The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced today it is accepting applications for this year’s Pressure Chamber startup program, which returns Aug. 16 to kick off Forward Festival, an eight day celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Madison. The popular initiative includes participation and support from active regional investment firms, as well as the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

“Since its beginning four years ago, Pressure Chamber has provided an impactful platform for dozens of growing companies to tell their story and connect with new opportunities,” said Chamber Vice President Kevin Little. “We look forward to another year showcasing the very best of Greater Madison’s startup scene.”

Applicants for Pressure Chamber go through a screening process that may include presentations with prominent Wisconsin investors. From there, a select number of companies will be chosen to pitch in front of a panel of out-of-state investors, business executives and a live audience during Forward Fest. The winning company is decided based on a combination of judges scoring and audience votes. In addition to receiving the coveted “golden suitcase,” the winning company will also receive an all-expenses paid spot on the Chamber’s exclusive Madison-area startup delegation to San Francisco this October for meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms.

Read the full release here.