At least 20 early stage venture funds, angel networks and “super-angels” will meet with young companies during the new “Investor Intros” track at the annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held Nov. 7-8 at Madison’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.
Along with two other presentation tracks, Investor Intros is open to companies and entrepreneurs that register for the conference and apply for a chance to tell their stories to investors. It’s essentially a “speed-dating” session in which companies will spend five- to -seven minutes with interested investors.
The deadline to apply for the Tech Council Investor Network track, the Elevator Pitch Olympics and Investor Intros has been extended to noon Friday, Oct. 5. Instructions for how to apply for all or a mix of the investor presentation opportunities are here or found at wisearlystage.com.
Investor groups or “super-angels” who will meet with companies during Investor Intros include: CMFG Ventures, Bold Coast Capital, Northwestern Mutual/Cream City Capital, Baird Capital, Bascom Ventures, 30Ventures, Lewis & Clark Ventures, Rock RIver Capital Partners, Madison Development Corp., Idea Fund of La Crosse, gener8tor, Inventure Capital, Golden Angels Investors, Wisconsin Investment Partners, Silicon Pastures, HealthX Ventures, TASC Venture Partners, Capital Midwest Fund, Venture Investors and Winnow Fund.
“More investor groups are expected to take part as we draw closer to the conference,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “Those same investors will be among those who observe the main presentation track and who judge the Elevator Pitch Olympics.”
Here is more detail on the three company forums:
Tech Council Investor Networks Track – Wednesday, Nov. 7:
These tracks will feature more than 20 companies from the Midwest representing an array of industries, such as advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, health care, information technology, medical device and mobile application sectors.
Companies selected will have many opportunities to interest investors: a five-minute presentation, networking receptions, an executive summary published in the investor-only program and an opportunity to exhibit where investors may speak directly to presenting companies. Selected companies will also be invited to participate in a pre-conference practice session with a group of mentors.
Elevator Pitch Olympics – Thursday, Nov. 8:
Companies or entrepreneurs selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics will give a 90-second pitch in front of conference attendees and a panel of six to eight investors. 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, and will offer immediate feedback.
About 15 companies will be selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics. In past years, these have been companies just forming, seeking a smaller investment round or planning to do so within the next year.
Investor Intros – Thursday, Nov. 8:
Returning this year are the Investor Intros. Companies selected for the Investor Intros will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with investors from Wisconsin and beyond. To foster this type of communication, the Investor Intros will feature pre-scheduled, 7-minute strategic meetings between investors and emerging companies. This format will resemble a “speed dating” exercise, allowing both parties to learn more about each other and explore potential relationships.
The conference will also feature:
- Keynote speakers, panel discussions and workshops featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector.
- “Office Hours,” offering the opportunity to meet with subject experts on a variety of topics in small discussion groups or one-on-one.
- The 5th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation and luncheon.
- Exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin companies.
- A Nov. 6 Wisconsin WOMEN reception (Women, Opportunities, Mentors, Networking, Entrepreneurs). This event is open to both men and women.
- A Nov. 7 conference reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.
The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: 100state, Aberdean Consulting, Accuray, ACS, Alliant Energy, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, Barb Luhring Graphic Recording, BDO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BMO Harris, Boardman & Clark, Carroll University, CGI, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University, Cresa Madison, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, DXC Technology, Enbridge, Eppstein Uhen Architects, Exact Sciences, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Foley & Lardner, Functional Biosciences, Godfrey & Kahn, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, JP Cullen, M3 Insurance, Madison College, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Merchant & Gould, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Technology Innovation Center – MKE, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, Quarles & Brady, Red Arrow Production, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, River Valley Bank, Square 1 Bank, Sun Mountain Kegonsa, Tech Council board member Susan Healy, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, University Research Park, UW-Green Bay, UWM Research Foundation, Venture Investors, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Wisconsin Health & Educational Facility Authority, Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi, Yahara Software and Ziegler.