Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation: Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council

Chippewa Falls, WI – The Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) won a Silver Rank for its Chippewa Valley Round-Up HATCH Pitch Competition, a project in the category of Entrepreneurship of  the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honor was presented today at an awards  ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference, which is currently underway. 

“We are honored to hold this event yearly for our entrepreneurs and business community, and further honored  by the recognition we have received from the IEDC,” expressed Deb Chilson, CCEDC Board Member and Chair  of the HATCH Committee. “The Round-Up HATCH Pitch Competition was a success, thanks to the team that  organized it and thanks to the many Chippewa Valley professionals that attended, pitched, or judged.” 

The CCEDC continues to pave the way for local entrepreneurs by assisting them in bringing their business ideas  to life by organizing and hosting the Chippewa Valley HATCH Program. This program is aimed at fostering  startup entrepreneur job creation within the Chippewa Valley, which allows for increased tax base and prosperity  in the county. For the past couple of years, CCEDC has teamed up with the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation,  Inc., Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Chippewa Valley Angel Network, and several other  local businesses to organize and host HATCH. The event returned in 2021 for the purposes of further developing  the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Fest Valley Events in Cadott, WI on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. 

Since its inception in 2018, the Hatch Pitch Competition has assisted entrepreneurs in the Chippewa Valley in  receiving funding for their next stage of expansion. For instance, seventeen-year-old Will Wanish, of Wanish  Sugar Bush, in 2018, started tapping trees and making maple syrup with his uncle Jon. In 2020, he was able to  obtain capital through the CCEDC to expand his distribution of maple syrup. In 2021, he pitched at the Round 

Up HATCH event and won the audience favorite. Another Hatch winner was Joshua Shefner, CEO and co founder of Agricycle, who stated that “The HATCH was the first real pitch competition Agricycle competed in.  The feedback we received helped shape our later pitches to investors and partners.”  

The impact that this program has on the Chippewa Valley and its tax base cannot be understated. The CCEDC  is humbled to be recognized as one of the leading economic development organizations that fosters opportunities  for entrepreneurs and executives alike. Join us on November 16th from 5-9 pm at the River Prairie Center in  Altoona for our next Hatch Pitch Competition, which is in celebration of Startup Chippewa Valley Week, a week  that holds special events for entrepreneurs and startups. Learn more by going to