Symposium will attract early stage companies

    The 2007 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium will take place this Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 14-15. Attendees can register at the event, which will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison.

    Here are the top 10 reasons to attend:

    1. You’ll hear from top-flight speakers: The line-up includes Wisconsin’s own Mark Lee, astronaut-turned-entrepreneur, and Jeff Wacker, a nationally known futurist for EDS. Blast off AND gaze into a crystal ball of technology! 
    2. You’ll be exposed to successful entrepreneurs: Meet panelists and presenters such as: Geoff Bastow of Thin Air; Jay Bayne of Meta Command Systems; John Biondi of C 5.6 Technologies; Kelly Fitzsimmons of ComicWonder; Kevin Conroy of Third Wave Technologies; Mark Gehring of Sharendipity; Shawn Guse of TomoTherapy; Ralph Kauten of Quintessence Bioscience; Deven McGlenn of NeoClone; David Snyder of NimbleGen; and more.
    3. You might bump into a seasoned investor: Look for investors from Baird Capital Partners, DaneVest Capital, Silicon Pastures, Wisconsin Investment Partners, Falcon Capital Group, Piper Jaffrey, CR Management, Steininger & Associates, The NEW Fund, Phenomenelle Angels, RPX Group, Continuum Investment Partners, Marquette Golden Angels, Central Wisconsin Business Angels, Stateline Angels, SDWA Ventures, CapVest Venture Fund and Venture Investors LLC and more.
    4. You will have plenty of choices: The program features 12 panels in three tracks, including plenary panels on Wisconsin’s homegrown "home run" companies and market overviews by veteran industry analysts. 
    5. You’ll walk away with some great materials: Fill your conference goodie bag as you tour our exhibit area, and our 52-page conference program manual is loaded with information. Visit more than three-dozen exhibit tables plus a kiosk to check your e-mail.
    6. You could learn about some investment-ready companies: The Wisconsin Angel Network Investors’ Track on Wednesday will feature presentations by nearly two-dozen companies seeking between $500,000 and $5 million in early stage investments. 
    7. You’ll witness Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial version of "American Idol:" The Elevator Pitch Olympics on Thursday is a fast-paced competition in which entrepreneurs are judged, in real time, on their presentations to investors.
    8.  You’ll meet a new crop of entrepreneurs: Winners of federal Small Business Innovation Research grants will be honored at Wednesday night’s dinner, and the UW-Madison "First Look Forum" will offer a preview of emerging technologies. 
    9. You won’t leave hungry: Two luncheons, a reception, a dinner and a breakfast are included in your registration fee. It’s hard to go wrong on that alone! 
    10. You’ll be a part of a major networking event: Whether it’s the luncheons, the reception, the panel discussions or lobby conversations, you’ll meet hundreds of people who are building Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial economy. Join them!


    Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.


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