Announcing Forward Technology Conference

Forward Technology Conference is coming on August 27th, 2010 at the Memorial Union.  FTC 2010 is

[T]he summer’s best opportunity to spend a day networking with some of the area’s top entrepreneurs and hearing from experts on a wide range of topics relevant to your technology business. Whether you’re thinking about launching a startup business or you’re an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll find this conference relevant and insightful.

The conference will have interesting sessions including:

Startup 101 – A panel of experienced entrepreneurs will go through the steps to starting a startup and tell stories from the trenches.

All About LLCs – A panel with an attorney, accountant and entrepreneur designed to answer all of your questions about business formation

Pitch your Biz – Presenters have 5 minutes to pitch their biz and then the audience will have 10 minutes to provide feedback

If you’re interested in attending, check out the Forward Technology Conference website and then sign up!  It’s going to be a great way for you to learn while meeting new people and enjoying the beautiful setting that is the Memorial Union.

Capital Entrepreneurs Featured in Techcrunch

Steve Faulkner of GeoHuddle was invited to write a guest post about startup culture in Madison.  He wrote an article called Wisconsin: Beer, Cheese and…Startups, which included Capital Entrepreneurs, GeoHuddle, Networked Insights, Entrustet, Virent, PerBlue and Alice.  It’s great to see Madison being recognized as one of the new, up and coming hotbeds of entrepreneurship and technology startups.  From the article:

Most people associate Wisconsin with cheese and beer, but you should think about adding startups to that list. Led by a tidal wave of mostly young entrepreneurs, Madison, Wisconsin is staking a claim as the startup capital of the Midwest. Madison was recently ranked as the 7th most innovative city in the country by Forbes magazine – just above perennial powerhouse Boston, MA.

Several key organizations are driving the growing startup community. Capital Entrepreneurs is a group of over 56 companies that meet on a regular basis to help founders network and develop connections. MERLIN Mentors provides free mentoring services to new startups. Applicants are assigned a team of experienced entrepreneurs who help founders navigate many of the challenges facing a new company. These groups, along with the University of Wisconsin, are fostering a great culture for new startups.

Entrustet Featured on Dane 101

Capital Entrepreneurs member company Entrustet was featured on Dane 101 about how to protect digital assets in estate plans.  From the link:

Nathan Lustig, co-founder (along with Jesse Davis) of the Madison-based company Entrustet, notes that these ephemeral bits of data are in fact real assets. Some, like PayPal accounts or web pages, have monetary value. Others, like emails from family members and digital images, have “sentimental value. Many children of the born digital generation have never had their photo printed.”

Entrustet is part of a new and growing market of companies offering ways for people to manage these assets. Right now, dealing with your online life after death can be difficult, painful, or just plain spooky for your loved ones.

“In all this area of internet law is very underdeveloped,” said Nathan Dosch, an attorney focused on estate planning, tax and business law at Neider & Boucher, S.C. in Madison. “This is mostly due to one important aspect of things like email accounts, Facebook, etc. That aspect is that the user does not have a property rights in the account itself. Instead they have a license to access/use the account.”

Entrustet Featured in the Brunei Times

Capital Entrepreneurs Member company Entrustet was featured in the Brunei Times in an article about the need to appoint a digital executor to manage one’s digital assets when they pass away.  From the link:

NOT so long ago, we had safes and locked filing cabinets filled with our wills, financial information and important documents locked away and the combination or keys entrusted to a member of the family to take care of in the event of our passing.

These days in the era of digitilisation, it’s not just physical vital documents we have to worry about. With the advent of the Internet and the new digital culture, many of us also have to think about our digital assets and legacy; what would happen to the countless e-mails, on-line profiles, uploaded pictures and websites that we have cultivated so carefully in life, after our death?

As discussed previously, a Facebook profile can be memorialised after our demise by a loved one or a friend, but for those of us who choose not to have a digital afterlife, this would mean that the profile in question would have to be deleted at our behest. But how can we be assured that this instruction will be carried out?

Networked Insights Launches Analytics Platform for Facebook

Capital Entrepreneurs member Networked Insights was featured on Media Post because it launched SocialSenseFB, its analytics platform for Facebook Fan pages.  From the Media Post link:

Putting a price on Facebook Fan pages to monitor return on investments (ROIs) for campaigns takes more than reading a post or monitoring clicks. Networked Insights earlier this week released SocialSenseFB, an application that monitors the chatter from fans on a company’s page and how long they spend on the page.

Dan Neely, founder and chief executive officer at Networked Insights, a social media tech company, estimates about 7 million Fan pages on Facebook, from a variety of brands like Starbucks and Research In Motion (RIM). “You don’t need to read 100,000 posts weekly, but rather understand the trends and themes, so you know how to talk with your customers,” he says. “Understanding what’s valuable to them in Facebook, where they engage with you in real time, compared with blogs, where they talk about you, is very different.”

Capital Entrepreneurs and Merlin Mentors Joint Meeting a Success

Last night, MERLIN Mentors and Capital Entrepreneurs held a joint event at the University Research Park.  It was a great opportunity for CE members to meet successful entrepreneurs in MERLIN Mentors and bridge the gap between some of the newer startups in town with those who have been successful in the past.

Entrustet, PerBlue, GoBuzz, GeoHuddle, Door-6, Student Spill, Y-Innovation, Sector 67, Hardin Design and Development and Badger Trips were among the companies in attendance representing Capital Entrepreneurs.

Entrustet Featured in Forbes

Capital Entrepreneurs member Entrustet was featured in Forbes in an article called How To Pass On Digital Assets When You’re Gone.  From the link:

One way to make a difficult situation easier on your loved ones is to use the services of a company like Entrustet that allows your executor to take control of your digital assets or, if you prefer, to delete them.

Nobody relishes the prospect of dealing with a matter like this. That said, dealing with it while you can is a small price for the ability to share important pieces of your life after you’re gone.