One of Green Bay’s own claimed the $100,000 prize at Rise of the Rest Green Bay pitch competition at Lambeau Field.
Mark Hackl, CEO and founder of Lanehub Inc., a transportation solutions company, made the winning pitch, beating out seven other competitors.
“It was absolutely thrilling,” Hackl says of the win. “We’ve been working so hard to get to this point.”
As for the pitch itself, which took place as part of Launch Wisconsin 2017 on Oct. 17, Hackl says nerves definitely played a part. He describes the experience as a bit intense and says coming out on top made it all the sweeter.
The company’s website describes Lanehub as a “social network for transportation” designed to identify and connect companies with complementary freight lines, leading to efficiency and shipping cost savings.
Green Bay was the final stop on the Rise of the Rest tour. Led by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, the tour works with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems, particularly in the center part of the country.
“Our view is that this is the beginning of a new era for entrepreneurship across the U.S. — high-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities,” the Rise of the Rest website states.
Hackl says he thinks his connections as well as the fact that his company was further along in development than some of the others put him over the top for the win. He says effectively sharing what he and his team are doing and the size of the opportunity helped.
Lanehub had previously connected with investors through N.E.W. Venture Foundry of De Pere, a pre-angel partner for entrepreneurs and corporate innovators, as well as working with technology company ZyQuest. The company received Round 1 of its funding a year and a half ago and is now on to Round 2.
Hackl credits his team for the success and expects a boost from the increased recognition.
“Winning this Rise of the Rest competition created a whole new level of awareness,” Hackl, a Green Bay native, says. “Being here at Lambeau Field and seeing what can come to Green Bay, Wisconsin is really exciting.”
Others who competed in the pitch competition:
* Kurt Brenkus, Green Bay, pitched Indigenous Pact PBC Inc., which aims to put a health card in every tribal member’s pocket.
* Abbie Merrill, a UW-Oshkosh student, pitched In our Hands, which educates constituents on state legislation, putting power in the hands of voters.
* Stephen Utech, De Pere, pitched Iillumyx, which diagnoses internal barriers to corporate growth, productivity, and engagement.
* April Hansen, Manitowoc, pitched OrendX, which empowers nurse engagement through positive recognition and social collaboration.
* Melinda Caghill of Milwaukee pitched 65 Incorporated, which provides expert, individualized Medicare enrollment guidance without any insurance sales.
* Joe Scanlin of Milwaukee pitched Scanalytics Inc., which provides data on how people interact with physical environments.
* Coby Skonord of Milwaukee pitched Ideawake, which allows companies of all sizes to involve their employees, customers, and other stakeholders more deeply in strategic planning.