MILWAUKEE, WI (June 20, 2019) – Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. and its Summerfest Tech supporters are excited to announce that Marcus Lemonis will be a guest judge for the 5 LAKES Pitch competition at Summerfest Tech.  Lemonis, a graduate of Marquette University, leads multiple business enterprises, stars in CNBC’s The Profit, and is considered one of the most sought-after industry experts and keynote speakers in the small business sector today.

“A critical component of Summerfest Tech is the chance for regional startups to showcase the talent and innovation happening in the Midwest. Given his expertise and tremendous success in business and entrepreneurship, having Marcus involved only furthers Summerfest’s level of commitment to help give notoriety to this event and our very talented region,” said Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

Thirty-four applicants applied for the competition, and the field was narrowed down to ten startups, that will have the ability to pitch to an anonymous preliminary judging panel. That panel will then narrow the group to the final four, which will be announced at Summerfest Tech on June 25th at 8:00 p.m. These final four will then have the chance to pitch to Summerfest Tech attendees and a judging panel, featuring Marcus Lemonis, the next day on June 26th at 11:00 a.m.

Marcus Lemonis is one of the preeminent entrepreneurs of his generation, having been inspired at a young age to challenge himself to make his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur true. With his years of experience, true honesty, and heart and soul, he is a great asset to the 5 LAKES Pitch judging panel. If he follows his 3P philosophy, he will plan to analyze these startups in the same way that he analyzes every business – do they have quality people as part of this startup, do they have an excellent or relevant product, and do they have the best possible process for creating, delivering, and selling that product.

To learn more about Summerfest Tech, please visit


The 5 LAKES Pitch looked for startups that have raised less than $250,000 in funding or generated less than $500,000 in revenue to pitch a panel of judges and the Summerfest Tech audience of C-level executives, entrepreneurs and investors. The startups needed to operate in one of these areas:

  • Future of Work technologies that are enabling individuals and companies to work more effectively and efficiently.
  • Health technology that improves patient care and quality of life.
  • Mobility solutions that enable us to move faster, smarter and better.
  • EnviroTech that ensures we are leveraging energy, water and agricultural resources in a sustainable fashion.
  • Advanced Manufacturing technologies that propel the Great Lakes’ economy forward.

About Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.

Summerfest Tech is an initiative of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., an independent, private 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 1965 that produces Summerfest, presented by American Family Insurance, an 11-day festival that generates approximately $186 million in direct and indirect economic impact for the community each year.  Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. also maintains Henry Maier Festival Park, located on 75 acres on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, WI.  In addition to Summerfest, Henry Maier Festival Park hosts a variety of ethnic and cultural festivals, concerts, walks, runs, and other special events, attracting nearly 1.3 million people. 

The mission of the organization is to promote an understanding of different ethnic cultures, the histories and traditions of various nationalities, harmony in the community, civic pride and provide a showcase for performing arts, activities and recreation for the public, and employment opportunities for the youth of the community. For more details, visit,, or Twitter: @Summerfest.