Bobby Franklin, president and chief executive officer of the National Venture Capital Association, will open the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Madison.

Franklin leads the NCVA’s efforts to promote entrepreneurism and early stage investment, producing research reports, model documents, surveys and other tools to help hundreds of members and associates. He will talk about the state of the venture industry and how those market- and policy-based trends affect Wisconsin and the Midwest.

The NVCA also runs Venture Forward, which has tutored more than 1,500 aspiring and early career venture capitalists, including many from historically under-represented communities.

“Bobby Franklin brings a long career in tech, public policy and investing to the stage in Madison, where he’ll engage with those attending the annual conference,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

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.

General registration is also now open by clicking here!

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:

  • National keynote speakers and targeted panel discussions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector making an impact nationwide.
  • 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