Chamber Accepting Applications for 2017 Pressure Chamber Competition


Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced today it is accepting applications for this year’s Pressure Chamber pitch event to be held during the Forward Festival, a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Madison taking place Aug. 17-24. In its three years, participating Pressure Chamber companies have gone on to raise more than $100 million from investors.

“Pressure Chamber is a window into what’s next in Greater Madison’s economy,” said Chamber Vice President Kevin Little. “Whether your company is currently raising or planning to raise investment capital in the future, Pressure Chamber is a valuable platform to tell your story and make new connections across the country.”

Applicants for Pressure Chamber go through a screening process that may include presentations with prominent Wisconsin investors. From there, a select number of companies will be chosen to pitch in front of a panel of out-of-state investors, business executives and a live audience during Forward Fest. The winning company is decided based on a combination of judges scoring and audience votes. In addition to receiving the coveted “golden suitcase,” the winning company will also receive an all-expenses paid spot on the Chamber’s exclusive Madison-area startup delegation to San Francisco this October for meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms.

In its first three years, each Pressure Chamber winner – Fishidy, bluDiagnostics and POLCO – has credited the initiative for helping their company close successful funding rounds. Additionally, Pressure Chamber has been recognized by both the International Economic Development Council and Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Summit as an entrepreneurship and economic development best practice.

“With each year, the national awareness for this initiative and the number of investment partners has grown, yielding a positive return for both participating companies and Greater Madison,” said Little. “We’re excited to see what this year has to offer.”

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
  • Must be located in Dane County or plan to locate to Dane County by August 21, 2017
  • Must have raised at least $25,000, excluding personal investment by company founders
  • Application must be received by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The full application can be accessed at

Pressure Chamber 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, Lindsay Stone & Briggs and Rock River Capital Partners.

For more information about Forward Fest, please visit

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at


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