Build Madison Returns November 21-22

buildmadisonlogo_150Build Madison is back! Come join us for at the 6th annual hackathon event coordinated by Capital Entrepreneurs and Sector67. The event, which will be hosted at Sector67, gives entrepreneurs an awesome opportunity to get going on that project you have been putting off for too long.

The 24 hour community create-a-thon will start Saturday, November 21st, at 11:00 am and will go through the night and into the early ours of Sunday morning. Come ready with a short pitch (<1 minute) if you have an idea you want to start working on. If you do not have a specific project in mind, then you can come collaborate with others and spend the next 24 hours helping to make an idea come to reality. At the end of the event, we will come together for short project presentations as well as feedback sessions. This event is FREE and is open to anyone who wants to tap into their entrepreneurial ambitions. We encourage participation from students, software developers, artists, hackers, business minded people, engineers, and anyone else who wants to get involved!

Please register at the Build Madison Website if you want to attend, and we hope to see you there!

Sector 67 is located at 2100 Winnebago St. Madison, WI 53704

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Redox Raises $3.5M in Funding

redox-logoHealthtech startup Redox has closed a $3.5M Series A funding round led by Flybridge Capital Partners and HealthX Ventures. Redox is developing a platform API for healthcare integration, which connects health systems to an ecosystem of health tech applications. Over 120 application developers have signed up for API access so far and Redox is targeting to increase that number to 500 by the end of 2016. Redox also recently was the winner of the Traction pitch competition at the Health 2.0 conference.

Read more on Xconomy here.

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StartingBlock Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

sb-logo-greenStartingBlock Madison has just announced a crowdfunding campaign in order to help close a final funding gap. The exciting new entrepreneurial hub, which is set to break ground this winter, has already raised 85% of the necessary funds. They are now looking for community members to contribute and play a direct role in helping bring this project to reality. Starting at $25, you can purchase a “virtual block” and cement yourself as a contributing member to StartingBlock Madison!


This project will play a crucial role in building the long term infrastructure that will bring Madison’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to the next level and with your help, we can make it happen! You can buy a virtual block hereFor more information, check out StartingBlock Madison in the news on Madison Magazine and The Cap Times.

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2015 Forward Festival Recap

ftf-logo-smallThe 2015 Forward Festival is a wrap! This year’s Festival was a huge success drawing 3,000 attendees over the course of 8 days and 34 events. After a few weeks to take it all in, we have compiled a summary of the two headline Capital Entrepreneurs events: the Startup Showcase and the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social.


Startup Showcase

The third annual Startup Showcase took place on August 25th at Monona Terrace and featured nearly 30 emerging Madison startups. This year, the Startup Showcase joined forces with the Pressure Chamber for a full Pitch Night evening. Pressure Chamber is a Shark Tank style pitch series that rewarded one startup with a trip to San Francisco to meet with potential investors. After six companies took the stage and received difficult questioning from a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, bluDiagnostics walked away with the prize. BluDiagnostics, a company that recently won the Wisconsin Governonr’s Business Plan Competition, has developed a saliva-based fertility test for women.

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Following the Pressure Chamber, the Startup Showcase featured a series of pitches from compelling Madison startups. Five new companies that have not previously presented at the Startup Showcase each gave a five minute demo-day style pitch about their company, and over 20 Startup Showcase alumni companies gave quick one-minute update pitches. Collectively, the 30 companies that took the stage at Pitch Night have created over 500 jobs and raised more than $150 million in funding. You can watch the recorded Pitch Night events (and other Forward Fest events) here.













Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social

The Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social was held on August 27th on the beautiful Boardman & Clark rooftop terrace and atrium on the Capitol Square. The event featured MobCraft’s signature Forward Festive-Ale as well as some other premiere local taps. Nearly 200 attendees socialized and enjoyed themselves as DJ Kayla Kush played an awesome live set!

The Open Social was a great way to cap off an action filled 2015 Forward Festival! Special thanks goes out to all Forward Festival event organizers as well as all participants. We hope you enjoyed the week and we hope to see you again next year!


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2015 Forward Festival Returns August 20-27!

FF-splashThe sixth annual Forward Festival returns August 20-27, 2015. The Forward Festival is Madison’s flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival. Since starting in 2010, it now attracts over 2,000 attendees and includes 8 full days packed with 30+ events organized by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. Check out the full Festival event lineup of conferences, summits, happy hours, and more here.

The Festival has continued to grow – in particular, we would like to invite you to attend the headline tech conference and Capital Entrepreneurs hosted events:

ftc-logoForward Technology Conference (August 25) – The headline tech conference of the Festival. Whether you’re thinking about launching a startup business or you’re an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll find this conference relevant and insightful (childcare available).

ff-pc-logosPitch Night Featuring the Startup Showcase and Pressure Chamber (August 25) – An energetic evening featuring a reception, the Pressure Chamber pitch competition, and the Startup Showcase with pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies showcasing what’s next in Madison’s startup ecosystem.

Capital_Entrepreneurs_Logo_VertCapital Entrepreneurs Open Social (August 27) – Wrap up the 2015 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 annual Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social.

Other headline summits include the Badger Startup Summit, Edible Startup Summit, and Social Good Summit. And there are a bunch of other great events encompassing tech, food, music, and more packed into the Festival, check them out!

Be sure to register now for the events. If you’re planning to attend multiple events, get a Forward Pass!

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Gener8tor Begins Free Accelerator Program

gener8torGener8tor has announced a free accelerator program for early stage startups tied to Wisconsin State Universities. The six week course, called gBETA, is designed to provide resources and mentoring to young companies in both the Madison and Milwaukee area. It will function similar to Gener8tor’s three month long accelerator; however, companies will not exchange any equity for participating.

Gener8tor Co-Founder Troy Vosseller wanted to create a free course for entrepreneurs that are attending Wisconsin state schools, recent graduates, or current faculty. His goal was to give back to the community and help these startups move their ideas forward. Additionally, successful graduates of this program could serve as qualified candidates to continue on to Gener8tor’s longer accelerator program. The first graduating class of 5 companies will culminate their 6 week long summer program in Madison with an invite only pitch event on August 13th. You can read more about gBETA here.

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StartingBlock Gains Donors and Executive Director

startingblock-logoWith donations from two more prominent foundations, StartingBlock Madison is gaining momentum. Following significant investments from American Family Insurance and the City of Madison, the most recent donations from the MG&E Foundation and Evjue Foundation come as StartingBlock recently named Scott Resnick as executive director of the future entrepreneurial hub in Madison.

“Our innovative enterprise businesses are sending a clear signal that they value entrepreneurship and view it as a vital piece of the success for our region in their support of StartingBlock. A key element in growing entrepreneurship is spaces that are conducive to the economic gardening necessary to grow an economy.”

– Zach Brandon, President, Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce

StartingBlock will provide emerging companies with workspace and resources that will give entrepreneurs the best chance of success and spur innovation.The many resources that will be offered at StartingBlock include coworking space, educational programming, and startup accelerators like gener8tor. In addition, Sector67 and Capital Entrepreneurs will both have new homes on the 50,000 square foot entrepreneurial hub.

Scott Resnick, COO of Hardin Design & Development and former Madison city alder, was part of the original planning group for StartingBlock and has been a passionate advocate for the concept. Resnick will serve as executive director supporting the StartingBlock board of directors during this formative period of fundraising, organizational and operations development.

StartingBlock plans to be part of a new building in the Capitol East district of downtown Madison. Construction is planned to begin in 2015 with occupants moving in at the end of 2016. For more information on StartingBlock, go here. If you are interested in contributing to the StartingBlock fundraising campaign, contact Scott.

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Startup Showcase and Pressure Chamber Seeking Nominations

The 3rd annual Forward Festival Startup Showcase returns this year and will be bigger and better than ever! This year, the Startup Showcase will join forces with the Pressure Chamber competition for a Startup Pitch Night evening following the Forward Technology Conference on August 25, 2015. The density created by having all of these popular events together will create a truly unique experience, bringing hundreds of entrepreneurs, business, civic and education leaders together in celebration of all of the innovation happening in greater Madison.

Nominate a startup to pitch in the 2015 Startup Showcase or Pressure Chamber event by July 7 here.

startup-showcase-logoAbout Startup Showcase: The Forward Festival Startup Showcase features an evening of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies. Five to seven 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. Checkout highlights from last year’s event here.

pressure-chamber-logoAbout Pressure Chamber: Whether your company is currently raising or planning to raise investment capital in the future, Pressure Chamber is a valuable platform to tell your story and make new connections across the country. A select number of companies will be chosen to pitch in front of a panel of investors, business executives and a live audience at the Pressure Chamber event. In addition to receiving the coveted golden suitcase and other prizes, the winning company receives an all-expenses paid spot on the Chamber’s exclusive Madison-area startup delegation to Palo Alto in October for meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms.

The Startup Showcase is presented by Capital Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Madison, and the Pressure Chamber is presented by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and Michael Best & Friedrich. Startup Pitch Night is part of the 2015 Forward Festival, which runs August 20-27, 2015.

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Quickstep Technologies Acquired by Pivotal

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 9.48.18 AMQuickstep Technologies, a big data startup founded by a UW professor, was recently acquired by Pivotal. This is now the third startup that Jignesh Patel has sold as a co-founder. Patel is a long time computer science professor at UW, but he will now take a year away to serve as chief scientist at Pivotal. Quickstep has developed a unique data processing technology that allows companies to process data quicker and more cost effectively. You can read more about Quickstep here.

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Governor’s Business Plan Finalists Chosen

gov_bus_plan_logoThe Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Content has selected 13 finalists from a field of over 200 startups. A majority of this year’s finalists are from the Madison area, including AltusCampus, bluDiagnostics Fertility Finder, ConfPlus, CountAbout, Élevé Technical Innerwear, KIINCE, Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling, OnLume, and Hunt Butler. The competition will conclude at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Read more here.

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Fetch Rewards Raises $4M in funding

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 11.17.21 AMFetch Rewards raised $4 million in Series A funding recently. The company, which has developed an innovative app for grocery shoppers, will use the money to scale their business from 10 stores to as many as 100. The service allows customers to track their purchases as they go and apply coupons when they are available. Shoppers also accumulate points for using Fetch, which can be redeemed to buy special in store items. To date, Fetch has raised $8.5 million.

Read more about Fetch Rewards recent funding here.

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2015 Startup Weekend Madison Recap

RGB-StartupWeekend_LogoGFEThe 2015 Startup Weekend Madison was a huge success. This year’s 54-hour marathon event featured nine teams who worked tirelessly all weekend to create incredible projects. Congratulations to everyone who participated and we hope you enjoyed the experience. You can check out some pictures from the event here, as well as a list of all the teams here.

This year three awards were not enough. The high quality of presentations led the judges to add on a fourth award, which they named the “YOLO award.” This award was designed to recognize YOLO Pops for their innovative Jello Shot Sticks that won over everyone at Startup Weekend.

All teams did an exceptional job and we wish you all luck as you continue to pursue your goals! The top three teams this year were:

1. Blinky: An accessory for bikers, Blinky plans to revolutionize biker safety. You no longer need to worry about dangerous hand signals because Blinky will alert people behind you which way you are turning with flashing arrows. In addition to winning first place, they also won the crowd favorite award.

2. Cranberry: In order to improve the health care system, Cranberry has created an At-home UTI testing device. The goal is to connect you to a prescription in minutes rather than spending time and money on doctor visits. Cranberry is well on the way to solving an issue that could save health care providers millions in wasted costs.

3. MD Forms: Have you ever spent too long waiting to see a doctor? MD Forms has created a solution that will ensure more efficient doctor visits. Their technology will allow patients to spend more time with the doctor and less time filling out forms through their patient generated notes for clinicians.

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gener8tor Graduates Winter 2015 Class

gener8torMadison and Milwaukee based startup accelerator gener8tor graduated their most recent class of 5 startups. Gener8tor’s Premiere Night took place May 14 at the Barrymore Theater in Madison, where the 5 companies took the stage along with Jack Salzwedel (CEO of American Family Insurance) and the UW Band. Graduates of gener8tor’s latest class include AltusCampus, Bright Cellars, Carson Life, GrocerKey, and Passage.

Watch the full Premiere Night video here. More information on gener8tor’s latest class and Premiere Night can be found here.

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SnowShoe Raises $1M in Funding

snowshoe-logoMadison and San Francisco based startup SnowShoe recently announced a $1M funding round. They had previously raised $2.5M in earlier rounds.

Founded by three UW graduate students in 2011, SnowShoe sells an intelligent piece of plastic that interacts with touch screens. Among its many uses, the plastic stamp allows users to instantly download music, authenticate purchases, and even transport real life toys into online video games. The newest round of fundraising will allow the company to scale up production of its stamps to reduce the selling price from $2.50 a stamp to fewer than 50 cents each.

SnowShoe, who recently completed the TechStars Disney Accelerator, also announced a new platform that will allow developers to more easily integrate their web pages with the stamps. Read more about SnowShoe and their latest developments on TechCrunch and Xconomy.

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Madworks Graduates Third Class

madworks-seed-acceleratorCapital Entrepreneurs would like to congratulate the eight companies who just completed the Madworks Seed Accelerator program. The most recent class featured a variety of different tech innovations, cashmere baby wraps, a new yoga music company, a product to aid event promotion, and a foot care device for the elderly.

Madwork’s 10 week course, which is designed to help young companies further develop their ideas, has now successfully worked with a total of 30 companies over the last two years. With a combination of mentoring and capital, the program has been instrumental in helping local startups (and a team from Brazil this year) get their ideas off the ground. Madworks is unique from other accelerator programs because of their focus on problem solving, something that is particularly important for companies in the early development stages.

Applications for the next class are due May 15, with the program set to begin May 26th.

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