‘Pressure Chamber’ puts 6 Madison startups in pitch contest
Winner gets to pitch to venture capitalists in Silicon Valley
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin may be known as the land of cheese, bratwurst and beer, but on Tuesday a contest will spotlight something else–big ideas.
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce will host its first live pitch contest, Pressure Chamber.
The contest is part of the Chamber’s neXXpo: Business in Fast Forward event. It will put six of the most promising local start-ups against each other for a chance at a trip to Silicon Valley to meet with high profile venture capital firms.
Murfie, an online music marketplace, will be one of the local start-ups represented by co-founder and CEO Matt Younkle.
“I was moving and I had all these CDs and I didn’t have a CD player anymore, but I still love my music collection, so how could I access that in modern ways,” said Younkle when explaining why the business started.
Murfie can be described as a modern day record store. Members create an online account at no cost, Murfie sends them a kit, then the member can send back any CDs or records. They charge $1 per CD and $10 for vinyl.
When the staff at Murfie receives the kit, they break down the collections and recycle the cases.
“All that content we put all that great music that’s in your collection into a private locker for you that you can access online. You can stream it, you can download it, you can essentially play it on any device,” said Younkle.
Murfie’s warehouse has 500,000 CDs, but Younkle still has big goals for the company.
At Tuesday’s Pressure Chamber contest, he and five other entrepreneurs will pitch their start-ups to a panel of judges and live studio audience.
The winner will travel with the chamber to Silicon Valley this summer, where they will have the opportunity to participate in meetings with high-profile venture capital firms.
Pressure Chamber judge and co-founder of Drive Capital said the opportunity is appealing for any entrepreneur.
“It’s a chance to maybe get additional capital that could springboard them ahead as opposed to trying to find a local partner that really may not have as deep as pockets,” said Olsen.
Olsen also added the Pressure Chamber is an opportunity for him and other venture firms to meet with entrepreneurs they could invest in, pointing out Madison has the potential to be a tremendous bed for start-up companies.
Other contestants include Fishidy, GoStrive, Intuitive Biosciences, OpenHome, and Thalchemy.
neXXpo: Business in Fast Forward begins at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday April 8. Pressure Chamber starts at 4 p.m.
Online registration is closed, but you may register in person. The keynote lunch is sold out.