Pressure Chamber

Pressure Chamber

The Greater Madison Chamber has selected the most promising early-stage local companies to compete in a pitch contest in front of a live audience. The Pressure Chamber will debut April 8 at the Alliant Energy Center as part of the Chamber’s neXXpo: Business in Fast Forward.

What’s at stake:

The Chamber is leading a delegation of Madison-area startups to Silicon Valley this summer. The winner of the Pressure Chamber will receive a spot on the trip and the opportunity to participate in a series of meetings with high-profile venture capital firms this summer.

How it works:

Applicants had to submit a completed application and had the option of recording a 90-second video of their elevator pitch.

The first round of the contest included private interviews with an expert panel of judges. A select few have been invited to present and compete in the Pressure Chamber before a live audience at the Chamber’s neXXpo: Business in Fast Forward. (See contestant tab) A panel of judges and audience voting will determine the winner and final participant on the west coast trip.

Who should apply:

The Greater Madison Chamber is seeking the most promising early-stage companies in our region that are ready for venture investment. At a minimum, applicants had to have already raised at least $25,000 from private sources (excluding personal investment by company founders). Applicants had to be members of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and be located in Dane County by April 8, 2014.

*For more information on the Chamber’s new membership package designed especially for startups, contact Jana Moore.

For all other questions, contact:

Kevin Little
Director, Economic Development
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
(608) 443-1949

To be eligible for the Pressure Chamber, companies must:

  • Be a member of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
  • Be located in Dane County or plan to locate to Dane County by April 8, 2013
  • Have raised at least $25,000 in private equity (excluding personal investment by company founders)
  • Submit application and 90-second elevator pitch video by the end of business day on Friday, March 7, 2014

Applications and 90-second company videos can be submitted by email to Kevin Little, Director of Economic Development, at with the subject line: Pressure Chamber

 Click here to download the application.

Pressure Chamber finalists include:

  • FishidyMap-based social platform for fishing aficionados of all levels
    Brian Jensen, President
  • GoStriveMobile search app for community activities
    James Jackson, President & CEO
  • Intuitive BiosciencesTurn-key protein analysis tools for the life science industry
    Shawn Guse, CEO
  • MurfieOnline marketplace of music, which make CDs and vinyls digitally viable
    Matt Younkle, Co-Founder & CEO
  • OpenHomesDiscount brokerage directly connecting buyers and sellers through an online platform
    Kelda Roys, CEO
  • ThalchemyTechnology to enable smartphones to sensory process information like a human brain
    Andrew Nere – Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer


The Pressure Chamber is presented by Michael Best & Friedrich.

With support from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Accelerate Madison, Capital Entrepreneurs, 4490 Venture, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Kegonsa Capital Partners, Lindsay Stone & Briggs, Venture Investors and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

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