NEW North HATCH 2019 Winners - Luke Haen & Andrew Schmitz

NEW North HATCH 2019 Winners – Luke Haen & Andrew Schmitz

NEW NORTH, December 9, 2019 – Entrepreneurs Luke Haen and Andrew Schmitz were announced as the winners at the New North HATCH Regional Final pitch event, held Dec. 5 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. They emerged from a field of eight participants – two each from four different local areas within the region – to garner the cash prizes of $5,000 for first place and $3,000 for second place.
Haen was the first-place winner for his BAKKAB® Safe Backing system. Schmitz, who presented his Proceed app, took second place.
Participants in the New North HATCH Regional Final pitch event were judged on six categories: Problem, Customer, and Market; Unique Value Proposition & Solution; Marketing and Growth Strategy; Qualities of the Entrepreneur and Team; Economic Feasibility; and Quality of the Presentation.
“We have made it a New North priority to enhance our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says New North Executive Director Barb LaMue. “Among our initiatives was this HATCH pitch event. It was a great opportunity for eight finalists that advanced from local competitions, to pitch their ideas to a very large audience with potential investors. We congratulate both Luke and Andrew on being selected as the winners.”
Andrew Schmitz Presenting at NEW North 2019

Andrew Schmitz Presenting at NEW North 2019


The Proceed app provides a modern solution for retaining and sharing institutional knowledge of an organization, empowering everyone from the CEO to entry-level employees to capture internal know-how using photos and videos. As a knowledge management system, it makes company intelligence highly accessible, easily searchable and secure. Proceed has proven to be especially helpful during the on-boarding process for new employees, along with training sessions, by allowing for easy sharing of visual documentation.

“Our main goal during the HATCH pitch events was to gain visibility for Proceed and to spread our message,” says Schmitz, company CEO and co-founder. “It was so cool to see what other entrepreneurs are up to in our communities, and I always get pumped up by their energy and willingness to take on risk.

“Our product hits home with a lot of business leaders – the shifting workforce is a big challenge for many businesses, and so I believe we are the right team with the right solution at the right time for a lot of organizations.”

Proceed currently is a pre-launch phase, and is working with Alpha Users while it continues to develop the product, according to Schmitz. He indicates that the product is expected to be rolled out to Early Adopters as Beta Users in January 2020. Following beta testing Proceed will be launched publicly; Schmitz estimates that the wide introduction will occur in the second quarter of next year.

“We are following the LEAN startup methodology. The prize money will keep our company running at full speed into the new year,” Schmitz says, “and it will give us some flexibility to try new tactics and ideas.”

Additional information on Proceed is available at

New North worked with the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation to bring their HATCH program to its communities in the region. BrightStar, in cooperation with a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, furnished the prize money for both the local events and regional final.

“We thank our local partners for their efforts in supporting not only the finalists, but 35 contestants who have been given valuable feedback to further develop their business ideas,” adds LaMue. “We appreciate the financial support of the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and C.D. Smith Construction. We look forward to expanding this event in 2020.”

A total of 35 entrepreneurial pitches were made across four local qualifying events during Start-Up Week in mid-November. The top two finishers at each local competition advanced to the HATCH Regional Final at the New North Summit.

Article from NEW North Inc.