Applications are being accepted through Wed., Sept. 30 from young companies that want to tell their stories to investors at our annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, to be held Nov. 9-11 on a virtual platform.

The 2020 format includes two pitch opportunities – the Tech Council Investor Networks track (five-minute presentations) and the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics – as well as Investor Intros,” which will allow pre-selected companies brief, one-on-one meetings with targeted angel and venture investors.

As a special offer to all applicants, we have partnered with AirDeck to build your presentation deck. AirDeck creates online narrated presentations for sales pitches, online courses and webinars. Its unique features include the ability to quickly customize presentations while adding voice or video narration. We encourage narration of your decks and sharing it with attendees during the conference. AirDeck presentations will be required for TCIN presentations and optional for other applicants. You may also include it as part of your executive summary; as a bonus, you’ll have an extended free trial through the conference.

Instructions for how to apply for all or a mix of the investor presentation opportunities can be found at wisearlystage.com on the “ESS applications” tab.

General registration is also now open by clicking here!

At least one applicant must register in advance for the conference at a discounted rate of $49. Additional team members may register at the same rate. 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).

The deadline to apply online is 5 p.m. Wed., Sept. 30.

Here are the three company forums; companies may apply for one, two or all three opportunities to be seen, heard and make a splash!

Tech Council Investor Networks Track

This presentation track will feature about two-dozen companies from the Midwest representing an array of industries, such as advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, health care, information technology, medical devices and mobile application sectors. These applicants will utilize AirDeck to create their presentations.

Companies selected will have more opportunities to interest investors: a five-minute recorded presentation and investors will have access to all company applications.

Elevator Pitch Olympics

Companies or entrepreneurs selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics will give a 90-second pitch virtually in front of conference attendees and a panel of 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. There are crystal awards for the top presenters!

Investor Intros

Companies selected for the popular 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, virtual 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.

To date, these investor groups will be participating: 4490 Ventures, Atlene, Baird Capital, Bascom Ventures, Bold Coast Capital, Brightstar WI Foundation, Capital Innovators, Chippewa Valley Angel Investment Network, CMFG Ventures, Cream City Venture Capital, Dundee VC, Golden Angels Investors, Great North Labs, HealthX Ventures, Hyde Park Ventures, Idea Fund of La Crosse, Inventure Capital, Iron Forge, Lancaster Investments, Lewis & Clark Ventures, Lightbank, Lightship Capital, M25 Capital, Madison Development Corporation, MaSa Partners, Matchstick Ventures, Midwest Wealth Ventures, N29 Capital, NVNG Investment Advisors, Oshkosh Corp., Plymouth Growth Partners, Rock River Capital Partners, Sandalphon Capital, Silicon Pastures, Stateline Angels, TASC Ventures, The Ardent Group, Tundra Angels, Venture Investors, Winnebago Capital Partners, Winnow Fund, Wisconn Valley Ventures, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Wisconsin Investment Partners, WISC Partners and Ziegler.

The conference will also feature:

  • A variety of insightful keynote speakers and targeted panel discussions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector making an impact nationwide.
  • The 7th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation
  • Virtual sponsor exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 innovative Wisconsin companies.

The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: Aberdean, Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, Alliant Energy, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baker Tilly, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, C.D. Smith Construction, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University Wisconsin, CUNA Mutual, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, DeWitt, Exact Sciences, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Godfrey & Kahn, GoogleHealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, Idea Fund of La Crosse, Kimberly-Clark, KW2, M3 Insurance, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ Hey Communications, Michael Best, Morgridge Institute, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, One City Schools, Oshkosh Corp., Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, RSM US, Signature Bank, Skyward, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Summit Credit Union, board member Susan Healy, TASC, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Computer Sciences, 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, Zerology and Ziegler.