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This article was published on May 17, 2012

Meet the 8 promising startups presenting at COMMON Pitch Milwaukee: American Innovation

Meet the 8 promising startups presenting at COMMON Pitch Milwaukee: American Innovation
Harrison Weber
Story by

Harrison Weber

Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

Back in December we wrote about COMMON, a creative community for accelerating social change, and COMMON Pitch NYC. That event highlighted the brightest ideas for collaborative consumption — the ways social technologies help us to borrow, share and trade everything we need.

Since April, COMMON has been back in our sights, following its Threadless typography competition, with a focus on fostering American innovation. For the upcoming event, Pitch Milwaukee: American Innovation, COMMON searched and successfully found eight promising startups working hard to redefine business in America. From COMMON:

The eight selected entrepreneurs, representing US industries from health and manufacturing to housing and apparel, will take the stage during Milwaukee Innovation Week this June 7, exposing their new businesses and business concepts to an interactive audience of designers, technologists, industry mentors, best-selling business authors and “celebrity” judges. The winners will take home a prize package of cash, startup-ready services and more.

Here are the presenting startups:

Cold Fizzin’

Cold Fizzin’ provides the marketing, manufacturing and support necessary to take the myriad of designs developed by individual engineers around the world and turn them into market-ready products.

Swipe Sense

SwipeSense is a portable, trackable hand sanitation device for healthcare workers, designed to increase hand hygiene and reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The device clips onto the scrubs of a healthcare worker making hand sanitation “as easy as wiping your hands on your pants;” always available at the point-of-care.

Embedded electronics allow us to monitor hand hygiene performance of individual staff members in real-time allowing us to use the web, transparency and incentives to drive behavior change.

Flint & Tinder

Did you know that 99% of the men’s underwear in America comes from China, Thailand, Indonesia, etc. and the other 1% is kind of poor quality? Flint and Tinder aims to change that, make a better product, and save a 100 year old factory in the process. It’s about more than just premium men’s underwear though, it’s about redefining what it means to be made in America.


Storyhunter crowdsources high quality, video journalism production for the web. We are curating the world’s premier global network of video journalists, providing them custom-made web tools to pitch, produce, publish, and distribute their stories more efficiently. We want to empower a new generation of video journalists to tell the world’s most important, untold stories.

Hands On Garage

Hands-on Garage (HG) is an exciting new approach to automotive repair. Conceived at a time when Americans are concentrating on self-reliance in difficult economic times, HG fulfills the unmet needs of the do-it-yourself automotive repair customer while enhancing the repair experience of the full-service customer.

HG gives back to the communities it is based in with charitable events, automotive workshops and proper recycling. HG is a timely company people believe in.


BOULD is a for-profit, for-impact seeking to eliminate substandard housing through green building education. BOULD partners with affordable housing builders, like Habitat for Humanity, to transform housing projects into hands-on, interactive green building “classrooms” for career developing professionals and students.

Couple Wise

Couple Wise is a robust consumer web app to help couples have stronger happier relationships: We help those in trouble to save and revitalize their relationships— to be happy again, and help good relationships become great ones. We will be the only low cost effective solution for the 90-95% of semi happy and unhappy couples in the USA who are unable or unwilling to see a therapist.


brighter12 is the first ever online companion for working a 12 Step Program. We are taking the tried and true 12 step process and reinventing it by developing a powerful web application for our users, replacing their outdated pen and paper methods.

As a membership based system, brighter12 will provide robust tools and interactive features to create a safe and private environment for people interested in getting the most out of the 12 step experience. The online tools brighter12 offers will not only be revolutionizing the industry but will be transforming lives along the way, making a journey from broken to brighter!

What do you think of the presenting startups? For more, you can check out the link below:

➤ Common Pitch Milwaukee