• interstate 41 Corridor
Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties
Green Bay Booyah announce plan to transfer team ownership
The Green Bay Booyah ownership group announced plans to transfer team ownership to Skogen’s Festival Foods President and CEO Mark Skogen.
The sale was pending the transfer of the lease for Capital Credit Union Park. The Village of Ashwaubenon board of trustees planned to review the transfer at a mid-December meeting. If approved by the village board, the sale was expected to be completed before the end of 2020.
All team personnel will stay on under Skogen’s ownership and day-to-day operations will continue to be run by Vice President and General Manager John Fanta. The original ownership team included Steve Schmitt, Vern Stenman and Conor Caloia.
Earlier this year, Skogen announced he would open the Epic Event Center, a music and event venue on Holmgren Way, just blocks from the Capital Credit Union Park.
The original ownership group purchased the franchise that was originally founded as the Green Bay Bullfrogs in December of 2013. Under their ownership, the franchise moved from Joannes Stadium to the recently constructed Capital Credit Union Park in the Village of Ashwaubenon and rebranded as the Green Bay Booyah in 2019.
NEW Launch Alliance announces startup competition winners
Debtle of Kohler and Pure and Complete Phonics LLC of Oshkosh were selected as the winners at the NEW Launch Alliance HATCH Event, held virtually in December. They emerged from six competitors who earlier had qualified by winning local pitch events during Startup Week in Wisconsin to earn prize money.
The two winners will be invited to pitch again at this year’s New North Summit to receive broader investor attention. Last year’s summit winners also will provide an update on the status of their company launches.
“The judges and I were impressed by the strength of the entrepreneurial ideas put forth by our six competitors,” says Barb LaMue, president and CEO of New North, Inc., the event’s sponsor. “It reinforced the strength of the startup community in our region.”
Debtle, presented by co-founder Stephanie Hoskins, won first place in the competition, including prize money of $3,000. The startup is tackling the consumer debt crisis by helping companies and their customers negotiate and settle overdue invoices through a cloud-based platform, scalable to any size business, that automates, improves and simplifies the negotiation of bad debt accounts.
Debtle has found early success with pilot sites for both businesses and individuals. It plans to use the prize money from the New North pitch competition to wrap up its pilots and launch the product into the marketplace over the next three months. Hoskins said the long-term goal for the startup she founded with her husband, Houston, is that any time someone has a debt and wants to settle, they think of Debtle as the solution.
Pure and Complete Phonics LLC, presented by Shawn Robinson, took second place and won $2,000. The startup is developing an engaging, game-based spelling and reading application for students in grades 4-8 with dyslexia that is authentic, realistic and culturally responsive.
• West Central
Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties
Shawano nonprofit SAM25 opens newly renovated shelter
Shawano Area Matthew 25, which provides services for people living in poverty and offers a seasonal homeless shelter, opened its new main shelter facility on East Richmond Street in Shawano. SAM25 embarked on a $410,000 capital campaign to fund the project in 2019.
The facility provides a permanent home for SAM25, which had been renting space from the City of Shawano prior to moving into its newly renovated space.
The building allows the nonprofit to increase shelter capacity to provide a larger and more functional emergency shelter space. It also will allow the organization to increase its service offerings and open and operate a thrift store that will serve as a revenue source.
• The Lakeshore
Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties
Ice cream maker High Road acquires Three Twins plant
Craft ice cream manufacturer High Road acquired the former Three Twins plant in Sheboygan. The acquisition will increase High Road’s capabilities, doubling the brand’s packaged ice cream capacity, strengthening its national distribution strategy and allowing for significant logistics adaptability and efficiency, the company stated.
High Road Craft Brands offers handcrafted, chef-inspired ice cream flavors, has made Inc’s list of fastest-growing private companies for the past five years and boasts 397 percent growth in the last three years.
Luxemburg-Casco School District prepares to unveil agriscience center
The Luxemburg-Casco School District is putting final touches on its new Agriscience Center. The building, expected to be available for use during the second semester of the 2020-21 academic year, will augment the agriscience department’s ability to prepare students for the various agriculture career pathways.
A variety of subject-related classes at the high school will use the center, including small animal science, large animal science, agribusiness, exploratory agriscience and landscaping.
The center includes a 30-by-50-foot greenhouse and a barn measuring 40 feet by 70 feet. The barn contains three box stalls, which will house non-companion animals during the school day.
Students will have hands-on learning opportunities with the live animals, which include horses, cattle and goats. Chickens will be kept onsite year-round in a designated chicken coop area.
The greenhouse will be used to grow vegetables and for the district’s annual flower production. Floral sales to the public are expected to eventually become a student-run business. Another goal is to team up with the district’s food service department to offer the students the option of produce grown at the Agriscience Center as part of their lunch service.
• The Northwoods
Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties
Evers announces action plan to address PFAS concerns
Gov. Tony Evers announced the release of a statewide PFAS Action Plan developed by nearly 20 state agencies to address growing public health and environmental concerns regarding PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in Wisconsin.
PFAS are a group of over 5,000 human-made chemicals that are primarily found in temperature-resistant and water- and oil-repellent products, including nonstick cookware, food packaging, waterproof clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and certain types of firefighting foam. PFAS do not break down in the environment and have been discovered at levels of concern in groundwater, surface water and drinking water across Wisconsin. PFAS are known to bioaccumulate in the tissues of fish and wildlife. They also accumulate in the human body and pose several risks to human health.
PFAS have been of particular concern in the Northwoods, where Tyco Fire Products, a manufacturer of firefighting foam, has reported high levels of toxic PFAS chemicals from water samples in a runoff ditch near its Marinette County facility.