Emerging companies may apply now to present at Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium

Emerging companies may apply now to present at Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium

The planners of the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, a two-day event that has been connecting innovation and investment for three decades, are looking for innovative early stage companies from Wisconsin and other Midwest states to present in November at Madison’s Monona Terrace.

The annual conference on Nov. 12-13 gives selected companies the opportunity to make presentations and meet with investors, along
with other entrepreneurs and business leaders. Many firms have cited participation in the conference as a key factor for significant business growth. Company applications are due no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014.

This year’s conference, with a theme of “30X10,” is celebrating a rich history that goes back to 1985. That year, Wisconsin’s first annual venture conference was held in Madison, pairing high-growth companies with investors and other business leaders from across the state. Originally the Madison Venture Fair, the event has been called the Wisconsin Venture Conference, the Wisconsin Life Sciences & Venture Conference – and for the past 10 years – the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. More than 480 companies have presented during the conferences in one format or another, including some of the largest technology companies that call Wisconsin home.

The application process is open to early stage companies representing an array of industries, including biotechnology, medical devices,
health care, advanced manufacturing, information technology and others. For more information on how to apply, visit www.wisearlystage.com.

“The leading innovators, thinkers and investors in the state have taken the conference stage over the past three decades, showcasing the best of Wisconsin,” said Tom Still, president of the Tech Council. “30×10 will celebrate that history while looking forward with this year’s participants.”

There are two separate presentation levels at the Early Stage Symposium: the Wisconsin Angel Network Investors’ Track and the Elevator Pitch Olympics.

Wisconsin Angel Network Investors’ Track – Wednesday, Nov. 12:
A total of about 20 companies from the Midwest will present to investors at two separate WAN presentation tracks. Companies
selected for the WAN tracks will have many opportunities to interest investors: the seven-minute presentation, networking receptions, an executive summary published in the investor-only program and an opportunity to exhibit where investors may speak directly to presenting companies. Companies selected for the WAN tracks are also invited to participate in a pre-conference practice session with a group of mentors.

Elevator Pitch Olympics – Thursday, Nov. 13:
Companies selected for the 10th annual Elevator Pitch Olympics, a crowd favorite, will have the opportunity to give a 90-second pitch in front of conference attendees and a panel of six to eight investors. The investors will score the presenter on a scale of 1 to 5, focusing on whether the pitch was compelling enough to arrange a follow-up meeting, and will offer immediate feedback.

About 15 companies will be selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics. In past years, these have been companies seeking a smaller investment round or planning to do so within the next year.

All applicants will be eligible for a discounted conference registration rate of $169. Companies selected for the Wisconsin Angel Network track presentations will receive a complimentary individual Wisconsin Innovation Network membership for one year (a $100 value). Team members of these companies will also be eligible to attend the conference at a special
team rate.

Speakers and highlights will be announced in coming weeks.

The conference will also feature:

  • More than a dozen panel discussions or plenary
    sessions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech
  • “Office hours,” offering the opportunity to meet
    with subject experts on a variety of topics in small discussion groups or
  • SBIR/STTR awards luncheon to recognize grant
    recipients from the past year.
  • The inaugural “Excellence in Entrepreneurial
    Education” award presentation.
  • The annual “First Look” forum featuring selected
    campus-based technologies.
  • Exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 Wisconsin
  • A first-night reception, two luncheons, two
    breakfasts and other networking opportunities, including an investors-only

The conference is produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council and its partners. To register, go to www.wisearlystage.com. “Early bird” registration is open through Oct. 21. Hotel rooms are available at a discounted group rate through Oct. 12.