The producers of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium are looking for cutting-edge companies from Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest to present to investors at the  Nov. 13-14 conference at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.


The annual conference gives selected companies the opportunity to make presentations and meet with investors. For many firms, participation in the conference has been a key factor for significant business growth. For more information and to register for the conference, go to

The deadline to apply to present is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, 2012.

Like the 2011 conference, this year’s conference is open to early stage companies representing an array of industries: biotechnology, biofuels and products, “cleantech,” advanced manufacturing, information technology, nanotechnology and business services. There are two separate presentation levels at the Early Stage Symposium: the Wisconsin Angel Network Investors’ Track and the Elevator Pitch Olympics.

Companies selected for the WAN track will have many opportunities to interest investors: networking receptions; a seven-minute presentation, an executive summary published in the investor-only program, and an exhibit area where investors may speak directly to presenting companies. Investors representing millions of dollars in investment capital attend this event.

Companies selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics, a crowd favorite, will have the opportunity to give a 90-second pitch to a panel of six to eight investors and receive immediate feedback. 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.

  • About 20 early stage companies seeking capital will be selected to make seven-minute presentations to investors in the Wisconsin Angel Network track (application instructions are below). These company presentations will take place the afternoon of TUESDAY, NOV. 13.
  • About 15 companies will be selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics (application instructions are below). In past years, these have been companies seeking a smaller investment round or planning to do so within the next year. All presenters will make 90-second pitches to a panel of investors. The Elevator Pitch Olympics will take place WEDNESDAY, NOV. 14.

Companies pay no fee to apply or to present. However, companies must first register to attend the full conference in order to be considered by our steering committee for a presentation slot. Register at  

How to apply for the WAN track:

Requirement is to complete and submit an executive summary.

Follow this link to download a template to guide you through this process. Email your executive summary to Zach Brandon at and request to be entered into the 2012 ESS Investor Presentations. A confirmation e-mail will be sent.


Companies selected for the WAN Track are invited to attend an orientation session and participate in a pre-conference rehearsal.


How to apply for the Elevator Pitch Olympics:


Required sections of the application are:

  • Product or Service Description: describe the nature of the product or service you plan to sell.
  • Customer Definition, Their Needs – Your Solution: Define your market by answering these questions about your customers: What is the problem your technology or product will solve?
  • Who has the problem? Who would be an early user of your product?
  • Market Description, Size and Sales Strategy: Further define the market by answering this question: How do you size and segment the market to which your technology or product will be sold? Segmenting the market means that you identify the specific portion of the market that contains those buyers that have the problem your product or service is targeted to solve. You will also describe how you will go about marketing, selling and distributing your product or service.
  • Competition: Explain why your product or service is better than alternatives. Describe possible competitors.


Email your application to Zach Brandon at with the request to present at the 2012 ESS Elevator Pitch Olympics.