News & Noteworthy

Posted on Dec 31, 2020 :: News & Noteworthy
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Get to know: Andrew Schmitz


Andrew Schmitz developed out of necessity. 

The Appleton man was working a day job elsewhere and creating videos on the side for businesses seeking employee training programs when one freelance project left him in a time crunch. Schmitz decided to ask the organization and its employees to send him information, whether photos or text, allowing him to put the video together.

The final product was so successful Schmitz decided to develop it further, launching in 2019. The platform crowdsources, manages and distributes learning materials for small- and medium-sized businesses using visual elements, as opposed to text-based knowledge materials. Schmitz says people retain knowledge at higher rates through visual learning. won the New North’s first-ever HATCH competition that same year and took first place in the Startup Wisconsin Pitch at Summerfest Tech last summer. While the prize money is nice — Schmitz says it covered the lean startup’s expenses for a year — the publicity means a lot more.

“It raises your profile and helps you get in front of investors and potential customers,” he says.

As Schmitz looks to take to the next stage, he’s focusing on small manufacturers and franchise organizations, which has the potential addressable market of $475 million alone in the United States.

“When we won (the pitch contest) in Milwaukee, it was a cool moment for our team,” Schmitz says. “It was great having a tech startup from Appleton — not Madison or Milwaukee — win. I hope this draws more attention to the growing tech economy we have here.” 

— MaryBeth Matzek


Get your Johnsonville fix

You’re sure to find everything related to Johnsonville products at the Johnsonville Marketplace, a newly opened retail store showcasing everything the Sheboygan Falls manufacturer has to offer. A destination shopping experience for Johnsonville fans, it’s the only place that sells all 70-plus of the company’s U.S. retail products along with swag, such as bibs and beanies. Many of the meat products sold at the store are not usually found in Midwest stores. The Johnsonville Marketplace is located across from the company’s headquarters.

Export woes 

Are businesses that rely on trade ready for a crash? That’s the question posed by Ngosong Fonkem, a trade compliance attorney with Page Furca and a member of the Global New North Steering Committee, and several other authors in a new book, “Trade Crash: A Primer on Surviving and Thriving in Pandemics & Global Trade Disruption.” Fonkem believes the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. November elections likely will lead to a trade crash and the end of the global supply chain as we know it in 2021. Learn more at

State teams partner on Equity League

Microsoft, the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Milwaukee Brewers have combined forces to form the Equity League, a new impact investment division of  TitletownTech’s venture capital fund. The Equity League is an investment network focused on building a portfolio of impact-driven technology companies and creating more opportunities for Black and LatinX founders. Israel Squires, a mergers and acquisitions and securities attorney, will join TitletownTech as the Equity League’s director.