Experts on equity, capital, social media and more on panels at Early Stage Symposium

MADISON – Ten panels filled with investors, successful entrepreneurs and industry experts are slated for the Early Stage Symposium at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center Nov. 15-16, 2017. Produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its partners, the conference will feature four rounds of panel sessions over the two days. Those discussions are titled:

  • Does angel or venture capital make sense for your company?
  • Tech lingo bingo: How to speak the language of the deal
  • Heading for the exit: How to prepare for an IPO, M&A or sale
  • Taking the plunge: Executing a successful equity round
  • The financial returns angels and VCs need: What ‘treps should know
  • The story behind the numbers: Understanding business valuation
  • Corporate VCs: America’s fastest growing group of equity investors
  • How to progress through financing steps: From seed to Series B
  • Numbers that matter: Key business metrics, capital planning and proformas
  • How social media can help you raise investor dollars

“The lineup of investors and experienced entrepreneurs taking part in this year’s conference offers attendees a ‘who’s who’ list of expertise,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

Investors in panel sessions are: David Guinther, WISC Partners; Katie Schmitz, Ziegler; Michael Thorson, Inventure Fund; Dan Blake, HealthX Ventures; Bob Wood, Wisconsin Investment Partners; Fred Robertson, Baird Capital; Mark Bakken, HealthX Ventures; Andy Shrago, Wisconsin Investment Partners; Ken Johnson, Kegonsa Capital; Jason Graham, Golden Angels Investors; Jonathon Horne, Idea Fund of La Crosse; Scott Button, Venture Investors; Dan Einhorn, Capital Midwest Funds; Andy Walker, Rock River Capital Partners; Todd Sobotka, BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation; Andrea Dlugos, Wisconsin Investment Partners; Brian Kaas, CMFG Ventures; Shobhan Thakkar, Kauffman Fellow; and Lorrie Heinemann, Madison Development Corp.

Entrepreneurs in the sessions include: Monika Wingate, Digsite; Brian Wiegand, Gravy Live; Todd Asmuth, SHINE Medical; Mark Gehring, HealthMyne; Toni Sikes, CODAworx, Eric Apfelbach, Pegex; James Dias, Wellbe; Ankit Agarwal, Imbed Biosciences; Wes Schroll, Fetch Rewards, Dave Grandin, Kiio; Luke Bonney, Redox; and Laura King, Elucent Medical;

Featured business advisors are: Greg Lynch, Michael Best; Jed Roher, Godfrey & Kahn; Josh Meinen, Baker Tilly; Steve Lyons, Husch Blackwell; Charles Neider, Neider & Boucher; Mike Quist, WEA Trust; Chris Schiffner, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.; William Robinson, Silicon Valley Bank; Spencer X Smith, AmpliPhi; Don Stanley, 3Rhino Media; Jen Savino, KW2; and Andrew Foxwell, Foxwell Digital.

Other highlights unveiled so far:

  • Remarks at the Wisconsin W·O·M·E·N reception the evening of Nov. 14 by Toni Sikes, the CEO of CODAworx. The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. at The Madison Club. Register here for this separate event.
  • An un-keynote presentation on Nov. 15 from Tamara Kleinberg, founder of LaunchStreet, on innovation and getting ahead of the competition.
  • 16 plenary panel discussion entitled “Outside looking in: Thoughts on Wisconsin from investors in other states.”
  • More than 40 investor groups set to meet with emerging firms in “Investor Intros” on Nov. 16.
  • The 2017 Investor Hall of Fame dinner, where BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation founder Tom Shannon will be inducted before invited investor guests.
  • Day Two luncheon speaker Dan Rashke, owner and CEO of TASC.

The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: 100state, Aberdean, Accuray, ACS, Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank, Boardman & Clark, Bunker Labs Madison, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University, Cresa, CUNA Mutual, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, DXC Technology, Enbridge, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Functional Biosciences, Godfrey & Khan, HealthX Ventures, Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Madison Central, Husch Blackwell, Madison College, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, Morgridge Institute, Murphy Desmond, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, Omni Resources, Perkins Coie, Promega, Red Arrow Productions, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, River Valley Bank, Skyward, Smith & Gesteland, Square 1 Bank, Susan Healy (Tech Council board member), SWIB, TASC, University Research Park, UW-Green Bay, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy, UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, Venture Investors, WCMP, 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