Entrustet Featured on Lifehacker & Fox Business Live

Capital Entrepreneurs member Entrustet was featured on Lifehacker earlier this week, follow up by an interview with founders Jesse Davis and Nathan Lustig on Fox Business Live.

From the Lifehacker article titled Entrustet Secures your Accounts After Death with Legal Backing:

Entrustet offers a free account that lets you set up unlimited password-protected accounts to be transferred over to a trust person upon your passing. How does it know when you’re gone? You assign a trusted person to be your Digital Executor, who will notify Entrustet and then provide a death certificate scan to activate the password conveyance upon your death. You can also assign your estate attorney to execute your Entrustet transfer upon your death, and the site offers up a few attorneys officially on board with Entrustet—though we imagine any savvy attorney can be conscripted for the duty. Additional security and ease-of-use features (for the executor and recipients, at least) are included with paid plans.

You can check out the Fox Business Live interview below:

Burrill Winners: Congrats to Sector67 and Student Spill

Capital Entrepreneurs members Sector67 and Student Spill took home awards in the 2010 Burrill Business Plan Competition held at UW yesterday.  Chris Meyer of Sector67 took home 2nd place and won $7,000 while Heidi Allstop of Student Spill took home $1,000 and free office space in the Metro Innovation Center worth over $15,000.  You can watch the presentations on the Burrill websites.

For a more in depth review of the 2010 Burrill, check out a post by CE member Nathan Lustig.

Congrats to Chris and Heidi and all of the other 2010 participants!

Powered Green Featured on EcoStreet

Capital Entrepreneurs member Powered Green was featured on EcoStreet to promote their Earth Day give away.  From the link:

An Energy Seal is a sticker made from recycled aluminium that represents a carbon offset for a computer. Each Energy Seal symbolizes that renewable energy sources have produced an equal amount of energy used by a single computer over the course of its lifetime. The Energy Seal is then placed on the outside of a computer to show support for clean energy.

Powered Green is an environmental start-up based in Madison, WI, founded by two recent UW – Madison graduates. Their efforts support the development of new wind projects across the country through the sale of Powered Green gear. Each product stands as a way to generate awareness and support for renewable energy on an individual basis. Their efforts in less than a year have already stopped over 1,000 tons of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere.

Networked Insights Raises $5m in Series A Funding

Capital Entrepreneurs member company Networked Insights raised $5m in series A funding from Madison angel investment firm Kegonsa Capital.  From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal article titled Networked Insights Raises $5m:

Networked Insights raised the money in a funding round led by Kegonsa Capital Partners, a Fitchburg investment fund. The company will use the money to continue listening in on 1.5 billion conversations that 300 million people are having each month on the Internet, the company said.

“This infusion of capital will propel us even further in that direction, tapping the power of the largest focus group in the world to improve any and all marketing activities that rely on understanding the customer,” Dan Neely, the company’s founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Networked Insights was founded in 2006 and has offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The company previously raised $4 million from Kegonsa and other investors. The new round brings the total amount of investments it has raised to $9 million, the release said.

Parallel Kingdom Goes Carbon Neutral With Powered Green

Parallel Kingdom, the main game of Capital Entrepreneurs member company PerBlue, partnered with Capital Entrepreneurs member company Powered Green to make the entire virtual world of Parallel Kingdom carbon neutral. From their release:

PerBlue, the developer of Parallel Kingdom, has decided to celebrate the upcoming Earth Day by purchasing enough carbon offsets to power the virtual world’s game servers with renewable energy for a full year. Parallel Kingdom is a location-based game app for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android phones. It is free to download and play.

“The thought of having the entire virtual world of Parallel Kingdom powered by clean energy was a very cool concept to us,” said the CEO of PerBlue, Justin Beck. “Our company might not be big enough to save Earth, but at least we can save our own little world. I think that kind of thinking translates well to how each person can think about their impact on their own personal world.”

In addition to powering Parallel Kingdom’s virtual world with green energy, PerBlue is putting a portion of their revenue towards additional carbon offsets for 7 days starting on Earth Day. For every $3 spent by Parallel Kingdom players, 100 pounds of carbon offsets will be purchased by PerBlue. This will start on Earth Day, and will be effective until April 29th.

Justin Beck says, “We want to do something that allows our players to make their actions count as well. Parallel Kingdom has a great community of people that play, and we want them to feel that they can do something great for the world they live in while also enjoying the Parallel world they play in.”

The carbon offsets are to be purchased through Powered Green, a carbon offset provider based in Madison, WI. Powered Green’s renewable energy credits support the operations and project costs of renewable energy sources.

Entrustet Launches New Features

Capital Entrepreneurs member company Entrustet launched new features yesterday and come out of public beta.  From their release on Marketwire:

Entrustet (www.entrustet.com) today announces its services that securely and legally enable users to delete or designate heirs for digital assets (including email, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, PayPal and more), with new features to further help users protect and pass on personal information after death. Entrustet is the first to offer a complete solution for individuals, lawyers and companies to ensure that these accounts are transferred or deleted according to customers’ wishes.

Capital Entrepreneurs Is Against Raising Accredited Investor Requirments

The 1300 page financial reform bill making its way through congress has the potential to be one of the biggest blows to US entrepreneurship ever.  It makes finding investors much harder by requiring startups to register with the SEC and wait for 120 days for approval before the startup can accept money.  It also lowers the pool of accredited investors by raising the requirements from $1 million in assets or $250k in income to $2.3m in assets or $450k in income.  Forrest Woolworth of Capital Entrepreneurs member PerBlue wrote a great blog post laying out the case against this bill:

According to the US Census Bureau and the Kauffman Foundation, start-ups and businesses less than five years old created all of the net new jobs over the last 25 years. Over that time, angel investors were responsible for up to 90 percent of the funding these businesses received. This angel funding allowed these firms to grow and create jobs. In 2008, angels invested $19.2 billion in over 55,000 companies.

Now what exactly are angel investors? These are high net worth individuals who invest their own money in start-ups and small businesses. Angels provide the necessary investments many small businesses need. These are not investments in trading risky derivatives (which do not provide a value add to anything), but rather they contribute directly to innovation and job growth. By the current definition, an accredited angel investor must have a net worth of at least $1 million. The RAFSA2010 bill would raise the net worth requirement to $2.3 million. This would eliminate at least 2/3 of all current angel investors.

In addition to greatly shrinking the number of angel investors, the RAFSA2010 bill would make it more difficult for the remaining angel investors to invest by introducing new regulations and barriers. These barriers will complicate and delay investments by requiring a 120 day waiting period for investments to potentially be reviewed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as make it difficult to raise money from angels in different states.

This will greatly hamper the creation of new businesses, and ultimately reduce the creation of new jobs by potentially 60%. In addition to making it more difficult to start a business, current entrepreneurs would also have a more difficult time finding new sources of funding, resulting in more possible business and job losses. These businesses need this capital to grow and create jobs, and without it, many will fail.

I wrote a post following up on my personal blog as well called Brilliant Idea: Make It Harder For Startups To Raise Money.  Capital Entrepreneurs is against this portion of the bill.  It will be disastrous for CE members and the economy as a whole.

Venture Investors Sponsors Capital Entrepreneurs

Madison-based VC firm Venture Investors became the 3rd sponsor for Capital Entrepreneurs.  Venture Investors is a premier provider of seed and early stage venture capital in the Midwest. We have a proven track record of working with world-class healthcare and technology companies throughout the region and has a history of helping Madison-based startups, even if they do not invest in the startup.  Scott Button, one of the partners in Venture Investors made this sponsorship happen.  Thanks to Venture Investors for their sponsorship of Capital Entrepreneurs!

Entrustet Featured in The Financial Times

Capital Entrepreneurs member company Entrustet was featured in the Financial Times in a story called How To Pass On Your Passwords. From the link:

“It is crazy that websites don’t have policies for this,” says Jesse Davis, founder of Entrustet, another US-based internet service for managing digital inheritance. “People are spending real money on these accounts. They are economically or sentimentally valuable. They are real assets and it’s a shame they are being overlooked.”

Entrustet is planning to launch full services at the end of this month and has already seen high levels of interest in its beta version. About 20 per cent of visitors to the site have signed up for an account.

According to Entrustet’s Mr Davis: “A lot of lawyers don’t know what to do with digital assets. When we started talking to estate planners about it, they looked at us like we had five heads.”

Michael Best and Friedrich Sponsor Capital Entrepreneurs

Madison law firm Michael Best and Friedrich join Neider and Boucher as sponsors of Capital Entrepreneurs today.  They are now listed on the Resources page, which includes entrepreneur friendly service providers, blog posts all entrepreneurs should read and practice advice for how to actually get your business off the ground.

Gregory Lynch of Michael Best and Friedrich is one of the top entrepreneurship lawyers in Madison and is Capital Entrepreneurs main point of contact.  Lynch and other Michael Best attorneys have a strong history of helping startups with legal advice and business services.  Check out their website here.

There are still 10 more sponsorship opportunities left for 2010, so if other Madison service providers are interested, please contact us.

Sector 67 Launches Website, Initial Meeting

Capital Entrepreneurs member Chris Meyer started Sector 67, which is a new space for people to work on tomorrow’s technology.  Based off of successful models elsewhere in the world, Meyer hopes that Sector 67 will be the launching pad for more tech and engineering based business in Madison.  From the site:

Sector67 is a start up TechShop / Hacker space / Makerspace / Collaborative Environment in Madison, WI dedicated to providing members the opportunity to work on tomorrow’s technology; to build, collaborate, learn, and teach about next generation devices.

Meyer informs me that Sector 67 had its initial meeting last week and it was well attended.  Sector 67 is an awesome idea and will be a great addition to the Madison entrepreneur community!

Entrustet Featured on Mashable and Thrillist

Capital Entrepreneurs member company Entrustet was featured on Mashable twice in the last two days and was featured on Thrillist today.  Mashable’s first article was featured in the Spark of Genius section and was called Plan What Happens to Your Online Accounts Post Morten with Entrustet.  From the post:

Quick Pitch: Free service helps you take stock of all your digital assets and assign an heir to access them when you pass away.

Genius Idea: Where do bad folks go when they die? Yeah, I can’t tell you that definitively, but I can tell you where both good and bad folks can store their online presence: Entrustet. This new service, which is currently in public beta and will launch officially on April 26, is like an online will — but instead of listing your jewels, golden bars and mattress cash, Entrustet lets you leave your Facebook profile, Gmail etc to designated “heirs.”

Entrustet was mentioned in a second Mashable post the next day in Mashable’s review of South Park:

When Stan deletes his profile out of frustration… well… let’s just say he probably should have opened an Entrustet account. Meanwhile, Kyle friends a FB loser, which leads to a steady stream of unfriending and a breakdown of sorts.

Entrustet was also featured on Thrillist today:

A free service just now in beta, En’ protects all of your “digital assets” postmortem by letting you designate “heirs” to inherit individual online accounts and files, allowing you to humiliate your family from beyond the grave by still being on MySpace. Browse through categories like Social and Email to find popular sites you may have an account with (feel free to add sites that aren’t listed), supply your usernames/passwords, and securely upload any offline docs you’d like to live on the site; once you’re ready, simply submit basic deets (e.g., email address, relation to you) for up to 10 inheritors per account.

Powered Green Featured on Easy Eco Blog

Capital Entrepreneurs member Power Green was featured on the Easy Eco Blog to talk about Powered Green’s sticker that people can buy to offset their computer’s carbon emissions.  From the link:

Powered Green is an environmental startup founded by two former students of the University of Wisconsin – Madison. The company was created to provide people with a unique opportunity to support renewable energy sources along with the ability to show their support for a greener future. Through the sale of  products they have raise funds for six different wind farms across the country.

Although they  have expanded to additional products to allow more people to support renewable energy, our main efforts revolve around the Energy SealTM. The Energy Seal is a recycled aluminum sticker, and its purchase represents that renewable energy sources have produced the amount of energy one laptop uses throughout its lifetime, making it carbon neutral.

Entrustet Featured on Gear Diary

Entrustet was featured on Gear Diary in an article entitled Entrustet: Caring For Your Digital Assets When You’re Gone.  The article provides an in-depth overview of Entrustet’s offering and talks about how people can protect their digital assets while they are still alive.

Enter Entrustet.com.  The company, which is set to launch its free internet based service in the middle of April, takes care of getting your friends or loved ones (or whomever else you decide) access to online content after you’ve died.

I recently had the opportunity to discuss exactly how the company operates with the firm’s two founders,  two University of Wisconsin undergrads, Jesse Davis (age 23) and Nathan Lustig (24).

If you’re what Entrustet calls a HiWi (High Internet Worth Individual), then you probably have a ton of data stored online.  But it takes only one e-mail account to be considered a HiWi.  Think about it.  One simple web based e-mail account contains copies of all the e-mails you sent/received as well as all of the information about your contacts.

Entrustet was created to protect your digital assets.  Any online content is an asset and files on your computer are considered assets as well.  You also have two types of digital assets.  Economical ones, such as domain registrations with sites like GoDaddy.com and sentimental ones such as your online family photo albums at sites like Flickr or Photo Bucket.

Parallel Kingdom on ZDNet

Capital Entrepreneurs member PerBlue‘s main game Parallel Kingdom was featured on ZDNet’s article “Locative Gaming: The First 10 Years.“  From the link:

Kati London from Area/Code spoke at Where 2.0 today in San Jose. She had some awesome examples of how location has changed social interactions in gaming.  Parallel Kingdom in 2008 was an iPhone massively multiplayer mobile game. Similar to World of Warcraft mashed up with Google Maps.

Entrustet Featured on CreditBloggers

Capital Entrepreneurs member Entrustet was featured on Credit Bloggers.  The article titled Who Gets your Bits? explores what happens to your digital assets when you pass away.  From the article:

Entrustet, which is still in the public beta phase, was started in November 2008 by two University of Wisconsin undergrads named Jesse Davis (age 23) and Nathan Lustig (24). Davis told me he got the idea for Entrustet while reading The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman. In the book, Friedman writes about a US Marine named Justin Ellsworth who died in Iraq. His parents asked Yahoo! for access to their son’s e-mail account so they could keep his correspondence as a way to remember him, but Yahoo! said it was against policy to give out passwords of users — even deceased ones — to anyone other than the account holder.