Michael Knetter, chief executive officer of the UW Foundation and a former economic advisor to Republican and Democratic presidents, will speak on current economic trends during lunch at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium on Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Madison.

Knetter is a former dean of the UW-Madison School of Business, served as a senior staff economist for the President’s Council on Economic Advisors during the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, and is internationally known for his work in economics.

A native of Rhinelander, Wis., Knetter earned his undergraduate degree at UW-Eau Claire and his doctorate from Stanford University.

“Our theme is helping early stage companies to make the right moves in today’s economy, and Mike Knetter will offer solid perspectives on national and world trends. He can deliver from 30,000 feet but simultaneously be down to earth,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. The Tech Council will produce the Nov. 8-9 conference.

In addition to leading the UW Foundation and the business school, Knetter’s private-sector experience over time includes service as a trustee of Neuberger Berman Funds; a director at American Family Insurance; a director of Wausau Paper and Great Wolf Resorts; and a trustee of the Northwestern Mutual Series Fund.

At its heart, the Early Stage Symposium offers many chances for young companies to meet with potential investors.

Applications are being accepted through 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6 from young companies that want to tell their stories to investors during the in-person conference at Madison’s Monona Terrace Convention Center.

Companies that apply for the conference will have up to three chances to meet with angel and venture capitalists, corporate funds, family funds and other investors on hand. The 2023 format includes two pitch opportunities – the Tech Council Investor Networks track (five-minute presentations) and the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics. All registered companies are eligible for “Investor Intros,” which allow pre-selected companies brief, one-on-one meetings with targeted angel and venture investors.

Instructions for how to apply for all or a mix of the investor presentation opportunities can be found at wisearlystage.com on the “ESS Application” 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 $179. Additional team members may register at the rate of $129. As always, student discounts will be available. Some young companies will be eligible for conference “scholarships” to help defray registration costs. Contact angela@wisconsintechnologycouncil.com after applying to learn about eligibility; early registrants will receive first consideration.

The deadline to apply online is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

The conference will also feature:

  • National keynote speakers and targeted panel discussions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector making an impact nationwide.
  • The 10th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation and luncheon.
  • Exhibit hall showcasing innovative Wisconsin companies.
  • A Nov. 8 conference reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.

The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors thus far include: Aberdean Consulting, Advocate Aurora Health, Amazon, American Transmission Co., Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, City of Fitchburg, CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen), Customers Bank, DeWitt, EUA, Exact Sciences, Findorff, First Business Bank, Foley & Lardner, Godfrey & Kahn, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, Idea Fund of La Crosse, In Business Magazine, Insperity, Isthmus Project, KW2, Lost Boys Interactive, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ Hey! Communications, Marquette University, Michael Best, Microsoft, Morgridge Institute for Research, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, One City Schools, ORIN Technologies, Quarles & Brady, Raven Software, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, RSM US, Ruder Ware, Sadoff E-Recycling & Data Destruction, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, SustainableHR PEO, TDS, Tech Council board member Susan Healy, Technology Entrepreneurship Office at UW-Madison, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, UMOS One Workforce – TechStars, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Computer Sciences, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, Venture Investors, Versiti, von Briesen & Roper, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WIPFLi, Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions, Wisconsin Historical Society and Ziegler Alternative Investments.

To learn more about sponsorship information, please reach out to Angela Schlobohm at angela@wisconsintechnologycouncil.com.