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D8 Venture is about to make local dating more interesting.

D8 Venture wins Startup 48, Eau Claire’s own business startup competition weekend.

Dating in the Chippewa Valley may be getting easier, more creative and somewhat mysterious. That is if the winning Startup 48 team and new business startup, D8 Venture, launches their product into our market.

In October 2019, 37 individuals met at JAMF to begin a weekend-long journey to learn how to create a lean business and prepare to launch into the marketplace. Six dynamic teams formed and worked tirelessly to create business models, verify market need and find their value proposition all based around a 60 second business idea pitch. Strangers converged over these pitched ideas and worked together to prove if the idea was valuable or not, starting with clearly defining a problem they’d like to solve.

After a few pivots and some intense customer validation, teams focused on these new business ideas;

· Rentable vans for travel & lodging

· Software to aid farmers regarding ideal planting scenarios

· A modular shovel with removable head attachments

· Healthy, pre-packaged meals with a cause

· Event planning services for the workplace

· Dating app that outlines an evening of local activities

At the end of the weekend, groups presented to a panel of judges to define the business model and how they will fit into the marketplace. Judges choose D8 Venture, an app that plans a date night in the Chippewa Valley, as the winner of Startup 48 competition. The D8 Venture team now qualifies to advance to the Wisconsin Big Idea Tournament, a statewide pitch competition vying for startup capital of up to $25,000. The WBIT will be held in Eau Claire in 2020, at JAMF. Date is April 18, 2020.

Startup 48 is an annual, weekend-long business startup learning experience and competition. Local entrepreneurs and industry experts act as mentors throughout the weekend to assist and re-direct teams when needed, all with the goal to cultivate new business ideas and leaders in the Eau Claire area.

Several community partners make this annual event possible, including JAMF, UWEC Entrepreneur Program, Chippewa Valley Developers Group, Associated Bank and Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation. Financial sponsors are critical and include WiSys, The Idea Fund, Associated Bank, RCU, Security Financial Bank, Weld Riley and Erberts & Gerberts.

If you or someone in your organization is interested in participating, we are always looking for Sponsors and weekend mentors. Contact Becca Coleman, Eau Claire Area EDC for more information. 715-834-0070.

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