Judges choose FreshEx in HATCH challenge

A five-minute presentation landed one entrepreneur $2,000 for their business during the HATCH challenge program this week.

Five inventors made business presentations to a panel of judges during the program Thursday at Southport Beach House, hoping to be win a cash prize for the best idea. In the end, it was Toby Thomas, the last to make his presentation, who won the judges over, winning a $2,000 prize for presenting FreshEx, a packaging product designed to curb the growth of mold on food.

Thomas, using a PowerPoint presentation, presented his idea and explained the science behind his invention, according to Cassandra Polzin, media relations manager with Leeward Business Advisors.

Polzin said 11-year-old Alex Hart-Upendo, of Racine, wowed the audience of 136 as a fan favorite with his Build-a-Bow for pets, but did not win a prize.

A panel of five judges including business professionals, University of Wisconsin-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford and Ed Javier, co-founder of Wisconsin Startup Week, reviewed the presentations.

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