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Category: Press Releases

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. If the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce is talking about it, you’ll see it here.

Chamber Announces 2020 Pressure Chamber Finalists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 30, 2020)

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

MADISON – Today the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced the five finalists competing in this year’s Pressure Chamber startup initiative, which returns Aug. 14 during Forward Festival, an eight-day celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Madison.

At Pressure Chamber, emerging companies will pitch to a panel of national investors and regional business audience in a virtual setting, in compliance with physical distancing best practices and government guidelines.

The 2020 Pressure Chamber finalists are:

  • Cultured Decadence (Madison) – Develops novel methods to make crustacean products using cell culture and tissue engineering techniques, allowing the company to create crustacean products directly from the animals’ cells (no shell, no organs, no waste).
  • Last Lock (Madison) – Allows homes and businesses to transform any mechanical lock system into a highly secure smart lock.
  • Pyran (Madison) – Uses renewable crop resources to produce key ingredients used in paints and coatings at 25-40 percent lower costs than competing oil-based chemicals.
  • RehabPath (Madison) – Builds platforms that present trusted, helpful resources to people looking for addiction and mental health treatment, while providing an effective and ethical advertising channel for treatment providers competing in a $35 billion-a-year industry (U.S. alone) and already spending more than $250 million a year in Google Ads.
  • Talent Bandit (Madison) – A centralized hub for Staffing Agencies, Hiring Managers and Candidates to communicate and share information in a simple, frictionless and bias-free manner.

“Now more than ever, we are thrilled to provide this important platform to showcase emerging companies that are helping drive the future of Greater Madison’s economy,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “It is encouraging to see the tremendous innovation occurring in our region, even during challenging times, and a good sign for our economic recovery.”

The winning company receives the coveted “golden suitcase,” representing a reserved spot in the Chamber’s exclusive Greater Madison startup meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms this October. 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.

To register for Pressure Chamber, visit madisonbiz.com/pressure-chamber.

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.

Pressure Chamber finalists are available for interviews upon request.

For more information about Forward Fest, visit forwardfest.org.

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 madisonbiz.com.

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Photo by Richard Hurd

Chamber Accepting Applications for Seventh Annual Pressure Chamber Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 6, 2020)

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 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: bit.ly/Pressure20

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 forwardfest.org.

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 madisonbiz.com.

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Photo by Richard Hurd

Madison’s Truax Field Officially Chosen to Receive Next-Generation F-35A Aircraft

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 15, 2020) 

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

MADISON – In her record of decision announced today, U.S. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett officially designated Madison’s Truax Field, home of the 115th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, as one of two sites that will receive the next-generation F-35A aircraft in 2023. In response, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce President Zach Brandon, released the following statement:

“The F-35A basing decision is much-needed positive news for Greater Madison. From generating $100 million in annual economic impact to their extraordinary work responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, time and again we have seen firsthand the tremendous value the 1,200 Airmen of the 115th Fighter Wing bring to our community. We look forward to Greater Madison continuing to be their home for decades to come.

“Many thanks to the Badger Air Community Council and all the business leaders, community members and elected officials at every level who showed their unwavering support to the 115th throughout this process.”

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 madisonbiz.com.  

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Photo by Richard Hurd

Businesses Encouraged to Apply Quickly as Paycheck Protection Program Kicks Off

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (April 3, 2020) 

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

MADISON – Starting today, applications can be submitted for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a new $350 billion lending program designed to incentivize small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing loans of up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.

Enacted as part of the CARES Act, PPP is modeled on the existing Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) program, with a 100 percent government guarantee. Employers are able to apply through current 7(a) lenders, and additional lenders will be approved for participation.

“With no guarantee funding will be available to all who need it, we strongly encourage eligible small businesses to make applying for the Paycheck Protection Program their top priority today and this weekend,” said Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce President Zach Brandon. “This relief comes at a critical time as many businesses are struggling. This program presents a no-risk opportunity for them to continue paying their workers and covering vital expenses.”

“We are dedicated to assisting our small businesses during this difficult time, and we urge them to immediately take advantage of this valuable resource,” said gener8tor co-founder Joe Kirgues. “The more people we can keep employed, and the stronger our entrepreneurial and small business community, the quicker we can accelerate our recovery from this outbreak.”

To be eligible for the PPP, you must be a small business as defined by the SBA (typically fewer than 500 employees, but varies by business sector), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit with fewer than 500 employees, or be a sole proprietor, self-employed or an independent contractor.

Additional SBA information about the PPP can be found here.

The Paycheck Protection Program and other small business relief measures will be the focus of the next Lunch(UP)date, the Chamber’s new weekly virtual meeting where attendees can take a break and enjoy their lunch while staying connected, curious and informed. Register for this April 9 event here.

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 madisonbiz.com.  

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Photo by Richard Hurd

Chamber Launches Virtual Q&A Portal for Questions about COVID-19 and Business Impact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 19, 2020) 

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

MADISON, WI – The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce today launched a virtual portal for employers to be able to submit questions related to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Questions may relate to community response efforts, best practices for businesses, types of assistance available for affected businesses, and more.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant impact on many businesses, and the Chamber has been working day and night with local, state and federal authorities to inform and ensure an effective community response,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “This virtual portal is another opportunity for us to assist the community, support businesses and share important updates and information during this challenging time.”

To submit questions, visit slido.com and enter the event code #ASK4BIZ (not case-sensitive). Chamber staff, in collaboration with a team of local public-sector leaders and private-sector subject matter experts, will collect and aggregate questions and post answers in as timely a manner as possible.

Questions can also be submitted via email at ask@madisonbiz.com. Responses will be posted on the Chamber’s website at: madisonbiz.com/covid19faq

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 madisonbiz.com.  

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