Capital Entrepreneurs founding member PerBlue just closed an $800,000 angel round led by Tim Keane‘s Golden Angels out of Milwaukee and other angel groups from San Francisco and Seattle.Â PerBlue is a social gaming company that creates mobile games for iPhone, Android and other mobile platforms.Â Their flagship product, Parallel Kingdom, has over 200k users around the world.
From Kathleen Gallagher’s article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Investors in the round included angels from Seattle and San Francisco, said Justin Beck, PerBlue Inc.’s 23-year-old chief executive officer.
PerBlue manages a multi-player game called Parallel Kingdom that uses players’ GPS locations to place them in a virtual world. If you fire up the free application on your Android or iPhone in downtown Milwaukee, that’s where you are in the game.
Players wield weapons, hunt creatures, master combat training and other skills and have opportunities to do things such as form alliances, control territory and establish cities. They move around by either physically traveling to new locations or making friends who invite them to travel to new places.
PerBlue has nine employees and makes money by selling “food” to its more than 200,000 player accounts, Beck said.
Location-based games are “white hot” because of the popularity of social media outlets such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Booyah, said Richard Kain, general manager of TriplePoint PR and a San Francisco-area angel investor who participated in the funding round.
Capital Entrepreneurs members Networked Insights was featured in USA Today talking about valuations of NFL teams based on online mentions and online activity.Â From the link:
Which NFL team is creating the most buzz on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets?
It’s the Dallas Cowboys, so-called America’s Team.
What may surprise you is that the woeful Detroit Lions are runners-up.
The first-time rankings, by Networked Insights, an analytics company of social media data, underscore that “you don’t have to be the best brand or NFL team to be included in the most conversations,” says Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights.
The company used an algorithm it created that analyzed the conversations of 300 million people on the web and 17 million websites over the past 30 days. It viewed number of posts on individual teams, retweets, viewed online content and activity around fantasy football teams.
“My expectations was the (Washington) Redskins would be tops, since they are the (second-most valued team (at $1.55 billion), according to Forbes,” says Neely. (Dallas is No. 1, at $1.8 billion.)
Longtime CE members Dan Gordon and Michael Fenchel recently launched their website for their company Momenta Technologies. Check out the members page to see their logo, along with the rest of the CE members.Â From their site:
Our dream is to use the power of the Internet to make watching television an interactive and social experience. Television today is a one-way street: the television outputs content, and we consume it. We want to take television to the next level. We want to enable friends all over the world to watch and interact with television content together regardless of where they are. We want people to be able to play along with their favorite game shows, to test their sports knowledge against their friends while watching the big game, to laugh together while watching a funny comedian.
Heidi Allstop of Student Spill and Steve Faulkner of GeoHuddle were both interviewed for In Business Magazine’s weekly podcast.Â You can listen to them in full over on the In Business Website.
Audrey Watters of Read Write Web is doing a series about entrepreneurship outside Silicon Valley and Madison was the most recent featured city.Â The article called Nevermind the Valley: Here’s Madison talks about Capital Entrepreneurs, Merlin Mentors, The University of Wisconsin and a bunch of CE member companies including Entrustet, Student Spill and Networked Insights.
Along with Steve Faulkner’s post on TechCrunch last month, Madison is really starting to get on the map as a startup hub in the midwest.Â From the link:
Since early 2009, Capital Entrepreneurs has held a monthly meet-up for entrepreneurs. With over 60 member companies, the group has helped bring the Madison entrepreneur community together. The group also has its own Capital Entrepreneurs Angel List, based off of a similar program out of Venture Hacks.
Based off a successful program at MIT, Merlin Mentors pairs new startups with successful business people in the community, who act as mentors and as an informal board of advisors. Merlin (short for Madison Entrepreneur Resource, Learning and Innovation Network) Mentors was developed with the support of various programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Capital Entrepreneurs member Jeremy Craine and his company FurnishU were featured in the Capital Times today.Â FurnishU buys used furniture from students on campus and then resells the furniture to other students.Â From the link:
For my part, I was interested as soon as I learned that Crane, as a student, started a business derived from all the old furniture you see on Mifflin and Langdon Streets and everywhere in between when the students are moving in and out.
The business is called Furnish U, and it’s likely only one of what will be many entrepreneurial successes for Crane. He had his first start-up idea in the sixth grade, arranging baby-sitting jobs for a commission. Before high school, Crane â€”Â who grew up in Rochester, N.Y. â€” was attempting to export door locks from the United States to Israel. He got his real estate license at 18, and spent the summer between high school and college (when he came to Madison) doing deals by phone while lying in bed. “Nobody knew how old I was,” he said.
Bradley Grzesiak from Bendyworks is the newest member of Capital Entrepreneurs.Â Bendyworks is a software firm focusing on mobile and web application development. They deliver value constantly with a unique process that allows our clients to manage and direct their project at all times.
It’s always fun when more people decide to join, so if you’re an entrepreneur, shoot us an email, we’d love to meet you.
We’re excited to announce that Boardman Law Firm has joined Capital Entrepreneurs as its 4th sponsor.Â They are now listed on our resources page, which also includes helpful startup tips and Madison, WI networking opportunities.
Boardman Law Firm is one of the largest firms here in town and we’re really happy to be able to add them to our list of sponsors.Â From their site:
Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field LLP, also known as Boardman Law Firm, is one of the largest and most highly regarded law firms headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. We offer a wide range of legal services, providing full service to both businesses and individuals.
Our roots date back to 1881. Our founders believed that the practice of law is a noble profession, and that belief still informs everything we do today.
While we respect our history, we have also evolved with the times. Today, we offer legal services that are completely up-to-date, in keeping with our complex and ever-changing legal environment.
Entrustet, which allows people to make last wishes for their digital assets, was featured on DotWeekly, a blog about domain names.Â From the link:
This really is a slick service and it is free! This type of service is very important to domain name investors! With domain parking accounts, registrar accounts, affiliate accounts, Paypal, Escrow, Sedo, Afternic and many more! Entrustet has been featured on TechCrunch.com, Mashable.com, BBC, LifeHacker.com and many many more! Here is a link to press coverage and some video.
Donâ€™t think people die that often with digital assets? Entrustet did an in-depth study using Facebook data and itâ€™s users, along with several other stats and has put a number on how many US Facebook members will die this year. 385,968 people! See the study and data to back it up here.
PerBlue’s Parallel Kingdom was on LiveWire 2.0.Â From the link:
Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is the reference for application developers at the moment, as the App Store has reached critical mass. The natural inclination, then, is the subject of the iPhone â€“ and by extension, the IPAD.
â€œThe process of Appleâ€™s approval to enter the App Store can be a mystery with little feedback from them, and they do not make any guarantees about the time that the application will sit in queue for review,â€ Andy Gilbertson, Vice President marketing PerBlue, a developer of mobile games, said TechNewsWorld.
â€œWhen we launched the latest version of theâ€ Parallel Kingdom, which attempted to place long enough for Appleâ€™s approval process, but ends up being a guessing game and guess wrong, â€œhe said. â€œAs a result, our version of Android hit the market about two weeks before the Apple version is approved.â€
In a game like â€œParallel Kingdomâ€ â€“ in real time, the persistent world game â€“ two weeks is a lifetime.
â€œMany of our players, Apple has become very frustrated users of Android were getting such a huge advantage, and Iâ€™m sure that some players lost as a result,â€ Gilbertson concluded.