Polco (copy)

Nick Mastronardi, CEO of Polco, won the 2016 Pressure Chamber pitch contest held by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. This year's Pressure Chamber will be held Aug. 21 at the Overture Center. The grand prize is a trip to California to meet with a group of investors in Silicon Valley.

Five Madison startups have been chosen to make presentations in the Pressure Chamber pitch competition, a “Shark Tank-like” contest for young technology-based companies put on by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.

They are:


  • An app to let people exchange business card-type contact information more easily.


  • Artificial intelligence that scans public meeting notices to collect early data on development projects for construction firms.

DotCom Therapy:

  • Online speech therapy services aimed at children.


  • Building next-generation computer chips for data centers, using artificial intelligence, analytics and data processing.


  • Software to encourage employee communication and engagement in a company.

The contest will be held on Aug. 21 at the Overture Center. The winner will receive a trip to California to meet with Silicon Valley investment firms in October.

This will be the fourth year for Pressure Chamber, which is part of the Chamber of Commerce’s neXXpo showcase and networking event. NeXXpo is held as part of the Forward Festival, an eight-day series of events aimed at entrepreneurs and innovation.

Pressure Chamber winners in past years were: Fishidy, a digital fishing guide; bluDiagnostics, a saliva-based fertility test for women; and Polco, an online citizen forum.


Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.