Dane 101 features Capital Entrepreneurs, Forward Tech Conference

Dane101 featured the Forward Technology Conference and Capital Entrepreneurs in a post last week.  From the link:

San Francisco. New York. Chicago. These are the cities normally associated with startups and entrepreneurs. You may be surprised to learn, then, that Forbes magazine recently named Madison the seventh-most innovative city in the country. Local companies Alice and PerBlue are startups that are gaining significant national attention. The technology website TechCrunch recently declared Wisconsin the “Land of Beer, Cheese, and…Startups.”

On Friday, Capital Entrepreneurs – a group devised to help support startups in the Madison area – will host the first Forward Technology Conference at the UW Memorial Union.  It’s the culmination of the larger Forward Technology Festival, which began on Aug. 19 and runs through Aug. 28.

“It’s a way to link High Tech Happy Hour, Barcamp and other entrepreneurial events together,” says co-founder Matthew Younkle. “It’s a way to connect the dots between entrepreneurs to graphic designers to the technology folks at Barcamp.”

Forward Technology Festival Starts Today!

The 9th anniversary edition of High Tech Happy Hour has kicked off Madison’s first Forward Technology Festival, a series of events over the next eleven days designed to encourage interaction and collaboration across the area’s technology, business and creative communities. Other Festival events include the Capital Entrepreneur’s open social, the Forward Technology Conference, Madison BarCamp, and a Sector67 workshop. Supporting organizations include Accelerate Madison, Design Madison, Madison MAGNET and MERLIN Mentors.

“Think of the Forward Technology Festival as a ‘Taste of Madison’ for technology and business networking organizations,” said Matt Younkle, a Festival co-organizer. “Madison already has many networking groups which is a great thing. FTF aims to strengthen the start-up, tech and creative communities by providing an opportunity for members from all of these organizations to interact with one another at a variety of events in fun settings.”

The one-day Forward Technology Conference on August 27 is unique in that it has been designed by entrepreneurs for the benefit of other entrepreneurs. The conference includes sessions like Startups 101, a panel of business founders with businesses at various stages of development and capitalization, All About LLCs, where an experienced attorney and CPA are paired to discuss the a common structure for new startups, and Pitch Your Biz, a rapid-fire feedback forum for early stage entrepreneurs. The keynote speaker is Fred Foster, the founder and CEO of Electronic Theatre Controls.

The main networking event for the Festival is the evening reception that takes place Friday, August 27 at 6 pm at Memorial Union. Neider & Boucher, a Madison-based law firm and long-time supporter of the local entrepreneurial community is the presenting sponsor for the Festival.

The Festival organizers, all local entrepreneurs, hope to see the combination of educational and networking events strengthen Madison’s creative culture.

“We’re trying to build, in a very grass-roots way, the foundation for a major annual event that could become the Midwest equivalent of South by Southwest,” said Nathan Lustig, one of the Festival co-organizers, referring to the popular series of festivals and conferences that take place each year in Austin, Texas.

“The Madison area is the epicenter of the Midwest creative community,” added Bryan Chan, another co-organizer. “It really makes sense to launch something like this here.”

More information about the Forward Technology Festival, including links to register to take part in the various events, can be found at www.ftf2010.com.

GeoHuddle Featured as part of GE Ecomagination Challenge

Capital Entrepreneurs member GeoHuddle is currently in 4th place in the GE Ecomagination Challenge, which is one of the premier contests for alternative energy projects in the United States.  From the link:

About seven months ago, University of Wisconsin graduate students Steve Faulkner and Michael Major started GeoHuddle, a company that develops ground-source heat pumps, as part of a clean-technology competition.

“We felt that ground-source heat pumps stood out as a great technology that was proven, easy to implement and scalable,” says Faulkner, noting that their system targets new residential subdivisions in order to reduce household energy use by 60 to 70 percent and household carbon-dioxide emissions by 15 percent.

As part of the GeoHuddle mission, they want to overcome what they believe is the largest barrier keeping this sort of technology from the average suburban household—cost.