AUG. 12th TO 19th, 2021

Pressure Chamber

Startups compete to win opportunity to pitch Silicon Valley investors

Event Website


Wednesday, Aug. 18th from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM


When: August 18, 2021, 3-4:30 p.m. (Live Pitches), 4:30-6 p.m. (Happy Hour/Networking)

Where:Majestic Theatre, 115 King Street, Madison, WI 53703

Applications are now open for the eighth annual Pressure Chamber startup initiative, which returns, in-person, on Aug. 18 during Forward Festival, Wisconsin’s largest technology and entrepreneurship festival.

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 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.

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 $500 million from investors.

Pressure Chamber is open to any industry, as long as the company meets the following requirements:

The full application can be accessed at:

  • Social
  • Bio / Health
  • Arts
  • Social Good
  • Tech / Software
  • General


Snag your spot!


Pressure Chamber is presented by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Sponsored by 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.