Madison Chamber of Commerce accepting Forward Fests’ Pressure Chamber applications

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 9:15 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that applications are now being accepted for the seventh annual Pressure Chamber startup initiative.

The competition is part of the Forward Festival, an eight-day celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Madison beginning Aug. 13.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, applicants for Pressure Chamber go through a screening process that may include presentations with prominent Wisconsin investors. The top companies will then be chosen to pitch to a panel of-out of state investors, business executives and virtual audience during Forward Fest.

Not only will the winning company receive the coveted “golden suitcase,” they will also get a reserved spot in the Chamber’s exclusive Greater Madison startup meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms in October.

“Now more than ever, we need to provide Pressure Chamber as an important platform for new and emerging companies to promote their work and make investor connections,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “We are excited about the opportunity to ensure a unique, valuable experience for our companies, sponsors and audience while enhancing the health and safety of everyone involved.”

Past competition winners have credited the initiative for helping their company close successful funding rounds. Participating companies have included EatStreet, Propeller Health, Redox, Datica, Fetch Rewards, HealthMyne, Cardigan, AkitaBox, Moxe, American Provenance, LÜM, DotCom Therapy, Fishidy, bluDiagnostics, POLCO and more.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, Pressure Chamber is open to any industry as long as the company meets the following requirements:

  • Must be a member of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce (startup memberships available) or support local entrepreneurial partner organizations
  • Must be located in Dane County or plan to locate to Dane County by Aug. 13, 2020
  • Must have raised at least $25,000, excluding personal investment by company founders
  • Application must be received by 8 a.m. on Monday, July 20, 2020

Forward fest will be broadcast virtually this year to comply with physical distancing and government guidelines. It is presented by Michael Best & Friedrich, with support from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, American Family Ventures, Baird Capital, 4490 Ventures, HealthX Ventures and Rock River Capital Partners.

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