A Door County entrepreneur who has developed a software program to aid government and municipal workers placed first in the Lighthouse Launch business pitch contest held Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the Robert Ray Art Gallery in Algoma.
Dustin Overbeck presented his business HeyGov, Inc., a computer platform designed to help cities and other municipalities run more efficiently by cutting down on manual payment processes and other tedious office tasks, such as compilation of meeting minutes.
“I felt like it was going to be tight competition, because there were some really good businesses that presented,” said Overbeck. “I found it advantageous to be part of the Build Up program in Green Bay. It’s an accelerator program that lasts like three months and that was really good preparation for this event, because it’s basically the same thing only to a different audience.”
Placing second in the Lighthouse Launch was Emily Hubbard, who presented her business venture called Vente Tours. Hubbard’s business is designed to provide personalized driving tours with local guides to explore the beauty of Door County and other parts of Wisconsin.
“I’m incredibly grateful to participate in this competition,” said Hubbard. “It’s my first pitch competition, and the best part about it is that it motivated me to continue doing research about my business. It’s very easy to get excited about an idea, but a competition like this helped me clearly define what I want to do.”
Overbeck received $1,000 and Hubbard $500. They also advance to a regional competition Nov. 30 at Titletown Tech in Green Bay, where they will have an opportunity to earn more prize money and additional exposure for their businesses.
Five aspiring entrepreneurs pitched in the Lighthouse Launch, which was co-hosted and organized by the Door County Economic Development Corporation, the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation and the University of Wisconsin Madison-Extension serving Brown and Kewaunee counties.
Door County residents Andrew Grumbles of Hook & Punch, Dawn Krueger of Freeze Dried Door County and Amber Novotny of Hype Studios LLC also presented their business ventures.
DCEDC worked closely with the contestants to help them prepare for the event. DCEDC Business Development Director Devin Vandertie celebrated the successes of all five participants.
“It was great to see the culmination of their hard work,” said Vandertie. “Each of the contestants dedicated a great deal of time, not only to this pitch but to their businesses. We’re really proud of the entrepreneurial spirit here in Door County.”
Vandertie said the Lighthouse Launch was a fun opportunity that DCEDC and its partners hope to make an annual event. But it’s not the only chance for area entrepreneurs to get the support they need to launch or grow their businesses.
“We have a great deal of services here at DCEDC and assist individuals at every stage of their business,” she said. “We help manifest ideas, we can help give structure by developing a business plan, or support growth through expansion planning and site selection and so much more.”