Several startups that pitched at this week’s Early Stage Symposium are developing new therapies and exploratory health tests.

The Madison conference is put on by the Wisconsin Technology Council, to get early-stage companies in the same room with established investors and successful entrepreneurs. Sixteen startups presented as part of the Elevator Pitch Olympics, which gave each 90 seconds to explain their business model.

Presenters covered diverse topics like fuel delivery, hypodermic needle disposal, self-defense weaponry, new battery technology and even pizza.

Three life science startups presented ideas related to novel therapies and tests for serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and prostate cancer.

Neurosolis has developed a patented molecule which can address symptoms of schizophrenia currently ignored by current therapies. That’s according to Joseph Beck, co-founder for the early-stage Madison startup.

He says medications exist which address the hallucinations and delusions associated with the disease, but other symptoms such as reduction in cognition and inability to express feelings still go untreated.

“These symptoms prevent people from establishing good personal relationships, and holding jobs,” he said yesterday. “Our molecule targets an established mechanism in the brain with established therapeutic benefits, reducing the risk.”

In his pitch presentation, he acknowledged investors can balk at the prospect of going through years of research and clinical trials before seeing any success. But he notes similar businesses in the market have seen early exits after being bought out by large pharmaceutical companies.

Beck says Neurosolis is currently seeking $4 million to get through early clinical trials, with a goal of overtaking a competitor who’s got a bit of a lead. He says that competitor is currently in advanced clinical trials, but calls its candidate molecule “inferior” due to its side effects. Read the full story here.