Forward Fest Startup Showcase and Open Social Recap

ftf logo smallThe 2014 Forward Festival is a wrap! The 2014 Festival was the best yet, with 20 awesome events over 8 days that drew 2,500 attendees. After a few weeks to decompress and reflect, we were finally able to compile and put together a summary of the two headline Capital Entrepreneurs events: the Forward Festival Startup Showcase and the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social.

Forward Festival Startup Showcase

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The second annual Startup Showcase had 10 exciting young companies present at the Majestic Theater in Madison on August 27. DJ Nick Nice kept the energy levels up at the event which drew 250 attendees to see 5 minute pitches from the class of new companies, as well as 1 minute update pitches from 10 of the companies that presented at last year’s Startup Showcase. Check out more pictures from the Startup Showcase here.

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Watch each new company’s five minute pitch here:

  • Deneb Outdoors: Producing high quality, functional, and sustainable outdoor apparel and equipment for both extreme adventurers as well as for the casual outdoors enthusiast
  • Dock Technologies: Developing simple visual reminders for healthcare providers
  • HealthMyne: Improving patient outcomes by allowing providers to efficiently search medical images using the search, analytics, and imaging (SAI) technology
  • 900dpi: A Hosted CMS, Built for Designers
  • ForkForce: A Social Network tailored to ease hiring for the food and beverage services industry
  • Clemetric: Providing data analytics technology to improve healthcare delivery, including intensive care units
  • BankMyBiz: Matching Lenders and Business Owners
  • DigSite: Online insight communities to let businesses gather in-depth insights in a confidential and secure way
  • Iristocracy: Combining the Virtual Look technology with the great local care you receive from your trusted eyewear experts
  • MobCraft: The World’s first totally crowdsourced brewery

Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social

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The Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social was held on August 28 and was a great way to wrap up the Festival. The Open Social was held on Boardman & Clark’s beautiful rooftop terrace and atrium on the Capitol Square. Over 100 people attended the event, and socialized to the beats of DJs Kayla Kush and Captain Smooth. Attendees enjoyed MobCraft’s signature Forward Festive-Ale, taps from other local brewers, and great snacks highlighting local producers prepared by Underground Food Collective and Wisconsin From Scratch. Check out more pictures from the Open Social here.

The Open Social rooftop party concluded the 2014 Forward Festival, and discussions are already underway on how to make the 2015 Festival even better. Special thanks goes out to all Forward Festival event organizers, as well as Yuri Zapuchlak, Noah Willman, and Steve Faulkner for helping capture these events in photos.

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Madworks Accelerator Accepting Applications For Fall Class

logo-madworks-campusWith the successful completion of their inaugural class this summer, the Madworks Accelerator is now accepting applications for their Fall 2014 class to be held at the Madworks on Campus coworking space. Madworks is a 10 week early stage seed accelerator program which provides mentoring, training and financing of up to $4,000 (for the Fall 2014 class) to early stage companies.

Applications for the Fall 2014 class are due September 19. Apply here.

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Propeller Health Raises $14.5M in Funding

propeller-health-logoPropeller Health recently completed a $14.5M Series B funding round, led by Safeguard Scientifics with participation from The Social+Capital Partnership. Propeller Health will use the funding to accelerate product development, strategic alliances, client services, sales and marketing as it tackles the $100 billion cost of treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Propeller is a digital therapeutic designed to help patients and their physicians better understand and control COPD, asthma and other respiratory disease, reducing preventable emergency room visits, hospitalizations and unnecessary suffering. The company has raised a total of $23M since its 2010 founding.

More information can be found on Xconomy here.

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Techstars Patriot Boot Camp Coming to Madison

techstars-patriot-bootcamp-logoPatriot Boot Camp is a national program designed to engage, inspire, and mentor military veterans and their spouses to start, innovate, and scale the next generation of high-growth companies. Techstars is expanding the previous annual events in Washington, DC and New York City and will be holding a 3-day Wisconsin Patriot Boot Camp in Madison on September 26-28, 2014.

Attendance to the Wisconsin Patriot Bootcamp is open to active military, Veterans, and/or their spouses at no cost. Those interested in attending can apply here. More information on the program is available here.

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“Rise of the Rest” Road Trip to visit Madison

rise-of-the-rest-logoThe Rise of the Rest Road Tour will spotlight startup communities in the heart of the United States. The tour, spearheaded by investor and AOL Co-founder Steve Case, will kick off on October 6th and visit five Midwest cities: Madison, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Kansas City and St. Louis. The goal is to catalyze entrepreneurship and celebrate its progress by recognizing the critical role that startups play in growing our economy, driving innovation, and fostering community development.

“Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of our economy. Now more than ever, I believe that our nation’s prosperity is contingent on having a robust and diverse startup economy that encompasses all regions of the country,” said Case.

Along the way, Case will be joined by nationally-renowned entrepreneurs and civic leaders to shine a spotlight on the emergence of thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems and the companies leading the charge. He will also personally invest in each city’s startup community by hosting a series of pitch competitions in which one winner in each city will earn a $100,000 investment in their company.

Each stop along the route will feature:

  • A startup tour, visits to promising growth companies, accelerators and incubators
  • Fireside chats moderated by The Atlantic’s Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons, featuring Steve Case and other entrepreneurial luminaries
  • Local startups pitching a panel of all-star judges, with a $100,000 investment from Steve Case at stake
  • Celebration and networking for local entrepreneurs

The Rise of the Rest Road Tour will launch in Madison on October 6th. For more information, to RSVP, and to apply to pitch for the events, go here.

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Join us for the Startup Showcase and Open Social

ftf logo smallThe 2014 Forward Festival is in full swing! Join us for these upcoming Capital Entrepreneurs events:

Forward Festival Startup Showcase on Wednesday, August 27 from 5-8pm – Join us at the Majestic Theatre as we feature 10 exciting new startups who are revolutionizing everything from healthcare to software publishing to banking and more. You’ll also hear an update from the startups that presented at last year’s Startup Showcase. More information is available here.

Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social on Thursday, August 28 from 6-8pm – The Open Social takes place on a rooftop atrium on the Capitol Square, and will feature MobCraft’s 2014 Forward Festive-Ale, taps from other local brewers and other beverages, snacks from a variety of local producers and food entrepreneurs, as well as music. For more information and to RSVP (it’s free!), go here.

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Forward Festival Kicks Off This Week

ftf logo smallThe 2014 Forward Festival kicks off this week! The Festival runs from August 21-28 and is now in its fifth year. There are 20 different exciting events lined up, and there’s still time to secure your spot at many of them. Check out the full event list here.

Be sure to join us for the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social on Thursday, August 28. The Open Social takes place on a rooftop on the Capitol Square, and will feature MobCraft’s 2014 Forward Festive-Ale, taps from other local brewers and other beverages, as well as snacks from a variety of local producers and food entrepreneurs. For more information and to RSVP (it’s free!), go here.

We’ve also got another exciting Startup Showcase coming up on Wednesday, August 27. We’ll feature 10 exciting new startups who are revolutionizing everything from healthcare to software publishing to banking and more. You’ll also hear an update from the startups that presented at last year’s Startup Showcase. More information is available here, and a limited number of event tickets are now available here.

Be sure to attend the headline Festival event – the Forward Technology Conference, as well as other great events including the Badger Startup Summit, Edible Startup Summit, the Wisconsin Innovation Awards and more. Check out the full lineup of events here.

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ABODO Raises $1.25M in Funding

abodo-logoThe hyperlocal online rental marketplace ABODO announced today it has closed $1.25 million in Series A financing, led by American Family Ventures. Also joining the round are 4490 Ventures and Lakewest Venture Partners, and this investment is the first for the new 4490 Ventures fund. ABODO is an apartment listing service that has already launched in 6 markets, with plans to expand to 25 nationwide in the coming year. ABODO is a graduate of the 2012 gener8tor accelerator class.

More info about ABODO and their raise can be found here.

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Forward Festival Startup Showcase Seeking Nominations

ftf logo smallThe Forward Festival Startup Showcase features an evening of lightning round startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies on the “big stage” at the Majestic Theatre.

Last year, the inaugural Startup Showcase brought nearly 200 entrepreneurs, business leaders, and civic leaders together to hear pitches from emerging companies in the Madison area. For this year’s event, we are looking to find ten new startups to take to the stage and tell us their story in just five minutes.

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Nominate a startup to pitch in the 2014 Startup Showcase by July 25 here.

Check out the video from last year’s event here. The Startup Showcase is organized by Capital Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Madison.

Sign up for Festival updates here, and help create this year’s Forward Festive-Ale here!

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gener8tor Summer 2014 Class Announced

gener8torMadison and Milwaukee based startup accelerator gener8tor has announced their Summer 2014 class of companies. This is now the fifth gener8tor class, and since launching in 2012 gener8tor’s 23 portfolio companies have gone on to raise nearly $25 million in financing and created over 150 jobs.

gener8tor selected the five companies for the current class from over 450 applicants. The 12-week program just kicked off, and the gener8tor Summer 2014 Class includes:

Beekeeper (Madison, WI) – Beekeeper Data allows companies to make smarter decisions with their vast amounts of data. Beekeeper’s collaborative software platform democratizes data analytics in the same way the Github has democratized software engineering.

HITLIST (Provo, UT) – HITLIST takes the annoyance out of advertising. The HITLIST SaaS application uses gamification techniques to provide online publishers with an embedded display ad widget to increase user site duration, user engagement, and customer targeting.

Modern Movement (Madison, WI) – Modern Movement is creating the next generation of balance training products. Beginners to elite athletes, including those on the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding teams, are using Modern Movement products to improve their balance. The new, patented designs will combine instability and 3-dimensional movement with sensor-based performance measurement and tracking.

Project Foundry (Milwaukee, WI) – Project Foundry is an intuitive, web-based platform that helps students and teachers manage and expedite authentic personalized learning. Project Foundry is the most complete workflow management system available for project-based learning.

Stock Mfg. Co. (Chicago, IL) – Stock is a vertically integrated, domestically made clothing brand that blends an innovative sales model with old school, American craftsmanship. By skipping the traditional retail middlemen that inflate the cost of clothing, and selling directly to customers, Stock is able to deliver premium, American-made garments at price points that are affordable to the average consumer.

Read the full announcement here

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900dpi Launches Blog CMS

900_256The founders of 900dpi, the leading fully intuitive website content management system, recently launched an easy-to-use and implement blog CMS platform.

Using nothing more than a toolbar and straightforward editing box, users are able to add dynamic blog content including images, videos, lists, links and more. The tool provides all the functionality of more complicated blogging applications, but does so in a simple, fun-to-use package.

“When we envisioned what blogging would look like on 900dpi, we knew it had to be incredibly simple to implement while still giving designers full control over the look and feel of their designs,” – Aaron Larner, 900dpi Co-Founder

Read the full press release here.

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2014 Forward Festival Returns August 21-28

ftf logo smallThe Forward (Technology) Festival returns for its 5th year! Registration is now open for many of the 2014 Forward Festival events. This year’s Festival takes place from August 21-28. In addition to some of the favorite events from past years, new events will be added around food, health tech, and music.

Check out fowardfest.org for the current event calendar and links to register.

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Apply for Doyenne Group’s 5x5x5 Pitch Competition

doyenne-logo-2014The Doyenne Group is taking applications for women-led ventures to submit their businesses to compete to be awarded $5,000 in Seed Funding. Of the applicants, 5 women led businesses will be chosen and will have 5 minutes to pitch their business for a chance to win $5,000 during the Doyenne Breakfast part of the Forward Technology Festival on Wednesday, August 27, 2014.

Apply by July 9th. For more information and to apply, go here.

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StudyBlue Raises $1.7M in Funding

studyblue-logoStudyBlue has completed a new funding round totaling $1.7M. The company has raised $17.1M in total funding to date from investors including Great Oaks Venture Capital and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Over the last year, the education technology startup has attracted over 1 million new users to their vast user-created study documents targeted at K-12 and college students.

More information on StudyBlue’s latest funding round is available from Xconomy here.

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Make Music Madison is This Saturday!

Make-Music-Madison-Blog3Make Music Madison, an annual day-long citywide, free, outdoor music festival held on the Summer Solstice, is this Saturday, June 21. Back for its second year, the festival will include 380 free public concerts across the city. Powered by Madison start-up Solstice, Make Music Madison will include all types of genres, ethnicities, and styles of music, both amateur and professional musicians, and will occur in various public and private spaces throughout the city.

 

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