Madison Social Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneruship comes in all shapes and sizes.  This blog has focused more on the business side, but today’s post will highlight a great story of social entrepreneurship.

Becky Hall is a Freshman at the University of Wisconsin and started Going For 10,000, a campaign to raise money for the MS 150 bike ride this summer.  While some may say that raising money for charity is not entrepreneurship, we disagree.  Hall has created a website, organized resources and persevered through challenges, much in the same way that business owners do.  She has done all of this without getting a direct monetary benefit for herself.  If you are interested in helping Becky toward her goal, you can visit her blog or donate here.  Here’s her story from her blog:

For the last nine years, I’ve spent the first weekend of August at the MS150 Best Dam Bike Tour. I ride for my mom. Doctors diagnosed her with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) ten years ago. Today, she’s doing well. She has her rough patches, but that woman’s a fighter. When she’s hurting, you’ll never know. I ride so someday she may not have MS.

MS attacks your Central Nervous System. Every person is affected with different symptoms at a different rate. It’s nearly impossible to predict what path my mom’s MS will take. That scares me. During the MS150, participants ride their bikes from Waukesha to Madison to advocate for the disease and fundraise for research. The first weekend of August, the weekend we ride, is the most important two days of my year.

My family rides with Charlie’s MS Angels, a team started by Peggy Siewert whose husband Charlie was diagnosed with MS 14 years ago. On January 22, Charlie died. The Siewerts are amazing people, and they were the first family that we really got close to within the “MS world.” Charlie was sick four years longer than my mom. Only four years. That really scares me.

In December, I visited Charlie in hospice care. While there, Peggy jokingly said I should raise $10,000 this year, the amount she raises. So naturally, I made that my goal.  It’s almost ten times as much as I’ve raised before, but I like to go big. This is really important to me, so I’m contacting every person I know. I set this website up so people can track my progress and eventually, make online donations. I’m guess I’m just doing everything I can think of.

This year, my tenth year, I’m going to raise ten thousand dollars for my mom and for Charlie.

Entrustet Featured on Geeksugar

Capital Entrepreneurs member company Entrustet was featured on Geeksugar and I Am Pop Culture today in posts about the necessity to protect your digital assets before you pass away. From the Geeksugar link:

We pretty much live out our lives online these days — with Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social networking sites holding our photos and personal info — so it only makes sense to have a plan of what you’re going to do with all that data once you’re gone. If you can’t bear to put your social networking accounts on death row now, you can use Entrustet to create a sort of living will and testament for your digital life, and even appoint an account guardian to either take over your social networking accounts once you’ve passed on, or delete them altogether.

Scott Resnick from Hardin Design & Development Feature

Capital Entrepreneurs member Scott Resnick from Hardin Design and Development was featured in the Wausau Daily Herald about his experiences running a cutting edge, high tech mobile apps development design shop.  From the article:

Even before Scott Resnick graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison last year, he already was working with companies such as MSN Money, Warner Bros., Disney and Rolling Stone magazine.

Resnick, 23, who is originally from Wausau, finished his degrees in legal studies and political science at UW-Madison last spring.

Instead of searching for a career in law or politics after graduation, Resnick decided to keep his full-time job of two years at Hardin Design and Development. Jon Hardin, 22, started the business while he was living in the basement of his parents’ house near Madison in May 2007, and he eventually moved into offices across from the Capitol in Madison.

Google Fiber Update: Madfiber.net

Capital Entrepreneurs is a huge supporter of bringing Google Fiber to Madison.  The Madison community has really come together to help support the effort.  Since we posted a Google Fiber page on Capital Entrepreneurs, people from all over the city have contributed ideas, time and money to support the effort.  It’s really amazing what a cool cause can do to bring an entire city together.

So what’s been done so far?

Community Support Site – Madfiber.net

Madfiber.net is now live.  Madfiber is the place where Madisonians can show their support for Google Fiber in many different ways.  You can input your name and zip code an get added to a custom Google map to show your support.  As of now, 451 people have added their support to the google map and it looks awesome!

We’ve also got a http://madfiber.posterous.com/ setup which lets people easily add pictures, videos and other media to Madfiber.net.  Do it today!

Twitter

A Madfiber twitter account has been set up and the official hashtag is #madfiber.  As of today, there are about 400 followers.

Facebook

With over 3800 fans, Madison is currently #4 in facebook fans of cities that are supporting Google Fiber.  Join the group today and help us move up!

Madfiber Ice Cream

On Friday March 5th, Capital Entrepreneurs members Nathan Lustig and Jesse Davis came up with the idea to create Madfiber Ice cream to show support for the effort.  By the next week, Babcock hall used their recipe (vanilla ice cream, google colored m&m’s and sweet granola) to create an amazing flavor.  Thanks for Babcock for making this happen so fast.

The flavor debuted at the Madison Community Meeting, which you can watch online, to great success.  Babcock will be making a full production run later this month.  We are the only city in the country that created a custom ice cream flavor!  Take that Google, (I mean Topeka) Kansas!

Press

The Madison press has published all sorts of articles about the Madfiber effort.  Here’s a sampling of some of the coverage:

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fqd2Yt5koo
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkrQYa0hlCM
  3. http://www.thedailypage.com/daily/article.php?article=28462
  4. http://dane101.com/current/2010/03/12/packed_public_meeting_shows_madison_support_for_google_fiber
  5. a blog post on the PerBlue blog
  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaVqo-tMe2A
  7. http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt_and_politics/city_hall/article_a103bb78-2e18-11df-91f8-001cc4c002e0.html
Special Thanks
There has been a huge amount of support in the Madison community for Google Fiber.  This list does not do everyone justice and if I miss anyone, please email me so I can add what you’ve done to help to the list.  Here’s a list of people that Capital Entrepreneurs has worked with to help bring Google fiber to Madison:
  • Preston Austin – organizing, developing and running the website
  • Matt Younkle – coordinating the effort, interfacing with the city
  • Forrest Woolworth – Website help, organization
  • Scott Resnick – Website design
  • Kyle Pfister – Community Support, Community Art
  • Mark Evans – Madison Public Schools
  • Mo Cheeks – Official Twitter Account
  • Bill Klein – Babcock Plant Manager who made Madfiber Ice Cream a reality
  • Matt Peterson – Business development ideas
  • Bendycode – Web development
If you want to help out and don’t know how, comment here or contact us and let us know what you can do!

Door 6 Featured On Gizmodo

Capital Entrepreneurs member Door 6 was featured on Gizmodo earlier this week ahead of the launch of their new Android game Vacuum.  From the Gizmodo story:

Vacuum is billing itself as being the first Android game to offer cash prizes.

It was a finalist in the Android Developer Challenge, finishing in the top 20 for arcade and action games, but under a different name. It’s essentially a racing game in a never-ending tunnel…but if you do well, there’s a chance you can win some actual money from the developers.

Door 6 was also featured on Android and Me, Android Community and Droidgamers.  You can check out the Vacuum video from Door 6 on their youtube channel.  From the Droid Gamers review:

Having dived into this game for almost a week now I can safely say this is a fun game to play. For a beta version it’s pretty polished and ready to ship onto the Android market. Vacuum by Door-6 is a neat concept as it takes the tunnel style games to another level by having global rankings and cash prizes.

Gameplay: Vacuum’s gameplay and controls work very well. I played this for a week on the G1 and had no lag at all which is amazing considering how much stuff I have crammed onto this phone. The controls are responsive and work as they should with a flying airship with that feeling of give and take. The throttle is also very responsive, accelerating or slowing down right away depending on how you use it which becomes a very important aspect of the game. It gets challenging pretty quickly and it should considering there are cash prizes at stake. By the third or forth ring you are definitely in for a good challenge of not crashing into the moving rocks or the wall while trying to avoid the rocks.

The point of the game is to navigate the tunnel and collect the green orbs that are floating to earn points and extra time on your clock. You get your points when you pass through a blue ring and every time you pass through a blue ring it gets harder and harder with more moving rocks. When you crash your score is submitted automatically. So far my best rank is 21.

Entrustet Launches Beta at SXSW

Capital Entrepreneurs member Entrustet launched it’s beta version today at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.   Entrustet is a secure online service that allows users to create a list of their online accounts and digital files, and manage their distribution and deletion on death.  From the Entrustet blog:

I’m happy to announce the official beta launch of Entrustet!  We’ve been working on the site for over 18 months and it feels great to finally see it in action!  You can officially use Account Guardian to organize your digital assets.  Best of all, Account Guardian is 100% free.  Stay tuned for updates on our next service, Account Incinerator, which will be live in the next few weeks.  From there, we will continue to roll out new features of the next several weeks.  Check out the site and let us know what you think!

My cofounder Nathan Lustig and I are down in Austin, TX at South By Southwest and I will be presenting tomorrow at 5pm when I give my presentation called People Die, Profiles Don’t.  I’ll be covering digital assets, Internet celebrities and how you can protect your digital assets like email accounts, domain names and family photos when you die.

CE Members Testify at EDC Hearing

Capital Entrepreneurs members Nathan Lustig of Entrustet and Forrest Woolworth of PerBlue attended the Madison Economic Development Commission hearing last night to testify about the tech community’s efforts to bring Google Fiber’s test to Madison.  Lustig testified on behalf of Capital Entrepreneurs and spoke about the CE website, Google Fiber Facebook fan page and the Google Fiber Twitter Account. CE member Matt Younkle is on the EDC as the High Tech representitive.

Check out the story on Dane 101 or in The Badger Herald for more information.

If you are interested in helping out, contact us or post in the comments!