Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce: Accepting applications for 10th 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 on Aug. 22 during Forward Festival, Wisconsin’s largest technology and entrepreneurship festival. The popular program includes participation and support from active regional investment firms, as well as the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, 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 national investors and a live 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 fall.

“Now entering its 10th year, Pressure Chamber has helped growing early-stage companies reach investors and customers, amplified awareness of Greater Madison’s innovation and strengthened connectivity with key investment hubs,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “Coming off a 2022 cycle that yielded our largest number of Pressure Chamber applicants to date, we are excited to invite a new group of emerging companies to take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

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. Collectively, participating Pressure Chamber companies have gone on to raise more than half a billion dollars from investors.

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 Greater Madison or plan to locate to Greater Madison by Aug. 22, 2023
  • Must have raised at least $25,000, excluding personal investment by company founders
  • Application must be received by Friday, July 7, 2023

The full application can be accessed at:

Pressure Chamber is presented by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and Michael Best, with support from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and UW-Madison Office of Business Engagement, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, American Family Ventures, Baird Capital, 4490 Ventures, HealthX Ventures, Rock River Capital Partners, WVV Capital, JP Cullen, AirDeck, Fetch Rewards, and KennedyC.

For more information about Forward Fest, visit

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with more than 1,200 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