Annual student pitch competition—Brewed Ideas Challenge—to be held April 23

April 21, 2021

Brewed Ideas Challenge LogoMILWAUKEE — Marquette University’s Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation Initiative and Milwaukee-based Brady Corporation will partner for the eighth annual Brewed Ideas Challenge on Friday, April 23, from 1p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The Shark Tank-style student pitch competition awards $23,000 in seed money and will be held in an in-person/virtual hybrid format. Registration to watch a livestream of the competition is open to the public and available online.

Ten finalists will compete in one of two tracks: social venture and traditional business. The finalists are mentored by leaders at Brady Corporation and are participating in virtual workshops led by the 707 Hub leading up to the live pitch event. First-place winners in each track receive $7,500 in seed money. Second-place winners receive $2,000 in seed money. Winners of the Audience Choice and Brady Innovation awards receive $1,000 in seed money. This year, an Excellence in Inclusive Impact category was added, with the winner receiving a $2,000 award.

The finalists include:

  • Community. Books. YOU., an organization committed to equitable education by lending low-income and first-generation students required textbooks for free
  • Etombi Foundation, providing sustainable health care and education to the underprivileged in Cameroon
  • Marquette Yard Sale, providing Marquette University students with affordable and convenient access to furniture
  • My Momentum, an organization accelerating professional pathways for young, athletic performance coaches
  • Nugeni, a company pioneering sustainable boots with changeable outsoles
  • Olympus Labs, a data driven athletic company focused on creating shoes with smart insoles, specifically for track and field athletes
  • Puzzle Prep Meal Containers, a cutting edge meal prep container with detachable compartments
  • Small World, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering young adults through an engaging medium that promotes personal and intellectual development through intercultural conversations
  • Studente Atleta, a sport recruiting organization, connecting Italian talent with United States NCAA programs
  • Ukuli Chocolates, decadent truffles made with ethically sourced cocoa, that highlights local flavors

The competition will be judged by Russell Shaller, President, Identification Solutions, Brady Corporation, Nicole Westenberger, Vice President, Global Ecommerce and Marketing, Brady Corporation, and Brandon Rule, president of Rule Enterprises.

The Brewed Ideas Challenge is sponsored by the Brady Foundation and programmed by the 707 Hub, which houses the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiative. This is the eighth year Marquette and Brady Corporation have partnered on pitch competitions. The program has awarded more than $120,000 during that time.  Past winners include Liv a Little Ice Cream, The Color of English, JD BNB, Sendgineering, and Complete Shaping

The 707 Hub is Marquette University’s innovation incubator; a place where ideas are shared, stretched, challenged and realized. It is home to the Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship and the Social Innovation Initiative.

Brady Corporation is an international manufacturer and marketer of complete solutions that identify and protect people, products and places. Brady’s products help customers increase safety, security, productivity and performance, and include high-performance labels, signs, safety devices, printing systems and software. Founded in 1914, the company has a diverse customer base in electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, medical, aerospace and a variety of other industries.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or