A half-dozen investors from angel, micro-venture and venture capital funds will talk about the deal landscape in Wisconsin and the Midwest during a Nov. 16 panel discussion at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison.

Investors from Lewis & Clark Ventures in St. Louis, Meridian Street Capital in Indianapolis, Bessemer Venture Partners in California and three Chicago funds – Hyde Park Ventures, Hyde Park Angels and Ekistic Ventures – will speak as part of a plenary panel to open the second day of the conference. The funds have a combined $95 billion in assets under management.

“We’re excited to have these funds in Wisconsin to talk about what kind of deals they’re seeing in Wisconsin and the Midwest,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “We’ve seen significant regional and national investor interest in Wisconsin’s emerging companies of late. These funds are reflective of that trend.”

The Nov. 16 panel, “Outside looking in: Thoughts on Wisconsin from investors in other states,” will begin 9 a.m. at Monona Terrace Convention Center. Those same funds and many more investors from Wisconsin and beyond will take part in the annual conference.

More than 80 early stage companies applied to present at this year’s conference, which begins Nov. 15 and stands as one of the largest of its kind in the Midwest. All applicants will be eligible to take part in “Investor Intros,” a speed-dating exercise that will involve more than three-dozen funds, angel networks or individual investors. Twenty-five companies will be selected for the Tech Council Investor Track and another 17 for the annual Elevator Pitch Olympics.

“We’re pleased companies from a wide range of industry sectors applied to meet with investors, who will attend from Wisconsin, the Midwest and well beyond,” Still said.

Registration is open at www.wisearlystage.com. The conference will also feature:

  • A Nov. 14 Wisconsin WO·M·E·N reception (Women, Opportunities, Mentors, Networking, Entrepreneurs). This event is open to both men and women.
  • The 4th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation.
  • Panel discussions and educational seminars 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
  • SBIR/STTR awards luncheon to recognize grant recipients from the past year.
  • Exhibit hall showcasing Wisconsin companies.
  • A Nov. 15 conference evening reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.

Previously announced: Entrepreneur, investor and author Tamara Kleinberg, founder of Denver-based LaunchStreet, will open the conference Nov. 15 with an “un-keynote” speech on innovation and seizing market advantages. Watch her invitation video here.

The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: 100state, Aberdean, Accuray, Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium, Affiliated Engineers, Alliant Energy, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank, Boardman & Clark, Bunker Labs Madison, Carroll University, Center for Technology Commercialization, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University, Cresa, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, DXC Technology, Enbridge, Findorff, First Business Bank, Fluno Center, Functional Biosciences, Godfrey & Khan, HealthX Ventures, Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Madison Central, Husch Blackwell, IBM, Madison College, Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Marquette University, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Morgridge Institute, Murphy Desmond, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, Northwestern Mutual, Omni Resources, Perkins Coie, Promega, Red Arrow Productions, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, River Valley Bank, Skyward, Smith & Gesteland, Square 1 Bank, Susan Healy (Tech Council board member), SWIB, TASC, University Research Park, UW-Green Bay, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy, UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, Venture Investors, WCMP, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WERCBench Labs, Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Health and Educational Facilities Authority, Wisconsin Hospital Association and Ziegler.

Learn more and register at www.wisearlystage.com.