Big Businesses Starting Small

Sep 30, 2009, 11:00 ET from Springboard Enterprises

Pre-Forum Seminar Features Six Early Stage Companies

Regional Investors to Hear 'Fast Pitches' at Equity Matters Seminar

MADISON, Wis., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Six Midwest companies have been selected to present their opportunities to a panel of regional investors during the Fast Pitch session at the Equity Matters: The Route to NASDAQ seminar. The session, part of a two-day program sponsored by NASDAQ and co-hosted by Springboard Enterprises in partnership with the Phenomenelle Angels Fund support from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, and Wisconsin Department of Commerce, takes place on Wednesday afternoon, September 30, at the University of Wisconsin Fluno Center in Madison.

According to Joe Hildebrandt, Managing Director of the Phenomenelle Angels Fund, the six FAST PITCH finalists represent a wide variety of markets from consumer goods to medical devices to medical records analysis software and demonstrate the vibrancy and innovation of the Wisconsin and Midwest economy. "I'm pleased to be moderating an esteemed panel of regional investors and look forward to both the presentations and investor feedback," said Hildebrandt. Fast Pitch Presenters include: Nancy Fraser -- Med Legal Consulting Source; Bobbi Gallina -- Divine Baby; Merrill Guerra -- Real Kidz; Sarah Manski-PosiPair; Jodi Soriano -- Ohmx; and Christine Wheeler --Drazil Food.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to get real time feedback from a panel of area investors," said Bobbi Gallina, Founder of Verona, Wisconsin-based Divine Baby. "Like American Girl, we're developing the Divine Baby brand to power the launch of a multicultural line of baby blankets, furniture and accessories that surround the baby with his or her heritage from the start."

Nancy Fraser, CEO of Medical Legal Consulting Source, which has developed a patented system of medical records analysis and generated over $1.2 million in revenues in 2008, appreciates all that Springboard and the Phenomenelle Angels Fund are doing to bring these two great programs to Wisconsin, and is honored to have been selected for the FAST PITCH session.

Fast Pitch Panelists include Pete Farner, TGap Ventures; Charlie Goff, New Capital Fund; Judy Owen, Calumet Venture Fund; Jim Pavlik, Baird Venture Partners; and John Neis, Venture Investors.

"Springboard has been successful at accelerating access to equity markets for women entrepreneurs, and the programs in Madison provide a unique opportunity to hear 24 women-led companies tell their stories," said John Neis, Managing Director, Venture Investors.

The Seminar is part of a two-day program which includes a venture capital forum - AllThingsLifeSciences: Madison 2009 - where active angel, venture, and corporate investors get a preview of 18 women-led life sciences companies selected from a field of over 100 applicants recruited nationwide. The forum takes place on Thursday, October 1 at the Fluno Center and features remarks by Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton and Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions Lorrie Keating Heinemann.

"The AllThingsLifeSciences two-day forum provides new opportunities for Midwest investors," said Ken Johnson, Managing Director, Kegonsa Seed Fund. "We appreciate the sponsor support of national firms including Aetna and Merck."

Equity Matters is sponsored by NASDAQ-OMX and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce; the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions; Grant Thornton LLP; the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Letters and Science; Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP; the Wisconsin Angel Network; and the University Research Park.

Phenomenelle Angels Fund I, LP is an early stage fund that invests in women and minority owned or managed businesses in Wisconsin and the Midwest. Qualifying businesses must have at least one woman or an ethnic minority holding substantial ownership or in an executive (C-level) position. Investors are limited to women who are accredited investors, and select entities. Phenomenelle invests in exceptional management teams that exploit proprietary technology to create breakthrough applications in Information Technology, BioTechnology/Life Sciences, Clean Technology, Consumer Goods/Services and Communications. The Phenomenelle Angels Fund addresses unmet investment opportunities in women and minority owned and/or managed businesses and leverages its investor base of successful women entrepreneurs as well as its experienced Business Advisory Board, Technical Advisory Board and Investment Committee to assist portfolio companies with recruiting, sales and marketing, strategic partnerships, board development, operations, finance and access to additional debt and equity capital. (

Venture-Catalyst Springboard Enterprises is the go-to organization for information about and support for emerging growth ventures led by women. Springboard recruits, coaches, showcases, and supports women entrepreneurs as they seek equity capital and build their businesses. The 380 companies that have been showcased at Springboard forums have raised over $4.5 billion in equity, grants, and corporate investments and provided positive returns for their investors including 7 IPOs. Springboard Enterprises is supported by Patron Sponsors AETNA Foundation; AON; Capital One Bank, NASDAQ Foundation; Venable LLP, Grant Thornton LLP, and The George Washington University and the Center For Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE). (

SOURCE Springboard Enterprises