November 20, 2020 | By JP Bertinet | Back to news

Earlier this month, promising entrepreneurs from around the Midwest convened virtually at the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Early Stage Symposium (ESS). There an array of exciting young companies came to pitch their ventures to a panel of venture capital investors with those deemed most promising being recognized by the Council. Among the winners this year were two Weinert Center alumni, Justin Hajny (MBA ’10) and Dr. Chris Johnson (MEB ’10).

Justin Hajny is the CFO at Nobbits USA which produces textured shoelaces with raised bumps that help prevent shoes from coming untied. Justin mentioned that the recognition was important for the Fitchburg-based business as they are currently fundraising and looking to go to market in a couple months.

Nobbits Teams
Nobbits Team (Justin Hajny at right)

Dr. Johnson also received top honors from the audience who selected Johnson’s Madison-based Mappix as a winner for its innovation in drone technology. Mappix is a platform that allows drone pilots to connect with each other and with customers who are interested in obtaining the photographs or videos their drones produce. Dr. Johnson said that within hours of being recognized by the Council he had been contacted by several investors and prospective partners.

Chris Johnson

Congratulations to both Justin and Chris!