Many people have urged creation of a more diverse pool of early stage investors, but what really works to broaden that base with new investors who may better spot potentially profitable deals tied to under-represented markets?

Margie Bacheler, educational initiatives director for the nationwide Angel Capital Association, will help answer that question Thursday, Nov. 10, during the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium in Madison.

She will talk about the ACA’s “TechTown Capital” program, which helps emerging angel investors in the Great Lakes region who identify as diverse – such as Black, Latin and women – learn how to invest and use their expertise to work with startup companies.

Bacheler’s presentation will be followed by observations from Cordero Barkley, partner at TitletownTech, and Kelli Jones, managing partner of Sixty8 Capital, a seed-stage fund for Black, Brown, women and LGBTQ-led startups, based in Indianapolis, Ind. This panel will take place just before the Elevator Pitch Olympics on the afternoon of Nov. 10.

“We’re excited to hear about best practices from the nation’s leading association for angel investors,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “It expands on a conference line-up that also includes Bobby Franklin, president of the National Venture Capital Association, who will speak Nov. 9. Attendees will have two chances to hear from people who have a national perspective on this important topic.”

General registration is also now open by clicking here!

Applications are being accepted through 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7 from young companies that want to tell their stories to investors during the conference, to be held in-person over two days at Madison’s Monona Terrace Convention Center.

Companies that apply for the conference will have up to three chances to meet with angel and venture capitalists, corporate funds, family funds and other investors on hand. The 2022 format includes two pitch opportunities – the Tech Council Investor Networks track (five-minute presentations) and the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics. All registered companies are eligible for “Investor Intros,” which allow pre-selected companies brief, one-on-one meetings with targeted angel and venture investors.

Instructions for how to apply for all or a mix of the investor presentation opportunities can be found at on the “ESS Application” tab.

At least one applicant must register in advance for the conference at a discounted rate of $179. Additional team members may register at the rate of $129. As always, student discounts will be available. Some young companies will be eligible for conference “scholarships” to help defray registration costs. Contact after applying to learn about eligibility; early registrants will receive first consideration.

The conference will also feature:

  • Targeted panel discussions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to tech sectors in Wisconsin and beyond.
  • The 9th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation and luncheon.
  • Exhibit hall showcasing innovative Wisconsin companies.
  • A Nov. 9 conference reception, two luncheons, two breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only dinner.

The Tech Council produces the conference. Sponsors thus far include: Aberdean Consulting, Advocate Aurora Health, American Transmission Co., AT&T, Baird Capital, Baker Tilly, BDO, City of Fitchburg, Concordia University, DeWitt, EUA, Exact Sciences, Findorff, First Business Bank, Foley & Lardner, Godfrey & Kahn, Google, HealthX Ventures, Husch Blackwell, KW2, M3 Insurance, Madison Development Corp., Madison Gas & Electric, Makin’ Hey Communications, Marquette University, Michael Best, Mobile22, Morgridge Institute for Research, N29 Capital Partners, Neider & Boucher, One City Schools, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, RSM US, State of Wisconsin Investment Board, TDS, Tech Council board member Susan Healy, Technology Innovation Center – Milwaukee, UMOS One Workforce – TechStars, University Research Park, UWM Research Foundation, UW-Madison Computer Sciences, UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, Venture Investors, Versiti, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., WIPFLi, Wisconsin Dept. of Financial Institutions and Ziegler.

To learn more about sponsorship information, please reach out to Angela Schlobohm at