2018 Forward Festival Startup Showcase


The 6th annual Forward Festival Startup Showcase takes place the evening of Tuesday, August 21 at the Memorial Union. The Startup Showcase is a high energy stage that celebrates and showcases what’s next in Madison’s startup ecosystem. It features an evening of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies. A select group of 5 rising startups will give a 5-minute “demo day” style pitch showcasing their company.

In addition, over 15 Startup Showcase alumni from past years will take part in a lightning round of 1-minute update pitches highlighting their recent successes. A reception on the Memorial Union Terrace will follow.

We’re excited to announce the lineup of new 2018 Startup Showcase presenting companies:

  • GrowthChart Records – Provides hands-free documentation services to child care centers, such as preschools, daycares and in-home providers.
  • Moonshot Insights – Performs predictive candidate evaluations for employers to determine a candidate’s job performance, growth, culture fit and longevity.
  • NovoMoto – A for-profit social enterprise that provides clean electricity for off-grid communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • UCHardChip – Creating smart personal protective equipment and services for construction sites.
  • YoEats – A customer-facing restaurant application that provides personalized menu generation and allows patrons to split & pay bill right from their phone in real-time.

REGISTER NOW to attend the Startup Showcase. Startup Showcase admission is also included with Forward Tech Conference registration and with the Forward Pass.

2018 Forward Festival is August 16-23


The 9th annual Forward Festival is August 16-23, 2018. Forward Fest is Wisconsin’s largest technology and entrepreneurship festival and includes 40+ events by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. The 2018 Festival event line up and website are here.

Looking to attend multiple events? The Forward Pass is the fastest, easiest, and the most cost-effective way to take advantage of all the Forward Fest has to offer. This one pass gets you into nearly all the 2018 Forward Festival events. Get your Forward Pass here.

Be sure to consider attending the headline Forward Tech Conference and Forward Festival Startup Showcase on August 21, as well as our Capital Entrepreneurs Rooftop Social (and Forward Fest wrap party) on August 23.


What is the Forward Festival?
It’s Madison’s flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival. Since starting in 2010, it now attracts thousands of attendees and includes 8 full days packed with 40+ events. All events are organized by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs and encompass technology, food, music, social good, art, and more. Join fellow entrepreneurs, nerds, geeks, hackers, foodies, and creatives from the Midwest in an 8-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Whether you’re already plugged into the Madison startup community, or you’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to sample what the area has to offer, the Forward Festival is about bringing the startup community together to learn, share, and have some fun.

2018 Startup Showcase Seeking Nominations

The 6th annual Forward Festival Startup Showcase returns this year and will again be bigger and better than ever! Startup Showcase will cap off the headline Forward Tech Conference on August 21, 2018. It is expected to bring hundreds of entrepreneurs, business, civic and education leaders together in celebration of all of the innovation happening in greater Madison.

Apply to pitch in the 2018 Startup Showcase by July 15 here.

The Forward Festival Startup Showcase features an evening of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies. Approximately five startups will be selected to give a 5-minute “demo day” style pitch. In addition, several Startup Showcase alumni from past years will take part in a lightning round of 1-minute update pitches. The Startup Showcase is a high energy stage that celebrates and showcases what’s next in Madison’s startup ecosystem and is open to early and later stage companies, venture and non-venture backed companies, as well as for-profit and non-profit companies. Checkout highlights from prior years’ events here.

pitch-night-header

The Startup Showcase is presented by Capital Entrepreneurs. Startup Showcase is part of the 2018 Forward Festival, which runs August 16-23, 2018.

2018 Spring Tech Kickoff


The Spring Tech Kickoff is a high-energy event that sets the tone for Madison’s tech community for the rest of the year. This year’s 6th annual “STK” will showcase an available Urban Land Interests space, offer exciting food and drink from Madison purveyors, and most importantly let you network with hundreds of entrepreneurs and friends. Last year we had over 400 people attend STK, making it one of the largest free-standing events for entrepreneurs in Madison. 

When: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 from 5-7 PM
Where: Centre Seven, Lower Level (7 N Pinckney St.)

RSVP Here
 

This year’s gathering is going back to our roots in the lower level of Centre7, the location of the very first Spring Tech Kickoff. Admission is free, but participants are also encouraged to make a $25 contribution to Foodworks, which trains people who face barriers to culinary training to work in professional kitchens in Madison’s burgeoning food scene.

A sample of what’s in store for you at STK:
– Beer from Working Draft Beer Company and more
– Food coordinated by Foodworks
– Music from DJ Kayla Kush

The Spring Tech Kickoff is presented by Capital Entrepreneurs, Forward Festival, and Horizon Coworking.

Presenting Sponsors for the 2018 Spring Tech Kickoff:

Why Foodworks? FoodWorks Madison is a community-service organization founded on a strong belief in the central role of food in our lives and its power to affect a broad social mission: economic development, job creation, public education, community-building, and skill-sharing. Our roots are in entrepreneurship (both in and out of food), small-business, and in the Slow Food movement.

2018 Madison Startup Fair

The 6th Annual Madison Startup Fair returns Thursday, March 8th on the UW campus! It’s part career fair, part startup showcase with a goal of connecting students to Madison area startups.

Madison is home to one of the fastest growing tech industries in the country and a burgeoning startup scene. Find out about internship and full-time opportunities with Madison startups, find out how you can get involved by starting your own company, find a mentor, or just learn more about what it’s like being a startup founder. Anyone interested in technology and entrepreneurship can talk one-on-one in an informal environment with startup founders and employees about their experiences.

When: Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 4pm-6pm
Where: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (Atrium)

More info and to RSVP: https://startupfair2018.splashthat.com/

We’re switching up the format for the 2018 Startup Fair event! Capital Entrepreneurs has partnered with gAlpha (a gener8tor program), TheHub, WARF, UW Department of Computer Sciences, and StartingBlock to bring you a condensed, energetic, and informal way to get connected with Madison area startups. At the start of the event, you’ll hear pitches from each startup about what they do and what they’re looking for.

This event is FREE for students and the general public to attend. Are you a Madison startup company interested in exhibiting at the Startup Fair? Submit an application. And a reminder that NO SOLICITING of startups is allowed at the event.

Announcing the Inaugural Tech Gala – December 6th, 2017

An Evening of Fun and Games Benefiting the United Way of Dane County and Sector67

Circle December 6, 2017 on your calendar! That’s the night you’ll be at The Edgewater, sipping cocktails, playing your favorite old school arcade games, dancing to live music and rubbing elbows with your tech and startup friends and colleagues – all the while supporting the United Way of Dane County and Sector67.

Your ticket includes appetizers, a buffet style dinner, dessert and a cocktail, plus access to arcade-style games (PacMan! Centipede! Frogger!), live music by a string trio from the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and the chance to have your caricature drawn by artist Bernie Tennis. This isn’t your typical charity fundraiser event – it’s a fun gala with a twist.

This event is open for anyone to attend – whether you work at a tech or startup company, are an entrepreneur or freelancer, or just want to join in on the fun and help a good cause.

100% of your ticket purchase price will go directly to the partner charities, and the entire cost of your ticket is tax deductible. Tickets are $25-50, with an option to buy a full reserved table for $500. The event expenses are fully covered by our presenting sponsors.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! https://techgala.splashthat.com/

2017 Forward Festival Kicks Off This Week! (Aug 17-24)


The 8th annual Forward Festival is August 17-24, 2017. Forward Fest is Wisconsin’s largest technology and entrepreneurship festival and includes 40+ events by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. See the 50+ events that are part of the 2017 line up here.

What is the Forward Festival? It’s Madison’s flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival. Check out this Introduction to the Forward Festival for an overview. Since starting in 2010, it now attracts thousands of attendees and includes 8 full days packed with 40+ events. All events are organized by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs and encompass technology, food, music, social good, art, and more. Be sure to consider attending these events in particular:

Forward Tech Conference – August 22 – The headline tech conference of the Forward Festival, the Forward Technology Conference (FTC) is geared toward startup founders, tech geeks, and those wanting to build successful technology companies. Whether you’re thinking about launching a startup business or you’re an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll find this conference relevant and insightful. You’ll get real perspective from tech startup leaders who are actually in the trenches building successful companies. You’ll hear everything from best practices to war stories, and you’ll walk away with real concrete learnings and actionables – not high level generalizations about broad topics.

This year’s conference will feature a Keynote Fireside chat from the founders of Firebase and Ionic, as well as discussions with leaders from Redox, Zapier, healthfinch, Zendesk, EatStreet, PerBlue, and many other seasoned serial entrepreneurs!

REGISTER: A few tickets are still available, get yours ASAP here


Forward Festival Startup Showcase – August 22 – The Forward Festival Startup Showcase is a high energy stage that celebrates and showcases what’s next in Madison’s startup ecosystem. It features an evening of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies. A select group of 5 rising startups will give a 5-minute “demo day” style pitch showcasing their company. In addition, over 15 Startup Showcase alumni from past years will take part in a lightning round of 1-minute update pitches highlighting their recent successes. A reception on the Memorial Union Terrace will follow.

REGISTER: Included with Forward Tech Conference registration, or you can get a stand-alone ticket here


Capital Entrepreneurs Rooftop Open Social (and Forward Fest Wrap Party) – August 24 – Join Capital Entrepreneurs as we wrap up the 2017 Forward Festival with a rooftop celebration on the Capitol Square. Come mingle with Madison’s up-and-coming innovators working on a wide variety of interesting startups at the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social. Enjoy great networking and Capitol views from Boardman & Clark’s beautiful rooftop terrace, as well as a variety of taps from local brewers and snacks from local producers.

REGISTER: RSVP here (free)

2017 Forward Festival is August 17-24


The 8th annual Forward Festival is August 17-24, 2017. Forward Fest is Wisconsin’s largest technology and entrepreneurship festival and includes 40+ events by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. The 2017 Festival event line up and website are live here.

New Forward Pass pricing this year! Thanks to our generous Festival Sponsors, tickets are more affordable than ever for entrepreneurs (current or aspiring). Forward Passes start at just $49 for entrepreneurs (current or aspiring), startup staff, and students, and include access to over 30 events, swag, and a personalized badge. That early bird price is available until July 21. Get your Forward Pass today!


What is the Forward Festival?
It’s Madison’s flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival. Since starting in 2010, it now attracts thousands of attendees and includes 8 full days packed with 40+ events. All events are organized by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs and encompass technology, food, music, social good, art, and more.

The goal of the Festival is to connect entrepreneurs to other entrepreneurs and to support organizations, as well as promote meaningful learning between entrepreneurs. This is done through a series of grassroots events that are independently organized by multiple organizations all of which take place under the Forward Fest umbrella.

2017 Startup Showcase Seeking Nominations

The 5th annual Forward Festival Startup Showcase returns this year and will again be bigger and better than ever! Startup Showcase will cap off the new Forward Summit day, which is packed with 6 different tracks of full-day conferences and events (including the headline Forward Tech Conference) on August 22, 2017. It is expected to bring hundreds of entrepreneurs, business, civic and education leaders together in celebration of all of the innovation happening in greater Madison.

Apply to pitch in the 2017 Startup Showcase by July 11 here.

The Forward Festival Startup Showcase features an evening of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies. Approximately five startups will be selected to give a 5-minute “demo day” style pitch. In addition, several Startup Showcase alumni from past years will take part in a lightning round of 1-minute update pitches. The Startup Showcase is a high energy stage that celebrates and showcases what’s next in Madison’s startup ecosystem and is open to early and later stage companies, venture and non-venture backed companies, as well as for-profit and non-profit companies. Checkout highlights from prior years’ events here.

pitch-night-header

Looking for other pitch events to apply to or attend at the 2017 Forward Festival? Be sure to check out Pressure Chamber, Doyenne 5x5x5, Badger Startup Summit Pitch & rePlay, Challenge Cup: Madison, Dolphin Tank, Pitch Night X PechaKucha, and United Way’s Pitch to Ditch.

The Startup Showcase is presented by Capital Entrepreneurs. Startup Showcase is part of the 2017 Forward Festival, which runs August 17-24, 2017.

2017 Spring Tech Kickoff

CELOGOJoin us for Madison’s 5th Annual Spring Tech Kickoff on Thursday, April 20 from 5-7pm!

Please register here if you’re planning to attend. It’s free.

Technology business, entrepreneurship, and startups in Madison have another great year ahead. To celebrate that and get in high gear for an eventful summer, Capital Entrepreneurs, Horizon Coworking, and the Forward Festival invite our community and its supporters to the 5th Annual Spring Tech Kickoff!

This year’s gathering is in the brand new Galaxie building Phase 2 on East Washington Ave.

Once again a lot has happened since last year’s spring event, and with new energy, new employers, and new support and funding resources for entrepreneurs we foresee even more coming this year. Anyone is welcome, this is a place where folks who want to connect and participate can easily plug in and help move our community forward.

A variety of beverages and delicious snacks will be on hand.

Presented by: Capital Entrepreneurs, Forward Festival, and Horizon Coworking.

Startup Weekend 2017

Madison’s 6th annual Startup Weekend will take place April 7-9, 2017 at University Research Park.

For more information and to register, go here.

Startup Weekend is a weekend long event where developers, designers, marketers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups. To get a better idea about the event, check out a brief video trailer here. Whether you’ve been to startup weekend before or are coming for your first time, you’re guaranteed to learn, meet, and develop your entrepreneurial side.

Startup Weekend is a great opportunity for both new and seasoned entrepreneurs to gain valuable experiences and put their unique skill sets to use, meet people, and have fun. The weekend is centered around building a business plan with a small group and will culminate with presentations on Sunday, but there are also speakers and networking events for the whole group. People of all different backgrounds and with all different skills are encouraged to participate.

Follow Startup Weekend MSN on Twitter and #swmadison hashtag for information. Sponsors for the event include Healthfinch, Gener8tor, Fine Point Consulting, American Family Insurance, Zendesk, Neider and Boucher, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

EatStreet Acquires Zoomer

EatStreet continues their rapid growth as they recently acquired assets from a Philadelphia-based startup in order to aid expansion to cities they operate in across the U.S.

The startup, called Zoomer, has agreed to sell EatStreet certain assets of the business including restaurant contracts in 10 markets for for an undisclosed amount of money. In addition, many employees from Zoomer will join the EatStreet team. The strategic purchase will allow EatStreet to have more control of the food delivery process from start to finish, and the acquisition will help them better manage deliveries for high volume restaurants.

EatStreet now employs over 150 people in the Madison area and has 15,000 plus restaurants available on its service. More information is available here.

2017 Madison Startup Fair

Capital EntrepeneursThe Madison Startup Fair is back! The 2017 Madison Startup Fair features successful startups from the Madison area. The goal of the 5th annual event is to enable startups to connect with students on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus as well as raise the awareness of Madison startups in general. We’ve partnered with the Engineering Career Services (ECS) Career Fair, and the Startup Fair will be co-located with the Spring ECS Career Fair on the UW campus.

When: Thursday, February 2, 2017 from 1pm-7pm
Where: Gordon Dining & Event Center

This event is FREE for UW students and alumni to attend. Anyone interested in technology and entrepreneurship can talk one-on-one in an informal environment with startup founders and employees about their experiences. Find out more about the burgeoning Madison startup scene and the opportunities startups have to offer, including ways you can get involved by starting your own company or through internships and full-time positions with existing startups.

Startups attending include PerBlue, Ionic, Dock Technologies, EatStreet, Hardin Design & Development, AkitaBox, OpenHomes, Redox, C-Motive Technologies, and more including startup resources such as gener8tor, Madworks Seed Accelerator, and UW Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic!

Redox Raises $9M in Series B Funding

Redox just completed a $9M Series B funding round, led by RRE Ventures. Redox is a local startup that is accelerating technology adoption in healthcare with cloud-based applications. These applications are revolutionizing the way healthcare data is shared among healthcare organizations, patients, researchers, and technology providers.

Redox plans on using the funding to continue improving their technology and expanding its use. Since their applications are centralized, they will become more powerful as the number of users increases. The ultimate goal is to create a system where clinical data follows patients so that any hospitals or specialists they visit will be able to easily access their information.

Read more about Redox and their growth strategy here

2016 Recap: The Madison Startup Scene

In 2016, Madison startups continued to be an engine of economic growth. They drove strong net job creation, raised a record amount of funding, and solidified as well as expanded their physical presence in the community.

Madison startups now employ 825 full-time and 300 part-time people*. In 2016 they created 150 new full-time and 135 part-time positions. Tech startups raised a record $114M* in funding in 2016, which is a 70% increase over the prior year’s funding total. Two dozen companies raised rounds of $500k or more, with the largest later stage capital raises (>$4M) coming from Propeller Health, EatStreet, Ionic, Understory, Healthmyne, Catalyze.io, PerBlue, ABODO, Moxe Health, Forward Health Group, and Pegasus Sustainability Solutions.

The physical footprint of the startup community continued to expand and became a more permanent fixture within the broader Madison community. Individual startups expanded their footprints by tens of thousands of square feet of office space all over downtown Madison. There was a bustle of new activity in particular at 316 W Washington Ave as startups took over multiple floors of the newly renovated building.

Madison was studied as a hub for tech innovation and entrepreneurship by the Atlantic Council and was recognized as having one of the fastest growing high tech industries in the country by the Brookings Institute. The locations of technology companies and supporting resources was even mapped by MadREP to better visual their impact on the city.

Many entrepreneur focused workspaces grew and transitioned from temporary spaces into long term homes. Horizon Coworking and Madworks Coworking expanded. 100state expanded and moved into a brand new space. Sector67 launched a capital campaign to fund their new permanent home. And after 4 years of planning, StartingBlock Madison completed their capital campaign, received final City approvals, and will be breaking ground in just a few short weeks. StartingBlock’s 50,000 sqft entrepreneurial hub will provide long term homes to gener8tor, the Doyenne Group, and many other startup resources.

Capital Entrepreneurs continued our mission of connecting the Madison entrepreneurial community. Throughout the year we held joint meetings with StartingBlock, 100state, Horizon Coworking, and gBETA. We stepped up our initiative to better connect student entrepreneurs to the broader Madison entrepreneurial community through our support of the Transcend Innovation Competition, establishing an informal mentoring system, and hosting the annual Madison Startup Fair on the UW campus. This year’s Madison Startup Fair co-located with the UW Engineering Career Service’s Spring Career Fair which gave Madison startups large scale exposure to over 1,500 engineering and STEM students.

The annual Spring Tech Kickoff is our biggest social event of the year, and this year’s fourth annual event was the largest to date attracting over 400 attendees to the newly completed Galaxie building in the Capitol East District (overlooking the future StartingBlock site). The fifth annual Startup Showcase featured 5 new startups and updates from over 20 past presenters. The Forward Festival continued to expand, and has come a long way since its first year in 2010. It has grown from 5 events with a few hundred attendees in the first year, to 43 events and over 4,000 attendees this year and featured events organized by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs encompassing tech, food, social good, and art.


To help showcase the variety of activity in the burgeoning Madison entrepreneurial ecosystem, here are some 2016 highlights directly from some key entrepreneurial organizations:

In 2016 100state announced that it would move from 30 W. Mifflin St to the 6th floor of 316 W. Washington Ave. 100state is Wisconsin’s largest coworking community, and this move brings 100state members to the the same building as notable Madison companies like EatStreet, Abodo, 5NINES, Catalyze, Filament Games, and HealthX Ventures. In order to accommodate the growth of 100state, they doubled the size of their coworking space, adding 19 new private offices, a classroom, and modern event space specifically designed for the innovative community’s needs. A new classroom will be dedicated to providing opportunities for entrepreneurial and tech education for youth and adults alike. A specially designed arts space will host art-related workshops and provide space where artists can work. 100state also added two new members to their board of directors, Rachel Neil of Carex Consulting and Drew Coursin of Neider & Boucher. 100state’s first day in the new location was 1/2/17.

Doyenne had an amazing 2016! We secured over $800,000 in funding through a City of Madison Grant, WEDC, A Fund for Women, private fundraising and matching dollars from WWBIC and in-kind donations from local collaborators. These funds will be used in 2017 & 2018 through the Doyenne Evergreen Fund to provide grants, loans, equity investments, and programming for women-led ventures based in Madison and across Wisconsin. We saw a 35% increase in Doyenne programming participation and have more than 150 members based primarily in Madison and Dane County, and all across Wisconsin.

In 2016, gener8tor was ranked “Gold,” amongst the top 15 startup accelerators in the United States, by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project. To date, gener8tor has completed 9 cohorts and invested in 49 companies. Cumulatively, those companies have raised more than $100M in follow-on financing. Madison-based gener8tor investments in 2016 include: Allergy Amulet, Curate and Behold.ai. gBETA–a free, six-week accelerator for early-stage companies with local roots–completed its fifth cohort. 15 companies graduated from gBETA Madison in 2015. gBETA expanded in 2016 to run programs in Milwaukee and Minneapolis. gener8tor added Madison entrepreneur, Mark McGuire, to lead expansion efforts in Minnesota. In 2017 gener8tor looks forward to its Madison 2017 program, growth of gBETA and Minneapolis expansion.

In 2016, Madworks Seed Accelerator mentored 17 early stage companies, which since inception, brings the total number of teams mentored to 59. As a collective, our companies employed over 90 people, raised over $4.6M, and have revenues close to $3.4M. Always looking for ways to fulfill needs in the community, we augmented our services since the summer by helping entrepreneurs build corporate governance acumen (i.e., legal, financial, and board management skills). We look forward to helping nascent food and beverage related entrepreneurs in our next cohort starting mid-February. Madworks Coworking continued its growth in 2016, increasing total membership to over 50 people. University Research Park knocked down a wall, giving Madworks an extra 1,000 square feet, and the space can now accommodate 42 dedicated desks, up from 24, a 75% increase in capacity.

2016 was a big year for StartingBlock Madison. In September, StartingBlock completed its $3M capital building campaign. In November, the U.S. EDA announced StartingBlock as one of 35 i6 Challenge grant winners. The $475,000 grant will support staff funding for a Director of Programming, a recruiting consultant, a part-time Lab Coordinator, and mentor-in-residence. In December, “The Spark” project completed the city approval process, setting up for breaking ground in early 2017 and opening in Spring 2018. StartingBlock also added Laura Strong to its board and Chandra Miller Fienen as its Director of Operations and Programming.


Diversity and inclusiveness emerged as important priorities over the last few years for organizations across the startup community. Nearly all organizations have made conscious adjustments to ensure their groups and events are as open and accessible as possible, with a focus on continuing to improve this. This mindfulness by event organizers, coupled with more direct efforts by groups like the Doyenne Group, have begun to alter the startup community into one that is becoming noticeably more diverse and inclusive.

The Madison startup community saw another year of consistent growth and impact. Companies have been able to attract sizable funding rounds, and a cohort of successful later stage startups has emerged. PerBlue sold their DragonSoul mobile game for a reported $35M, and if that is any indication of what’s to come next, this type of exit and return to investors is important in order to continue to strengthen the funding environment and continue to build up the ecosystem as a whole in order to support the next wave of companies. Cheers to 2017!

Be sure to also check out individual company recaps for 2016 here, as well as past startup scene recaps from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.

* Employment data is sourced from a voluntary self reporting survey of CE startup companies, with 58 companies reporting. Because of the voluntary nature, these employment numbers are likely conservative representations of the actual employment impact of all startups. Funding amounts listed are also based on the CE survey data in combination with other public sources, and includes both debt and equity funding rounds closed in 2016. For the sake of better representing a clear cohort, aggregate funding reported for “tech startups” here does not include biotech/lifescience companies.

2016 Recap: PerBlue

The year of 2016 was another action-packed year for PerBlue. Much of the year was focused on scaling our newest game DragonSoul into the largest and most successful title we’ve released to date. In less than 1 year since launch it amassed over 9 million players, emerged as a top 10 mobile RPG, and grew to a Top 50 Grossing App in the US. We even ran large scale national TV ad campaigns throughout the year, so you may have seen it on TV!

The culmination of all this came in October when DragonSoul was officially acquired by GREE International Entertainment, which is the Western division of the Japanese global mobile-social company, GREE. The sale enables the DragonSoul franchise to continue to scale globally and operate under GREE, while enabling our team at PerBlue to remain independent and focus on new product development.

Throughout the year we continued to grow our team. A number of very talented people from the Madison area as well as all over the country joined us, and we’ve nearly doubled the size of our office space over the year to accommodate. The broader Madison game development community also saw a lot of momentum as the Madison Games Alliance continued to take root and grow.

We’re excited for our next big chapter at PerBlue. Cheers to 2017!

2016 Recap: Ionic

2016 was a great year for the Ionic Team. Earlier this Spring we closed our $9M Series A led by General Catalyst in Boston and Palo Alto, grew the team in Madison, and continued to build out a powerful suite of tools and services to help developers build better mobile apps faster and cheaper than ever before.

The Ionic Team also continued to build strong partnerships with leaders in the mobile app space, including Microsoft which integrated Ionic 2 into Visual Studio, and Amazon Web Services adding official documentation for using Ionic with AWS.

We were proud to see major brands continue to adopt Ionic, including Diesel, Dow Jones MarketWatch, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Developers in the Ionic community went on to create over 1.5M new apps with Ionic in 2016.

We also recently made our first major C-level hire, bringing in Swami Kumaresan from Boston, who was employee #5 and EVP at Carbonite.

As we look to 2017, we’re focused on expanding our commercialization efforts to help teams collaborate more effectively on app projects, as well as helping Ionic developers rapidly build apps with Ionic Creator and add powerful backend functionality with Ionic Cloud. With nearly 700,000 developers signed up, Ionic is quickly becoming one of the major developer platforms in the world.

As ever, we’re committed to growing our team here in Madison right above the Merchant, and we look forward to watching and helping the Madison startup scene grow!

2016 Recap: Rabble

The year was a defining one for Rabble and MUSICat, the local music platform we’re building with public libraries. We launched several new sites: PlayBack with The Seattle Public Library in August, BoomBox with Nashville Public Library in October, and an upgraded Yahara Music Library with Madison Public Library in December.

Edmonton Public Library’s MUSICat site Capital City Records won the Canadian Library Association/OCLC Award for Innovative Technology. Madison Public Library nabbed an IMLS National Medal, the nation’s highest honor for library service to communities, based in part on its MUSICat site, Yahara.

Rabble was honored to be a finalist in multiple competitions in 2016 including the Knight News Challenge that asked “How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?” the Force for Positive Change competition headed by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the Wisconsin Innovation Awards. We were also chosen to take part in the Forward Fest Startup Showcase.

In the new year, we’ll rewrite MUSICat to improve site performance and facilitate developer integration, improvements that will bring us closer to our long term goals to release a Software as a Service version of MUSICat and an open source DIY toolkit. Rabble is on track to bring 10 additional library partners on board in 2017.

2016 Recap: Field59

After two years of winding down a legacy CMS company and ramping up another, Field59 officially took off. We brought in new, multi-year video contracts for a 72% increase in revenue over 2015. We’re still bootstrapping our business, and even turned down an opportunity that wasn’t right for us. One thing that remains the same, however, is our mission is to empower our customer partners to reach their business goals through online video. Our first priority has always been to value their rights as video content owners and publishers.

Field59 offers a start-to-finish video solution for media companies. These companies are primarily television and radio broadcasters, newspapers, and educational organizations – anyone that produces premium video content online. From live stream production, to video library management, to online delivery, the Field59 Video Platform offers tools for video publishing and distribution to the web and over-the-top devices, such as ROKU, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. We’ve built an easy-to-use video system that’s always on, 24/7, for live stream and pre-recorded content, so audiences can tune in, anytime, anywhere.

This system, along with our automated syndication, smart playlist technology, customizable video players, and top-notch customer support, is what we offer, and we look forward to bringing new innovative solutions to our customer partners in 2017.

Reflecting on the past year, we’re grateful for the opportunities, partnerships, and customers that we’ve had the pleasure of working with in 2016. We welcomed five Calkins newspapers, eight Casa Grande Valley newspapers, 24 CNHI newspapers, the broadcasting ABC affiliate WTXL ABC 27, Bloomington Herald-Times’ Hoosier Sports Report (Indiana University sports) and Edutopia.

We also strengthened our business partnerships with Forscene in London, who offers live-feed capture and professional video editing software, and Calkins Digital, a mobile and over-the-top video app developer. Our partnerships with these two companies allow us to provide time-saving, efficient, and intuitive workflows for a complete video publishing and delivering solution, with the goal of keeping our customers relevant and competitive in the age of video streaming.

Our customers have always had an easy way to add their videos to any website. But now, we offer API integration into any CMS. TownNews.com’s BLOX CMS integrated Field59 directly into their CMS this year, and our joint customers have seen a definitive workflow improvement in publishing their news.

But what has been really exciting was watching the Bloomington Herald-Times produce the Hoosier Sports Report, bringing their local Indiana University sports coverage to the next level. With constantly updated videos of the latest sports news, discussion, and personalities, Field59 powers the delivery of their sports video to the web, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV devices.

We’re also extremely proud to have begun working with Edutopia, a non-profit resource for educators and parents created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Field59 delivers Edutopia’s premium video content to new audiences via over-the-top devices. These ROKU, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV apps provide a big-screen experience in homes and classrooms, allowing viewers to discover best practices in education from these original and curated content channels.

Earlier this year, Field59 was one of a dozen companies selected to exhibit in the “Innovation Lounge” at the Digital Entertainment World Expo in Los Angeles. The DEW Expo is an annual gathering of leading media and technology companies in the entertainment industry. Closer to home, Field59 has been heavily involved in the Madison community, producing weekly live and recorded video of presentations by Madison-area entrepreneurs for 1 Million Cups Madison; producing and managing 100Live, the 100State coworking community’s live video events; live streaming the Madison Area Music Association Awards show with our Madison production partner, Hinckley Productions; live streaming the spring and fall graduating classes of startup accelerator, gener8tor; producing four live streamed and recorded events at Forward Fest, Madison’s technology and entrepreneurship festival, including: the Social Good Summit, The System, The Failures, and The Consequences on The Country, a Startup Roundtable with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Doyenne Group & 1 Million Cups Madison’s 5x5x5 Pitch Event; and producing various live streamed and recorded events for the Madison Women in Tech meetup.

We’ve just moved into a new office at 100State in the 316 Building, and we’re thrilled continue being a part of Madison’s entrepreneurial and coworking communities. We can’t think of a better place to be.

Online video is a billion dollar market, and we’re excited to be innovating in this space. In 2017, we’ll continue to help our customer partners deliver premium online video to where their audiences are watching, whether on handheld devices or on the TVs in their living rooms.

Best wishes for a prosperous 2017!

2016 Recap: Noble Applications

2016 was a great year for Noble Applications, and as we do every year, we want to express our gratitude to our team, customers, partners, and the local business community. We turned 4 years old in September, we moved our offices to 44 East Mifflin in October, and we recently launched our new website. We are pleased and proud to report that we continued on our growth path as our revenue increased by 26% over 2015. This provided us the opportunity to grow our team and show our appreciation for making us what we are today.

The growing core of our business continues to be providing our design and development talent to established enterprises with new mobile strategies. As we say, “You know your business. We build your apps.” We added 13 new customer partnerships to this core in 2016.

For the annual Capital Entrepreneurs recap, we like to take the opportunity to show our appreciation to local customer partners, so this year, we’re sending a special shout-out of appreciation to…

i3 Product Development: We have a special partnership with i3PD that allows us both to bring truly innovative products to the world, that are created right here in Madison. They are our engineering partner, and we are their mobile app partner, and we have collaborated on several products during the course of the year – fitness and medical wearables integrated to app platforms, integrating agricultural machinery to app platforms, and several more Internet of Things projects. We have many more on the docket for 2017.
Original Wisconsin Ducks: Going to the Dells to ride the Ducks and take the boat tours is a family tradition. We built them a platform with integrated e-commerce, box office apps, and dispatch apps, so everyone can put their focus on having fun and enjoying the scenery.
Strive Orthopedics: this is the first and only platform for remote orthopedic care, and you will definitely be hearing more about them in the year to come.

We will always be grateful to the Madison business community, and would like to thank the amazing teams at Urban Land Interests, Baker Tilly, Capital Entrepreneurs, and the local treasure that is Gail Selk.

We get to work with incredible people that have amazing ideas and we are all very grateful that our customers and team give us the opportunity to push boundaries and bring real innovation to the world.

Stay tuned to our website, where you can keep track of the new apps and platforms that are built for the world, right here in Madison.