Local Entrepreneur Seizes Second Chance and Launches new Tech Startup. LSS #31: WinningCause



When Steve Wasnick’s wholesale picture framing company went belly-up after 15 years of business, he returned to the entrepreneurial drawing board and crafted a new product, passion and purpose.

Originally known as Mill City Auctions, the game plan was a transition into niche online auctions.   In collaboration with lifelong business partner Andrew Mattila, Wasnick envisioned cultivating a user base through iterative development and brand building by offering the nascent service free-of-charge to nonprofits.  While the sights were ultimately set on the larger and more diverse market for online auctions, a unique ‘second chance’ contest forced a refined focus exclusively on the nonprofit market.

Now re-branded/launched as WinningCause, the service replaces the traditional silent auction approach (pen and paper) with a real time web-based auction experience.  Nonprofits are able to use WinningCause to raise more money at their fundraising auctions through preliminary social media exposure, seamless transition into the actual event, smart-phone compatibility, and most importantly – by retaining 100% of the price paid for a given item.