UW-Green Bay students step to the stage for ‘Startup Wisconsin Week’

Four University of Wisconsin-Green Bay students and one recent graduate and her son competed at three of the four local Northeast Wisconsin early stage company pitch contests during Startup Wisconsin Week from Nov. 11 to 17, 2019. One will compete in the New North Hatch Pitch Finals at the annual New North Summit on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the KI Center in downtown Green Bay. The top two from each of the eight local Northeast Wisconsin contests in Marinette, Sheboygan, Appleton and Green Bay will compete for a chance to earn a $5,000 first-place prize from Bright Star Foundation. Over 35 early stage companies pitched in the four local events.

UW-Green Bay student Nathan Bihini’s idea for a salon in Marinette serving clientele whose hair has “naturally unyielding curls”—such as his own—won second place and a $1,000 cash prize at the Invent Your North early stage company pitch contest in Marinette on Thursday, Nov. 14. Bihini was a finalist in the Fall 2019 UW-Green Bay Student Business Idea Pitch Contest on Oct. 14, but was unable to pitch that night. Bihini’s second place finish qualifies him to pitch at the New North Hatch Pitch Finals. More on the Invent Your North contest and Bihini’s finish can be found here.

In Sheboygan on the same night, Tyrone Powell (Business Administration) and Alex Marchese (Biology and Business Administration) pitched “Unext” in Sheboygan’s Hatch Pitch contest. Powell and Marchese’ idea for a dedicated way to connect employers and student job shadowers won third place and the people’s choice award from Digital Fertilizer at the Fall 2019 UW-Green Bay Student Business Idea Pitch Contest. More on the Hatch Pitch Sheboygan contest can be found here.

Also in Sheboygan, Dorothy McElroy ’19, and her son Wyatt pitched their idea for “Dragon Slaying Kits” to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. McElroy won the Fall 2018 UW-Green Bay Sheboygan Student Business Idea Pitch Contest. This is not the first time mom and son have “pitched” together, as they have also given a TEDx Talk.

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Green Bay held its early stage business pitch contest, The Audible, and two UW-Green Bay students presented. Denny Christoff Jr. (Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration), winner of the Fall 2019 UW-Green Bay Student Business Idea Pitch Contest, pitched his business “Denny’s-Overland.” Nicole Shutt (Environmental Science) pitched “Greenstone Agroforestry,” her consultancy that helps organic farmers and home gardeners provide habitats for native invertebrates, such as bees, to leverage their benefits for better growing yields. Shutt also competed in the Fall 2019 UW-Green Bay Student Business Idea Pitch Contest. More on the Green Bay contest can be found here.