Venture Summit Accepting Applications

February 4, 2005
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CHICAGO — March 25 is a key deadline for local start-ups interested in competing for presentation slots at the Midwest Venture Summit 2005 in Chicago

That's the date by which the firms must submit executive summaries.

According to the Illinois Venture Capital Association, competition for the May 20 summit is open to early-stage firms in the eight-state Midwest Region. The application fee is $295 and forms, instructions and guidelines are on the conference Web site,

Jim TenBroek, managing director of Wind Point Partners, based in Southfield, said he regards the summit as a priceless opportunity for up-and-coming Midwest companies.

He said the summit gives entrepreneurs access to dozens of investors at a fraction of the time and money it takes to reach them one at a time.

"As a private equity investor who has participated in such events in the past," TenBroek said, "I can attest to the value this conference offers both to investors and to start-ups by showcasing numerous pre-screened companies for potential investment opportunities."

The association said hundreds of venture capital, private equity, and angel investors are expected to attend the event and that applicants will compete for opportunities to make presentations to them.

Investors at last year's summit — the successor to the Illinois Venture Capital Conference and the Great Lakes Venture Capital Conference — plowed an aggregate of more than $30 million into some of the presenting firms.

The association said a panel of venture capital and private equity investors will screen applications based on existing and developing products, revenue and expense history, management team quality and growth potential.

The companies selected will receive free consulting from teams of experts in finance, accounting, management and marketing to prepare for the presentations.

The summit keynote speaker will be Richard Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine and a technology journalist. He also was founding editor of Forbes ASAP, a bimonthly magazine covering the major trends and implications of the digital age. He writes the Forbes column "Digital Rules: Technology and the New Economy."

Among organizations supporting the summit are iBIO (Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization); ePrarie; Business Marketing Association; Chicago Software Association; Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center; Midwest Business Inc.; Technology Executives Club; Women's Business Development Center; and Technology Executives Club.

Investor sponsors include ABN Amro Private Equity; Adams Street Partners LLC; ARCH Venture Partners; Baird Venture Partners; Chrysalis Ventures; Duchossois Technology Partners; Dunrath Capital;Edgewater Funds; First Analysis; Frontenac; Hopewell Ventures; IllinoisVENTURES LLC; KB Partners LLC; LaSalle Investments; MK Capital; Motorola Ventures; New World Ventures; Prism Capital; River Cities Capital Funds; and Sterling Partners.

Platinum sponsors of the summit to date include Edelman; Freeborn & Peters LLC; Gardner, Carton & Douglas LLC; Grant Thornton LLP; KPMG LLP; LaSalle Bank North America;Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP; PR Newswire; Sachnoff & Weaver Ltd.; Seyfarth Shaw LLP; and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP.   

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