The planners of the Wisconsin
Early Stage Symposium
, a two-day event that has been connecting innovation and investment for
three decades, are looking for
innovative early stage companies from Wisconsin and other Midwest states to
present in November at Madison’s Monona Terrace.

The annual conference on Nov. 12-13 gives selected
companies the opportunity to make presentations and meet with investors, along
with other entrepreneurs and business leaders. Many firms have cited participation in the conference as a key factor
for significant business growth. Company applications are due no later
than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014.

This year’s conference, with a theme of “30X10,”
is celebrating a rich history that goes back to 1985. That year, Wisconsin’s
first annual venture conference was held in Madison, pairing high-growth
companies with investors and other business leaders from across the state.
Originally the Madison Venture Fair, the event has been called the Wisconsin
Venture Conference, the Wisconsin Life Sciences & Venture Conference – and
for the past 10 years – the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. More than 480
companies have presented during the conferences in one format or another,
including some of the largest technology companies that call Wisconsin home.

The application process is open to early stage companies
representing an array of industries, including biotechnology, medical devices,
health care, advanced manufacturing, information technology and others. For
more information on how to apply, visit

leading innovators, thinkers and investors in the state have taken the
conference stage over the past three decades, showcasing the best of
Wisconsin,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council. “30×10 will
celebrate that history while looking forward with this year’s participants.”


There are
two separate presentation levels at the Early Stage Symposium: the Wisconsin
Angel Network Investors’ Track
 and the Elevator
Pitch Olympics


Wisconsin Angel Network Investors’ Track –
Wednesday, Nov. 12:

A total
of about 20 companies from the Midwest will present to investors at two separate
WAN presentation tracks.


selected for the WAN tracks
will have many opportunities to interest investors:
the seven-minute presentation, networking receptions, an executive summary
published in the investor-only program and an opportunity to exhibit where
investors may speak directly to presenting companies. Companies selected for
the WAN tracks are also invited to participate in a pre-conference practice
session with a group of mentors.


Elevator Pitch Olympics – Thursday, Nov.

selected for the 10th annual Elevator Pitch Olympics, a crowd favorite, will have the opportunity to give a
90-second pitch in front of conference attendees and a panel of six to eight
investors. The investors will score the presenter on a scale of 1 to 5,
focusing on whether the pitch was compelling
enough to arrange a follow-up meeting, and will offer immediate feedback.


About 15
companies will be selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics. In past years, these have been companies seeking a smaller
investment round or planning to do so within the next year.


applicants will be eligible for a discounted conference registration rate of
$169. Companies selected for the Wisconsin Angel Network track presentations
will receive a complimentary individual Wisconsin Innovation Network membership for one year (a $100 value). Team members of
these companies will also be eligible to attend the conference at a special
team rate.

Speakers and highlights will be announced in coming weeks.
The conference will also feature:

  • More than a dozen panel discussions or plenary
    sessions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech
  • “Office hours,” offering the opportunity to meet
    with subject experts on a variety of topics in small discussion groups or
  • SBIR/STTR awards luncheon to recognize grant
    recipients from the past year.
  • The inaugural “Excellence in Entrepreneurial
    Education” award presentation.
  • The annual “First Look” forum featuring selected
    campus-based technologies.
  • Exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin
  • A first-night reception, two luncheons, two
    breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only

conference is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its partners. To
register, go to
“Early bird” registration is open through Oct. 21. Hotel rooms are available at
a discounted
group rate
through Oct. 12.