Pressure Chamber

Pressure Chamber

Pressure Chamber returns August 21, 2017 as part of the eight-day Forward Festival!

Pressure Chamber Is Back!

The Chamber has announced the five finalists competing in this year’s Pressure Chamber startup pitch event, which will take place at the Overture Center Aug. 21 during the Forward Festival as part of neXXpo. These talented companies are all dedicated to solving global challenges and serve as great examples of the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that are flourishing in Greater Madison.

In addition to receiving the coveted “golden suitcase,” the winning company will also earn a spot on the Chamber’s exclusive Madison-area startup delegation to San Francisco this October for meetings with top Silicon Valley venture capital firms.

In its three years, participating Pressure Chamber companies have gone on to raise more than $105 million from investors. 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.

“The Pressure Chamber competition was a game-changer for Fishidy. Not only did it help us secure and close an outside financing round, but it gave us valuable experience in pitching in these types of settings. As a result we were selected to other prominent pitch events including the Rise of the Rise Tour and Collision 2015.” – Brian Jensen, CEO, Fishidy

For more information about Forward Fest, please visit

For additional questions, contact:

Kevin Little
Vice President
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
(608) 443-1949

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

  • Cardigan – The business card of the future, an app that enables you to more easily access, update and share your business card information with your connections.
  • Curate – Scans public meeting data using artificial intelligence (AI) to identify cutting-edge marketing intelligence for construction firms and vendors, including early, reliable information about new manufacturing facilities, wastewater plant upgrades and renovations to city hall.
  • DotCom Therapy – Answers the shortage of speech-language pathologists by providing therapy services to children across the country and around the world through live videoconferencing.
  • SimpleMachines – Combines big-data analytics, AI and unstructured data processing into one chip and software framework to develop next-generation programmable chips for the AI era initially targeting the multi-billion data center industry.
  • ThirdSpace – Software to help solve core business problems around employee engagement, onboarding and capturing workplace knowledge, all while delivering “Epic culture.”


Pressure Chamber is presented by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP.

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, Rock River Capital Partners and Wisconsin Investment Partners.

What Others Have Said

  • Kudos to the Chamber and the Small Business Advisory Council for the creation of the Road Construction Survival Guide. It connects the affected businesses with the city departments and the construction company in charge. The regular meetings and contact with the correct people makes a huge difference in coping.

    Teena Browder, Cork ‘n Bottle
  • My small business has a voice in local politics with the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, I have a voice here. We’re all business people and we look at the bottom line. The return on investment from my Chamber membership and the advocacy it provides is far above what I get from other organizations.

    Tim Lightner, Owner, Two Men and a Truck
  • The Chamber has worked tirelessly to promote the interests of the local business community, and to create and preserve the conditions that allow businesses to thrive, for the good of the entire community. I can think of no organization that is better equipped to guide us through this time than the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and we all owe it our full support, to our mutual benefit.

    David Stark, President, Stark Company Realtors
  • The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce has been an excellent resource for my small business. The Chamber provides multiple channels for business awareness, networking opportunities and helpful educational programs. Being a member of the Chamber has really made a difference in helping expand my business visibility, growth and development in Dane County.

    John Vardallas, CAE, Founder/CEO, The American BoomeR Consulting Group