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. 6-7 at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.
The 2019 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. 20. Here are the three company forums; companies may apply for one, two or all three!
Tech Council Investor Networks Track – Wednesday, Nov. 6:
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. 7:
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. 7:
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.
New this year: The conference will be immediately preceded by “Innovation Day,” which is produced by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The WARF Innovation Day will be held Nov. 5 at Monona Terrace Convention Center, with more details to follow.
The annual Wisconsin WOMEN reception (Women, Opportunities, Mentors, Networking, Entrepreneurs) will also be held Nov. 5. This event will be open to both men and women. The conference will also feature:
- Speakers, panel discussions and workshops 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.
- The 6th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation and luncheon.
- Exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin companies.
- A Nov. 6 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 Consulting, Accuray, ACS, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Ben Brewer Photography, C.D. Smith Construction, CGI, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University of Wisconsin, CUNA Mutual, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, Eppstein Uhen Architects, Exact Sciences, Findorff, Fluno Center, Foley & Lardner, Foxconn, Godfrey & Kahn, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, Idea Fund of La Crosse, KW2, M3 Insurance, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Milwaukee School of Engineering, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, One City Schools, Promega, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, RSM US, ScaleFactor, Signature Bank, Summit Credit Union, Susan Healy, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions, Wisconsin Investment Partners, Yahara Software and Ziegler.