Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce: Accepting applications for seventh annual Pressure Chamber competition

MADISON – The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced today it is accepting applications for this year’s Pressure Chamber startup initiative, which returns Aug. 13 during Forward Festival, an eight-day celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Madison. The popular program – which this year will be broadcast virtually to comply with physical distancing best practices and government guidelines – includes participation and support from active regional investment firms, as well as the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

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 to a panel of out-of-state investors, business executives and a virtual audience during Forward Fest. In addition to receiving the coveted “golden suitcase,” the winning company will also get a reserved spot in the Chamber’s exclusive Greater Madison startup meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms this 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 Pressure Chamber winners have 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. 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.

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

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 and Rock River Capital Partners.

For more information about Forward Fest, visit