A growing list of investors from Wisconsin, the Upper Midwest and beyond will meet with emerging companies that take part in the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, to be held Nov. 6-7 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison.
Companies that apply for, and are selected to present, at the conference will have three chances to meet with angel and venture capitalists, corporate funds, family funds and other investors on hand.
The list thus far includes: 30Ventures, 4490 Ventures, Baird Capital, Bascom Ventures, Bold Coast Capital, BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Chippewa Valley Angel Investors Network, CMFG Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Golden Angels Investors, Idea Fund of La Crosse, Independence Equity, Inventure Capital, IronForge, Lancaster Investments, Madison Development Corp., MaSa Partners, Northwestern Mutual Ventures/Cream City Venture Capital, Rock River Capital Partners, Silicon Pastures, Venture Investors, Winnebago Seed Fund, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Wisconsin Investment Partners and Ziegler.
Applications are being accepted now through Sept. 20 from young companies. Instructions for how to apply for all or a mix of the investor presentation opportunities can be found at wisearlystage.com on the “Presenting Companies” tab. A full conference schedule is also available on the website.
The 2019 format includes two pitch opportunities – the Tech Council Investor Networks track and the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics – as well as a repeat segment that debuted in 2016, “Investor Intros,” which will allow pre-selected companies brief, one-on-one meetings with targeted angel and venture investors.
All applicants must register in advance for the conference at a discounted rate of $179; student-led and returning veteran-led companies qualify for much lower rate. Companies selected for the Tech Council Investor Networks track presentations will also receive a complimentary individual membership to the Tech Council’s Innovation Network for one year (a $120 value). Team members of these companies are eligible to attend the conference at a special team rate.
Here is more detail on the three company forums; companies may apply for one, two or all three opportunities.
Tech Council Investor Networks Track – Wednesday, Nov. 6:
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, and an executive summary published in the investor-only program. Selected companies will also be invited to participate in a pre-conference practice pitch session with a group of mentors.
Elevator Pitch Olympics – Thursday, Nov. 7:
Companies or entrepreneurs selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics will give a 90-second pitch in front of conference attendees and a panel of a half-dozen 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. 7:
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 Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors so far include: 100state, Aberdean Consulting, Accuray, ACS, Alliant Energy, American Transmission Co., AmpliPhi, AT&T, Aurora Health Care, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, Boardman & Clark, Ben Brewer Photography, C.D. Smith Construction, CGI, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University of Wisconsin, CUNA Mutual, Dane County Regional Airport, Dedicated Computing, Discovery World, Eppstein Uhen Architects, Exact Sciences, Findorff, Fluno Center, Foley & Lardner, Foxconn, Godfrey & Kahn, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, Idea Fund of La Crosse, KW2, M3 Insurance, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ HEY! Communications, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michael Best, Midwest Prototyping, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Morgridge Institute, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, One City Schools, Perkins Coie, Promega, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, RSM US, ScaleFactor, Signature Bank, Summit Credit Union, Susan Healy, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., Whitewater University Technology Park, WIPFLi, Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions, Wisconsin Investment Partners, Yahara Software and Ziegler.