule:
July 25 – Racine at The Branch at 1501 Washington Avenue
September 20 – Kenosha (venue TBD)
November 1 – Regional finale in Racine (venue TBD), hosted by Southeastern Wisconsin HATCH

Brightstar is accepting applications from entrepreneurs who are interested in presenting their business ideas at all of the upcoming HATCH events. Go to and click on “Submit an Idea” link.

For questions about HATCH, contact Fred Raasch at