The symposium, which is aimed at helping entrepreneurs connect with angel and venture investors, will be held Nov. 7 and 8 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison. A national crowd of more than 600 is expected to attend.
Kennedy will be the keynote speaker for the conference, discussing how he built a high-growth fast casual restaurant to 400 locations across the country. Earlier in his career, Kennedy directed branding projects for Coca-Cola, Swiss Army Products, the PGA and Pepsi Cola Co., and helped develop Lunchables for Oscar Meyer.
“Aaron Kennedy brings years of experience as an entrepreneur, having built one of the nation’s largest restaurant chains from scratch and taking it public,” said Tom Still, president of the WTC. “He continues to work on innovative projects around the world, including a stint in which he directly advised the governor of Colorado on strategies that have helped to make that state a high-growth hub.”
The Early Stage Symposium also includes two pitch opportunities for entrepreneurs. Applications are now being accepted for the Elevator Pitch Olympics, in which 15 early-stage companies give a 90-second pitch to a panel of six to eight investors, and the Tech Council Investor Networks track, in which 20 companies will give five-minute presentations and network with investors.
Entrepreneurs can also apply for the Investor Intros segment, which gives them an opportunity to meet one-on-one with targeted angel and venture investors.
Information for applicants is available on the WTC’s site. The deadline is Sept. 28.