Fourteen panel discussions on topics of interest to entrepreneurs and investors alike will be among the highlights of the annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held Nov. 13-14 in Madison.

Produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its partners, the conference gives selected companies the opportunity to make presentations and meet with investors. For more information and to register for the conference, go to

Organized across three concurrent tracks, the panel discussions will span both days of the conference. The line-up features a step-by-step series of discussions designed to take entrepreneurs from the earliest phases of funding decisions to later-stage investment events and choices. Those panels include:

  • Does angel or venture capital make sense for your company?
  • What happens next? Post-funding strategies for angel-backed companies.
  • What are investors looking for – bugs, clicks, tools or apps?
  • Coming to terms with your term sheet
  • Heading for the exit: Keeping your company on track for merger or acquisition
  • The 30,000-foot view: Perspectives from the region’s investors

 Also planned is a general panel session to discuss plans for a state-leveraged early stage capital fund. Other panel discussions will drill into specific challenges facing entrepreneurs, or help them improve the “pitch” and communications skills. They include:

  • Entrepreneurs’ workshop: Perfecting your short-building pitch.
  • Federal update: How will the tech economy fare in post-election Washington?
  • Marketing 101: What young tech companies need to know about their message
  • What health-care reform means to life science companies
  • How to navigate changing currents inside the Food and Drug Administration
  • Off the corridor: Sparkling companies outside Wisconsin’s biggest metros
  • Town and gown: Academic and industry partnerships that work

Featured speakers at the conference are Larry Landweber, whose work on the Internet during its formative years led to his induction this year into the Internet Society’s Hall of Fame, and Greg Milman, one of the nation’s most respected scientists inside the National Institutes of Health and an expert on Small Business Innovation Research grants. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch will also offer her perspectives on the tech economy in a separate address. Other highlights of the conference will include:

  • Presentations by 26 companies selected for the Wisconsin Angel Network investors’ track. Investors from across Wisconsin and beyond will attend. 
  • The annual Elevator Pitch Olympics, which provide 90-second presentation opportunities for 15 or more additional companies. A panel of investors will judge the contest.
  • The annual “First Look” forum featuring selected campus-based technologies.
  • A first-night reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.

To learn more or to register, visit