Contact: Liz Katz or Tom Still at 608-442-7557

MADISON – Start-up companies can apply for one of two chances to present to potential investors at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held Nov. 14-15 at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.

The annual conference, which has existed under different names for more than 20 years, will feature the third annual “Elevator Pitch Olympics” for companies in a seed financing stage and a separate Wisconsin Angel Network Early Stage presentation track for companies seeking angel investments in the $500,000 to $2 million range. Up to 30 companies will be selected to present in one track or the other.

Companies wishing to apply must first register for the conference as a whole at the Wisconsin Angel Network rate. Here are next steps:

-      Ten companies that are currently looking for funding (within the next six months) will make full presentations to investors in the WAN Early Stage track. Tech-based companies who are looking for $500,000 to $2 million in financing would be eligible; presentation length will be seven minutes. Submit executive summaries to Liz Katz at by 5 p.m. Oct. 12 for review by the conference steering committee.

Entrepreneurs who already have executive summaries posted on the WAN Deal-Flow Pipeline may e-mail Katz indicating that summary is updated and available. An executive summary template and a sample executive summary are available on the conference page within the Tech Council website.

-      The Elevator Pitch Olympics will allow entrepreneurs to make 90-second presentations to a panel of venture and angel investors. The term describes a pitch that’s short enough to be given during an elevator ride. Just as in the real Olympics, investor judges hold up their scores and give points ranging from 1 to 5 in the categories of “quality of presentation” and “business fundability.” Immediately afterwards, presenters will get constructive feedback from the judges – all seasoned investors.

First preference in the Elevator track will be given to companies that take part in the VentureQuest educational seminar, which helps entrepreneurs prepare to seek private equity and other financing. About 20 companies will be selected for the Elevator track. E-mail an executive summary to Liz Katz at by 5 p.m. Oct. 12 if you wish to be considered.

Questions about what track may be best for your company? Call Katz at 608-442-7557, ext. 27, or WAN director Joe Kremer, ext. 23.

The symposium will also feature nationally known speakers, a number of panel discussions, a networking reception and an awards dinner for Wisconsin recipients of federal small-business research grants.

The conference is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its partners and sponsors. Visit to register or learn more.