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Northwestern Mutual Calls on Entrepreneurs to Participate in National Pitch Competition
Teams can earn a seed investment of up to $85,000 from Northwestern Mutual's Cream City Venture Capital

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwestern Mutual today announced it will host its second Reverse Pitch MKE, a nationwide competition, during Startup Milwaukee Week. On November 6, company executives will pitch to entrepreneurs, outlining three business challenges the company is looking to explore and solve, for a chance to earn a seed investment up to $85,000.

Northwestern Mutual. (PRNewsFoto/Northwestern Mutual)

In addition to funding, entrepreneurs with the leading solution will receive access to corporate mentors and networks, as well as working space in Cream City Labs, which recently opened in Northwestern Mutual's downtown Milwaukee headquarters.

"At Northwestern Mutual, we recognize that great ideas can come from outside of our four walls and welcome outside-in thinking," said Karl Gouverneur, vice president of digital workplace, corporate solutions and head of digital innovation at Northwestern Mutual. "Reverse Pitch MKE allows us to connect with startups in new ways, as well as provide them with funding and resources to launch a potential product of their own and help them grow their businesses." 

Reverse Pitch MKE is open to entrepreneurs, startups and creatives not only in Southeastern Wisconsin, but throughout the country, as the company looks to solve three challenges:

  • Securing Payments – Seeking an automated and secure way to conduct high volume, high dollar, business to business financial transactions (i.e. wire transfers). The current process requires manual effort to mitigate the risk of fraud or error.     
  • Evaluating Inclusion – Seeking a way to determine the impact of efforts to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive work environment. Traditional practices to measure diversity and inclusion are currently limited to head count and surveys, rather than incorporating sentiment and language found within a company's digital content (i.e. media, videos, training language).
  • Streamlining Medical Record Review – Seeking a way to reduce the amount of human review required to analyze PDF medical records in underwriting an insurance policy or evaluating a claim. Current challenges include redundant data, records out of sequence, and lack of association between related topics.

Participating teams can apply to pitch their solutions to Northwestern Mutual in January 2019. The winner will be announced in February 2019.

In 2017, Socialeads, a platform that analyzes social networks to keep financial advisors up-to-date on client milestones, was selected as the competition's first winner. The company is now based out of Cream City Labs and is working with Northwestern Mutual on a proof of concept.

"Northwestern Mutual has been an invaluable partner and champion as we've worked to launch our startup, build a product and bring it to market," said Larry Hitchcock, co-founder, Socialeads. "The resources and guidance we've received from the company throughout our product development is as, if not more, important than the investment capital."

To learn more about Reverse Pitch MKE and to register to attend on November 6, please visit

Startup Milwaukee Week

In addition to Reverse Pitch MKE, Northwestern Mutual will be involved in several other Startup Milwaukee Week events, including the kickoff event on November 5, an AI in Finance session on November 8 and the 88Nine x Capitol Records Hackathon on November 10 and 11.

Startup Milwaukee Week is designed to connect, educate and celebrate entrepreneurship in Southeastern Wisconsin, and supports the company's commitment to grow Milwaukee's tech ecosystem.

To view the full Startup Milwaukee Week calendar, visit

About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for more than 160 years. Through a distinctive, whole-picture planning approach, we empower our clients to make the most of every single day and plan for important moments in their future. We combine the expertise of our financial professionals with a personalized digital experience to help our clients navigate their financial lives every day. With $265.0 billion in assets, $28.1 billion in revenues, and $1.8 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to 4.5 million people who rely on us for life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, brokerage and advisory services, trust services, and discretionary portfolio management solutions. The company manages more than $125 billion of client assets through its wealth management and investment services. Northwestern Mutual ranks 104 on the 2018 FORTUNE 500 and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2018.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance with long-term care benefits, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long-term care insurance).


SOURCE Northwestern Mutual

Meghan Greco, 1-800-323-7033,