One-on-one meetings for Midwest founders, VCs and angel investors focused on Pre-Seed, Seed and Series A stages, hosted by Sandalphon Capital
COVID-19 has created more need than ever for early-stage funding in the Midwest. Fundraising and due diligence are taking longer than usual, and founders are trying to fundraise a few warm introductions at a time. It’s also more difficult for investors to source deals due to reduced travel, fewer events, and less networking.
So, we thought we’d do something about it.
A regional virtual summit focused on 1-on-1 meetings between startups and investors, every 25 minutes plus a 5-minute break
Founders (Pre-Seed to Series A stage) located across the Midwest
Funders (angel investors and VCs) active in the Midwest
Zoom breakout rooms, hosted by Sandalphon Capital
September 8-10, 2020 from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm CT
7/21 – Startup and Investor Applications open
8/7 – Startup and Investor Applications close
8/10 – Startups sent to Investors for screening/selection
8/21 – Investor deadline for startup selection
8/24 – List of interested investors sent to startups
8/28 – Startup deadline for investor opt-outs
8/31-9/4 – Matching
9/4 – Schedules confirmed
9/8-9/10 – 1-on-1s
Frequently Asked Questions
What is midwest.tech? midwest.tech is a new site brought to you by the team at Sandalphon Capital. Sandalphon is a Chicago-based venture capital fund focused on Pre-Seed to Series A investing, with Seed stage being the sweet spot. We’ve been around since 2016 and have done several laps of the Midwest since then getting to know people across the ecosystem. Our founder Jonathan Ellis was also an angel investor in Chicago for a couple of years prior to starting the fund. You may have participated in, or heard about, our Midwest VC and Startup surveys which launched as a result of COVID-19.
Why are you doing this? Fundraising is extra hard right now because of COVID-19, so we want to give Midwest startups the best shot possible. We always try to connect startups with investors in our network that are a good fit for them, regardless of whether or not they’re a fit for us. This event allows us to make those connections, at scale, efficiently. This format also helps get around the need for a “warm intro” and reduces some of the barriers that many founders face to get in front of investors.
What do you consider to be “Midwest?” This event is primarily focused on the states traditionally considered the Midwest e.g. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin – plus Pittsburgh/Western PA and Kentucky. If you’ve found this site and are based elsewhere but have strong Midwest ties, and/or if you are a startup addressing industries that are particularly strong in the Midwest, we encourage you to apply as a number of the investors signed up invest outside of the region. These industries include but are not limited to: agtech, biotech, CPG, edtech, enterprise tech, fintech, foodtech, healthcare, insurtech, life sciences, logistics/supply chain, manufacturing, medtech, real estate/proptech, retail.
What’s the catch? No catch. It’s free for startups because we don’t think you should have to pay to meet investors. We’re charging investors a nominal fee so we can cover our staffing, advertising and software costs associated with organizing the event. We will also be donating at least 10% of proceeds to Feeding America, and potentially more to additional non-profits if we generate any substantive profit from this.
How early stage is too early? That depends on the investor, so you can still apply and see if your pitch resonates. Even for “Idea Stage” you should try and validate your idea as much as possible e.g. how any potential customers have you talked to, and how strong is your founding team? If you are Pre-Revenue you should still try and present some evidence there will be demand for what you are building. Sell the dream, but don’t oversell it.
Is there a limit to the number of applications? Not at this time. We ask for information to help investors filter down to their main interests. Final attendance will depend on the number of mutual matches. If we unable to accommodate all matching requests we will connect any overflow after the event based on mutual opt-in.
Are the deadlines strict? Yes – we will be processing large amounts of information during each stage of matchmaking so we unfortunately cannot accommodate late applications or responses.