Registration deadline is Sept. 25 for Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium

Applications are being accepted now from young companies that want to tell their stories to investors at the Wisconsin Technology Council’s annual Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium #ESSWI, to be held Nov. 9-11 on a virtual platform. This may be of interest to UWM innovators, entrepreneurs and startups seeking partnerships and funding opportunities.

The deadline to apply online is 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.

The 2020 format includes two pitch opportunities – the Tech Council Investor Networks track (five-minute presentations) and the popular Elevator Pitch Olympics – as well as “Investor Intros,” which will allow pre-selected companies brief, one-on-one meetings with targeted angel and venture investors.

As a special offer to all applicants, the Wisconsin Technology Council has partnered with AirDeck to build your presentation deck. AirDeck creates online narrated presentations for sales pitches, online courses and webinars. Its unique features include the ability to quickly customize presentations while adding voice or video narration.

Instructions for how to apply for all or a mix of the investor presentation opportunities can be found at on the “ESS applications” tab. General registration is also now open online.

At least one applicant must register in advance for the conference at a discounted rate of $49. Additional team members may register at the same rate. Companies selected for the Tech Council Investor Networks track presentations will also receive a complimentary individual membership to the Tech Council’s Innovation Network for one year (a $120 value).

There will be three company forums; companies may apply for one, two or all three:

Tech Council Investor Networks Track

This presentation track will feature about two-dozen companies from the Midwest representing an array of industries, such as advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, health care, information technology, medical devices and mobile application sectors. These applicants will utilize AirDeck to create their presentations.

Companies selected will have more opportunities to interest investors: a five-minute recorded presentation and investors will have access to all company applications.

Elevator Pitch Olympics

Companies or entrepreneurs selected for the Elevator Pitch Olympics will give a 90-second pitch virtually in front of conference attendees and a panel of 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 just forming, seeking a smaller investment round or planning to do so within the next year. There are crystal awards for the top presenters.

Investor Intros

Companies selected for the popular Investor Intros will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with investors from Wisconsin and beyond. To foster this type of communication, the Investor Intros will feature pre-scheduled, virtual strategic meetings between investors and emerging companies. This format will resemble a “speed dating” exercise, allowing both parties to learn more about each other and explore potential relationships.

The conference will also feature:

  • A variety of keynote speakers and targeted panel discussions featuring leading entrepreneurs, investors and others tied to the tech sector making an impact nationwide.
  • The 7th annual “Excellence in Entrepreneurial Education” award presentation
  • Virtual sponsor exhibit hall showcasing more than 40 innovative Wisconsin companies.

Among the investors participating are the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and the UWM Research Foundation. Sponsors include UW-Madison, the Whitewater University Technology Park and Innovation Center and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.

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