Eau Claire, WI – WiSys VentureHome-Eau Claire, the area’s first seed accelerator, launched in April 2020 through partnership with CoLab, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and Madison-based non-profit WiSys. This winter, the accelerator is excited to announce six new founders that will complete programming over the next five months:
Brandon Pessman, Eco Fighter
Bill Lobner, Green Fleet
Tiffany Hoage, Life Sciences and Biotech
Sam Fitzhenry, Max Bossert, Logan Ickert, and Nick Hersperger, ParityBlu LLC
Shannon Camlek, Kris Johnson, Stone Story
Patrick Rebman, David Mullen, Vacation Docks, LLC
“We were again thrilled by the response to our call for startup founders to take part of our second cohort with 17 applications,” said Elaine Coughlin, Community Manager of CoLab. VentureHome-Eau Claire’s steering committee consisting of seven professionals, experienced members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Eau Claire, reviewed and determined those that were accepted to the program. The cohort will work over the next five months to complete programming and receive assistance to further their businesses. To complete the program, each founder will pitch their business to a group of investors, partners, and the community this summer at Pitch Day.
"Through WiSys VentureHome-Eau Claire we are not only helping founders achieve the next level for their startups, but we are also elevating Eau Claire's ability to serve entrepreneurs with scalable business ideas,” said Ann Rupnow, Director of Entrepreneurship at UW-Eau Claire. The first and pilot cohort saw many successes including securing of funding, grant awards, industry connections, new partnerships, and more. VentureHome-Eau Claire will continue to grow and serve the entrepreneurial ecosystem as a startup hub through programming and access to statewide resources. CoLab, Eau Claire’s coworking space located in the heart of downtown, will be the physical space founders can work from. Through WiSys' statewide footprint, founders have access to a larger state-wide ecosystem, entrepreneur toolkits, research and technologies coming out of the University of Wisconsin system, intellectual property and legal strategy assistance, and possible seed funding.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still in sight, the seed accelerator will continue on with programming virtually, with access to work out of CoLab’s physical space as members. The committee is hopeful that as the cohort moves through the program over the next several months, there will be an opportunity for some physical meetups and a possible hybrid option for Pitch Day.
About WiSys VentureHome-Eau Claire
WiSys VentureHome-Eau Claire is a startup hub that combines statewide resources with community initiatives to provide local entrepreneurs access to a full menu of startup resources in their community. They also serve as a landing spot for Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial “alumni” to “venture home” and contribute to their local communities.