Companies or entrepreneurs preparing to seek private equity financing are eligible to compete in the Elevator Pitch Olympics if they are registered for instructional tracks within the symposium. Prospective companies and early-stage firms may register at

Up to 20 companies will be selected to present during the Elevator Pitch Olympics; all will be chosen from companies that take part in the VentureQuest training seminar or the symposium’s Technology Showcase.

The phrase “elevator pitch” is a familiar part of our language. It describes a sales pitch that is delivered in a short amount of time – such as an elevator ride in a tall building, or some place else where the “pitcher” has a captive audience.

The Elevator Pitch Olympics will allow entrepreneurs and early-stage business executives to deliver a 90-second pitch about their company or business idea to a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors. The two-part exercise is intended to be instructional, fun and relatively pressure free.

All that’s missing is the elevator and the tall building.

The Elevator Pitch Olympics will be held at two times during the Early Stage Symposium at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center:

•      4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30, in the Lecture Hall
•      11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, in the Lecture Hall

There will be no Power Point presentations, hand-outs or props of any kind – just a quick pitch to a panel of judges. Anyone who goes beyond 90 seconds will be asked to stop.

The judges will “score” the contest in a light-hearted manner by numerical scores, 1 through 5 (with 5 being the highest), on two categories:

1.      Would you as a judge take a meeting with this business person to discuss the plan in detail?

2.      Would you read beyond the first page of the business plan if it arrived the next day in your office?

The judges will take about three minutes to comment after each pitch, with the goal of giving each participant some tips on how to improve their presentation or their business plan summary.

Judges will represent venture firms such as Baird Venture Partners, Mason Wells Private Equity, Venture Investors of Wisconsin, Peak Ridge Capital/Avolte Midwest Venture Fund, Kips Bay Partners and Khosla Ventures. Angel networks or private funds represented will include the Marquette Golden Angels, Wisconsin Investment Partners, Daycholah Capital, Appletree Capital Ltd., the RPX Group and individual angels.

To become a sponsor of the 2006 Elevator Pitch Olympics, contact Tom Still at 608-442-7557.