With Election Day almost in the rearview mirror, we hope you find a good reason (or many) to shift gears and attend this week’s in-person Early Stage Symposium in Madison. Here’s are 10 motivations to drop by Wednesday and Thursday for one of the Midwest’s premier events for entrepreneurs and investors.
Register online through noon Monday or in person Wednesday and Thursday at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, 1 John Nolen Drive, in downtown Madison.
ICYMI, here is why you should be there…
- Have we mentioned it’s in-person? We’ve found we can’t say it enough – we’ll be there in 3D! As with all our post-pandemic events, masks are welcome.
- You’ll hear about national trends that touch Wisconsin: Bobby Franklin, president of the National Venture Capital Association, will talk about early stage investment from his perch as head of the 400-plus member trade group. Dean Amhaus, Andrew Graettinger and Arjun Sanga will discuss three of Wisconsin’s entries in the National Science Foundation’s “Regional Innovation Engine” competition. Joe Kirgues and Troy Vosseller of gener8tor will talk about their work with one of the nation’s leading accelerator programs for young companies as they accept the Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education award. Margie Bacheler, Cordero Barkley and Kelli Jones will discuss a Midwest training platform for investor diversity led by the Angel Capital Association.
- You’ll watch new companies make their pitch to investors: The heat is on! Twenty-four companies were picked by our steering committee for five-minute presentations Wednesday. They range from hydrogen energy to medical devices, diagnostics and therapeutics; and from water treatment to cybersecurity to detection of explosives. On Thursday, another 15 startups will pitch to a panel of investor judges during our annual “Elevator Pitch Olympics.” It’s a lightning round – 90 seconds per pitch!
- You will likely bump into a seasoned investor: Investors registered so far include: 4490 Ventures; Bascom Ventures; Baird Capital; BrightStar Wisconsin; Capital Midwest; Chippewa Valley Angel Investors Network; gener8tor; Golden Angels Investors; Great North Ventures; HealthX Ventures; Idea Fund of La Crosse; Inventure Capital; Lancaster Investments; Laerdal Million Lives Fund; M25 Group; Madison Development Corp.; Midpoint Ventures; Morpheus Advisors; Rock River Capital Partners; Sandalphon Capital; Sixty8 Capital; Stateline Angels; TitletownTech; Tundra Angels; Venture Investors; WARF Ventures; Winnow Fund; Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.; WISC Partners; Wisconsin Investment Partners; Yahara Ventures; and Ziegler Link-Age Funds.
- You’ll feel the buzz from the state’s largest speed-dating event: During our “Investor Intros” segment, emerging companies will circulate among 30-plus tables to meet with investors in a series of short ice-breakers. With 333 speed dates booked over two hours, some meaningful relationships are on the horizon.
- There’s no lack of program choices: Ten panels or workshops are spread over two days, all organized around questions entrepreneurs and early stage companies need to ask – and answer.
- You can visit with experts during our “Office Hours” segments: Back by popular demand is “Office Hours,” a series of small-group discussions at which entrepreneurs can discuss specific issues with experts and their peers. Scheduled during the two days are: “Understanding Wisconsin’s ‘Qualified New Business Venture’ process”; “Effective marketing strategies to master the game”; “Numbers that matter: Where entrepreneurs need to focus” and “How to sleep at night: Tips on burnout and other issues.”
- You won’t leave hungry: Two luncheons, a reception and two breakfasts are included in your registration fee. It’s hard to go wrong on that alone!
- You’ll be flooded with useful info: Our 56-page program manual is a storehouse of information. Also, check out some of Wisconsin’s “tech history” artifacts on Day One at the Wisconsin Historical Society exhibit. P.S. Bring your cell phones so you can engage in the social media conversation and take part in judging some of our pitches.
- You’ll be a part of a major networking event: Whether it’s over refreshments, during the panel discussions or in lobby conversations, you’ll meet hundreds of people who are building Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial economy. Join them!
Learn more by checking out our online agenda at wisearlystage.com.