Pandemic causing a slowdown?

New North, Inc. initiated the NEW Launch Alliance to create a more connected, robust, resourceful and productive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Northeast Wisconsin. We realize a strong strategy for the region’s growth is led by creative business ideas that are turned into new companies.

We are proud of corporations across our region that have a rich history of engineering and manufacturing new products. The list of innovations includes military vehicles, warships, vaccine clinical structures, two-stage snow blowers, packaging for the food industry, supply-chain global logistics and analytical software, bathroom touchless taps, smart toilets, and the future U.S. Postal Service trucks. These discoveries all come out of our New North Region — and so do mentors. It all starts with an idea, which then gets developed, financed and launched.

With this article, we wish to highlight examples from our region that may today be at the stage of creative ideas, prototype or a small business. With support of regional assets, we anticipate someday featuring them as mega companies, paying it forward with stories of their journey to future startups in Northeast Wisconsin.

Creativity abounds in our STEM-led high schools and postsecondary schools. Some of the ideas include:

  • Smartphone app that will help families with easy access to resources and services in their own zip code
  • Smart hearing aids that will detect falls, track activity and call 911 if needed
  • Virtual reality training modules
  • Products to improve the survival of honey bee colonies in cold weather
  • Ice safety device that will test the thickness of ice on large bodies of water
  • Eco-cover that uses natural and organic material to protect animal feed that is also nutritionally beneficial to the animals

Small businesses were launched related to machinery, equipment and transportation devices:

  • Riding gym floor sander designed to renovate, sand, strip and finish portable floors
  • Longboards manufactured to allow for skateboard flexibility with aging adults
  • Kick-sleds for transportation across snow and ice trails
  • Ice auger machine that not only drills holes but also is used as a transportation vehicle onto the ice  

Food and beverage innovations took off this past year:

  • Healthy drinks for children with fruit and spice tastes with themes that feature characters from fairy-tale books on their decorative tins
  • Authentic ice wines, leveraging our cooler climate

Not to be outdone, advancements in health care took center stage:

  • Specialty laminated paperboard sleeves and inserts for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
  • Venom lab techniques that collect venom from snakes, spiders and scorpions for anti-venom manufacturers
  • Surgical devices that offer targeted stabilization during medical procedures  

Lastly, we wish to highlight our three regional pitch winners with their technology-based businesses:

  • Proceed.app — distributing digital learning materials for small- and medium-sized businesses using visual elements
  • Debtle — tackling the consumer debt crisis with a cloud-based platform that automates and simplifies the negotiation and settlement of overdue invoices and bad debt accounts
  • Pure & Complete Phonics — engaging, game-based spelling and reading application for students with dyslexia that is authentic, realistic and culturally responsive

Hang on East and West coasts. We are the Fresh Coast and making waves in innovation.

Company: New North, Inc.
Innovation: NEW Launch Alliance
Website: thenewnorth.com

To view the entire 2021 Champions of Innovation edition, please click here.