Entrepreneurs and investors rub elbows at Cardinal Stritch

‘Project Pitch It’ alumni take advantage of introductions

A group of Wisconsin entrepreneurs who appeared on the third season of television show “Project Pitch It” were introduced to Milwaukee-area investors at Cardinal Stritch University on Thursday.

Eight companies that won the show’s Pitch In Award took part in a forum of investors and experts in marketing, finance and networking. It was hosted by “Project Pitch It” business moguls Peggy Ann, Jerry Jendusa, David Gruber and Debbie Allen, who judged the startups’ pitches on the show.

The entrepreneur participants were:

The Milwaukee company illustrates anatomical images of the body on shirts and posters that are sold online, at events and in more than 40 stores nationwide to promote body positivity through art. Artery Ink is working with nurses at Froedtert Hospital, Advocate Aurora and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to use custom images for patient education.

Natkin and Ramirez were networking at the event to seek connections to the medical field.

The Sussex social entrepreneurial charity was started 10 years ago by Stromberg, a 47-year veteran of the can industry. The company’s mission is to raise money for water projects in disadvantaged communities worldwide by selling canned water.

At the Pitch In event, CannedWater4Kids was seeking funding or sponsorship, as well as introductions to partners with the infrastructure and regional distribution capabilities to help control shipping costs.

Madison-based Curate has developed artificial intelligence software used to gather information from public municipal meeting minutes and agendas to provide construction firms with early information about construction projects for which they may want to submit a bid.

At the event, Willis was seeking investors for a $1 million seed round it is currently raising. Willis said the company has just 30% to go to meet its goal. With the capital, Curate plans to finance its national expansion.

Milwaukee-based ONKOL manufactures a smart hub that can be connected to a variety of devices that keep a caregiver and family in the loop on a senior’s health.

At the event, Cayle was seeking to meet those who could connect him to contract manufacturers or distributors, as well as seeking investors for a $500,000 convertible note to finance ONKOL’s next production run. The company also plans to raise a $2.5 million Series B round of funding soon, to add more employees and make more units, he said.

Milwaukee’s Permyt offers a platform to automate municipal permit application and issuance.

On Thursday, Konieczka was seeking an investor or partner who could both provide a $150,000 capital infusion and help garner political influence with a municipality.

Middleton-based RoWheels developed a patented technology that makes it easier for wheelchair users to propel their wheelchair forward.

At the event, it was seeking investors for a $3.2 million Series A1 round.

The Oconomowoc company makes a battery-powered lightbulb that can provide up to three hours of light after a power outage. When power is restored, the battery recharges itself.

At the event, Lutz was seeking investors for a seed round of $300,000 to $500,000. She was also seeking sales and marketing expertise, and connections to a retail buyer or TV shopping network.

Milwaukee-based Top Note uses fruit juice, bitters and botanical essences to make tonic sodas that work well as cocktail mixers.

At the event, Pellettieri was seeking introductions to angel investors. It is working to raise $750,000 in an angel round. She passed around samples of her products for the experts to taste and fielded questions from them.

“We’ve looked at alcohol businesses before, which this is not, but we found the celebrity angle of that, we were looking to invest in Armand de Brignac…and the reason it took off was because JayZ was a 50% investor. Is there any celebrity opportunities with your product?” asked David Bauer from Lubar & Co.

“For something like this where you don’t want to have any true affinity with just one liquor or spirit brand. You want to have more affinity with influencer bartenders and the bartender world,” Pellettieri responded.

Among the other finance experts at the event was Lori Craig, senior vice president and market executive at PNC Wealth Management, who was providing advice to entrepreneurs on how to be bankable. She said bankers are there to help business owners.

“You should expect more and not be intimidated by your banker and ask for help and guidance,” Craig said.

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A group of Wisconsin entrepreneurs who appeared on the third season of television show “Project Pitch It” were introduced to Milwaukee-area investors at Cardinal Stritch University on Thursday.

Eight companies that won the show’s Pitch In Award took part in a forum of investors and experts in marketing, finance and networking. It was hosted by “Project Pitch It” business moguls Peggy Ann, Jerry Jendusa, David Gruber and Debbie Allen, who judged the startups’ pitches on the show.

The entrepreneur participants were:

The Milwaukee company illustrates anatomical images of the body on shirts and posters that are sold online, at events and in more than 40 stores nationwide to promote body positivity through art. Artery Ink is working with nurses at Froedtert Hospital, Advocate Aurora and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to use custom images for patient education.

Natkin and Ramirez were networking at the event to seek connections to the medical field.

The Sussex social entrepreneurial charity was started 10 years ago by Stromberg, a 47-year veteran of the can industry. The company’s mission is to raise money for water projects in disadvantaged communities worldwide by selling canned water.

At the Pitch In event, CannedWater4Kids was seeking funding or sponsorship, as well as introductions to partners with the infrastructure and regional distribution capabilities to help control shipping costs.

Madison-based Curate has developed artificial intelligence software used to gather information from public municipal meeting minutes and agendas to provide construction firms with early information about construction projects for which they may want to submit a bid.

At the event, Willis was seeking investors for a $1 million seed round it is currently raising. Willis said the company has just 30% to go to meet its goal. With the capital, Curate plans to finance its national expansion.

Milwaukee-based ONKOL manufactures a smart hub that can be connected to a variety of devices that keep a caregiver and family in the loop on a senior’s health.

At the event, Cayle was seeking to meet those who could connect him to contract manufacturers or distributors, as well as seeking investors for a $500,000 convertible note to finance ONKOL’s next production run. The company also plans to raise a $2.5 million Series B round of funding soon, to add more employees and make more units, he said.

Milwaukee’s Permyt offers a platform to automate municipal permit application and issuance.

On Thursday, Konieczka was seeking an investor or partner who could both provide a $150,000 capital infusion and help garner political influence with a municipality.

Middleton-based RoWheels developed a patented technology that makes it easier for wheelchair users to propel their wheelchair forward.

At the event, it was seeking investors for a $3.2 million Series A1 round.

The Oconomowoc company makes a battery-powered lightbulb that can provide up to three hours of light after a power outage. When power is restored, the battery recharges itself.

At the event, Lutz was seeking investors for a seed round of $300,000 to $500,000. She was also seeking sales and marketing expertise, and connections to a retail buyer or TV shopping network.

Milwaukee-based Top Note uses fruit juice, bitters and botanical essences to make tonic sodas that work well as cocktail mixers.

At the event, Pellettieri was seeking introductions to angel investors. It is working to raise $750,000 in an angel round. She passed around samples of her products for the experts to taste and fielded questions from them.

“We’ve looked at alcohol businesses before, which this is not, but we found the celebrity angle of that, we were looking to invest in Armand de Brignac…and the reason it took off was because JayZ was a 50% investor. Is there any celebrity opportunities with your product?” asked David Bauer from Lubar & Co.

“For something like this where you don’t want to have any true affinity with just one liquor or spirit brand. You want to have more affinity with influencer bartenders and the bartender world,” Pellettieri responded.

Among the other finance experts at the event was Lori Craig, senior vice president and market executive at PNC Wealth Management, who was providing advice to entrepreneurs on how to be bankable. She said bankers are there to help business owners.

“You should expect more and not be intimidated by your banker and ask for help and guidance,” Craig said.

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