“When everybody is flush with cash, you may be able to call on a handful of VCs and before you know it, you have a term sheet,” he said during yesterday’s Tech Council luncheon. “At a time like this, you don’t get calls back … you need to find that perfect balance point between being persistent and annoying.”

Neis and other Wisconsin-based investors shared advice for entrepreneurs seeking investment dollars, with gener8tor Partner Maggie Brickerman noting venture capital firms are being more selective than ever before.

“They’re being as choosy as you might be if you’re buying a house, and there’s just a lot of competition,” she said.

She also emphasized the importance of landing a trustworthy lead investor for a funding round, as other firms often follow suit.

“When they have a quality lead investor, that round is gone, it is oversubscribed,” she said. “People are fighting to get in, because you get that little inkling of quality and everybody is gravitating toward that.”

Meanwhile, Madison-based HealthX Ventures Principal Laura Hilty said investors are expecting more out of founders earlier in the startup process.

“Proving product-market fit was really Series A, now it’s really required for seed-stage investing, hence why pre-seed is a little bit harder to invest in … unless you have, you know, really deep understanding of the market and the customers already in the founding team,” she said.

At the same time, VC firms are applying more scrutiny to the “depth of content” that forms the basis of startup companies, she added.

HealthX Ventures, which is focused primarily on health care technology, is hiring more former business operators who understand how such companies are run, Hilty explained.

“Because just having, again on the early stage, having one or two customers as an example, if you don’t know the landscape, they might be one-offs,” she said.