Pressure ChamberToday the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced the five finalists competing in this year’s Pressure Chamber startup initiative, which returns Aug. 14 during Forward Festival, an eight-day celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Madison.

At Pressure Chamber, emerging companies will pitch to a panel of national investors and regional business audience in a virtual setting, in compliance with physical distancing best practices and government guidelines.

The 2020 Pressure Chamber finalists are:

  • Cultured Decadence (Madison) – Develops novel methods to make crustacean products using cell culture and tissue engineering techniques, allowing the company to create crustacean products directly from the animals’ cells (no shell, no organs, no waste).
  • Last Lock (Madison) – Allows homes and businesses to transform any mechanical lock system into a highly secure smart lock.
  • Pyran (Madison) – Uses renewable crop resources to produce key ingredients used in paints and coatings at 25-40 percent lower costs than competing oil-based chemicals.
  • RehabPath (Madison) – Builds platforms that present trusted, helpful resources to people looking for addiction and mental health treatment, while providing an effective and ethical advertising channel for treatment providers competing in a $35 billion-a-year industry (U.S. alone) and already spending more than $250 million a year in Google Ads.
  • Talent Bandit (Madison) – A centralized hub for Staffing Agencies, Hiring Managers and Candidates to communicate and share information in a simple, frictionless and bias-free manner.


“Now more than ever, we are thrilled to provide this important platform to showcase emerging companies that are helping drive the future of Greater Madison’s economy,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “It is encouraging to see the tremendous innovation occurring in our region, even during challenging times, and a good sign for our economic recovery.”

The winning company receives the coveted “golden suitcase,” representing a reserved spot in the Chamber’s exclusive Greater Madison startup meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms this October. Past Pressure Chamber winners have credited the initiative for helping their company close successful funding rounds. Additionally, Pressure Chamber has been recognized by both the International Economic Development Council and Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Summit as an entrepreneurship and economic development best practice.