Applications are being accepted now from young companies that want to tell their stories to investors at our annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, to be held Nov. 15-16 at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.
The 2017 format includes two pitch opportunities – the Tech Council Investor Networks track and the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics – as well as a repeat segment that debuted in 2016, “Investor Intros,” which will allow pre-selected companies brief, one-on-one meetings with targeted angel and venture investors.
All applicants must register in advance for the conference at a discounted rate of $169. Companies selected for the Tech Council Investor Networks track presentations will also receive a complimentary individual membership to the Tech Council’s Innovation Network for one year (a $120 value). Team members of these companies will be eligible to attend the conference at a special team rate.
The deadline to apply online is 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. Here are the three company forums; companies may apply for one, two or all three!
- Tech Council Investor Networks Track – Wednesday, Nov. 15: These tracks will feature more than 20 companies from the Midwest representing an array of industries, such as advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, health care, information technology, medical device and mobile application sectors. Companies selected will have many opportunities to interest investors: a five-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. Selected companies will also be invited to participate in a pre-conference practice session with a group of mentors.
- Elevator Pitch Olympics – Thursday, Nov. 16: Companies or entrepreneurs selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics will 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 just forming, seeking a smaller investment round or planning to do so within the next year.
- Investor Intros – Thursday, Nov. 16: Returning this year are the Investor Intros. Companies selected for the Investor Intros will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with investors from Wisconsin and beyond. To foster this type of communication, the Investor Intros will feature pre-scheduled, 7-minute strategic meetings between investors and emerging companies. This format will resemble a “speed dating” exercise, allowing both parties to learn more about each other and explore potential relationships.
The conference will also feature:
- Speakers, panel discussions and educational seminars featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector.
- “Office Hours,” offering the opportunity to meet with subject experts on a variety of topics in small discussion groups or one-on-one.
- SBIR/STTR awards luncheon to recognize grant recipients from the past year.
- The 4th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation.
- The “First Look” forum featuring selected campus-based technologies.
- Exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin companies.
- A Nov. 14 Wisconsin WOMEN reception (Women, Opportunities, Mentors, Networking, Entrepreneurs). This event is open to both men and women.
- A Nov. 15 conference reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.
The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: 100state, Aberdean, Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Bunker Labs Madison, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University, Cresa, Dedicated Computing, DXC Technology, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Functional Biosciences, Godfrey & Khan, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, IBM, Madison College, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Marquette University, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Promega, Red Arrow Productions, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, River Valley Bank, Smith & Gesteland, Square 1 Bank, Susan Healy (Tech Council board member), SWIB, University Research Park, UW-Green Bay, UWM Research Foundation, Venture Investors, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WERCBench Labs, Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Wisconsin Hospital Association and Ziegler.
Learn more and register at www.wisearlystage.com.