MADISON – Companies preparing to compete for private equity capital at the state, regional or national level should attend the second annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, Oct. 30-31 at Madison’s MononaTerraceConvention Center.

Early-stage companies from Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest will be professionally “coached” by venture and service professionals, as well as veteran company executives with stories to tell. The symposium will also feature the return of the “Elevator Pitch Olympics,” a 2005 conference hit that allows brief investor presentations for selected companies from all technology sectors.

The symposium’s agenda will highlight an instructional track for invited early-stage companies from a mix of technology sectors, and will be led by Courtney Price and Mack Davis of the Denver-based VentureQuest LTD.

The “Elevator Pitch Olympics,” open to selected companies that register for the conference, will be scored by members of the investment community, who will give constructive feedback on each company’s pitch.

Companies wishing to register for the conference or to review “Frequently Asked Questions” about the conference should visit  

The Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium evolved from the former Wisconsin Life Sciences & Venture Conference, which served the state and Upper Midwest technology economy for 20 years. Unlike the Life Sciences conference, this symposium is open to companies from all tech sectors – and beyond. With many tracks and panels to choose from, companies, investors and service providers can find great value in the conference, even if they don’t participate in the VentureQuest seminar.

Registration rates and sponsorship rate are available online. Conference features include:

  • A “venture readiness” workshop led by the founders of VentureQuest Ltd., a Denver-based firm with a national reputation for getting companies ready to compete for private equity investment dollars. VentureQuest helps organizations create bottom line profits by capitalizing on developing people, market opportunities and new business ventures. Learn more by visiting

  • A “Power of Angel Investing” seminar for accredited investors who are angel investors or who may want to become angel investors. This is part of a series produced by the Wisconsin Angel Network and the Ewing Kauffman Foundation. The focus of this workshop will be due diligence.

  • A dinner speech by Dr. Thomas “Rock” Mackie, a leading figure in the field of radiation therapy and the co-founder of TomoTherapy Inc., one of Wisconsin’s fastest-growing tech companies.

  • A technology showcase that will feature developments at leading research institutions, such as the UW’s Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery project.

  • A workshop on how to compete for federal SBIR and STTR grants, as well as a dinner honoring grant recipients.

  • A workshop on how to be successful in the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which has awarded nearly $500,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to Wisconsin companies since 2004.

  • Other national speakers to be announced, and panel discussions aimed at giving early-stage companies the tools they need to succeed.

  • An Oct. 30 reception in the convention center’s Grand Terrace, immediately preceding the SBIR and Tech Transfer awards dinner.

The Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium is being co-produced by the Tech Council, which is the non-profit science and technology adviser to the Governor and the Legislature, and a number of statewide and regional partners.

The conference chairman is Tod Linstroth of Michael Best & Friedrich, a former chairman of the Tech Council. Steering committee members represent: Baird Venture Partners, Foley & Lardner, Grant Thornton, La Follette Godfrey Kahn, Madison Gas & Electric Co., the Marquette Golden Angels Network, the Marshfield Clinic, Mason Wells, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Quarles & Brady, Reinhart Boerner Van Duren, Smith & Gesteland, U.S. Bank, UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations, UW-Milwaukee Graduate School, Venture Investors of Wisconsin, Wipfli LLP, the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, the Wisconsin Small Business Innovation Consortium, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Investment Partners, the Wisconsin Angels Network and Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek.

To learn more, please call 608-442-7557 or visit

For more information on the “Power of Angel Investing” seminar, call Joe Kremer at 608-442-7557 or visit