Not only is Madison the most educated city in the US, it was also just rated one of the 10 Great Cities for Young Adults by Kiplinger Magazine. Young, smart people are the cornerstone of Madison’s Capital Entrepreneurs community, and we agree that Madison is an amazing place.
Madison hackerspace (and CE member) Sector67 was recently crowned the champion of the Power Racing Series, and subsequently featured in Wired Magazine. Contestants competed with souped-up Power Wheels cars in three challenges: a drag race, a 15-lap mini Grand Prix, and a 75-minute endurance challenge.
In what may be the biggest non-biotech venture capital funding ever in Wisconsin, CE member company Networked Insights recently completed a $20 million Series B round of funding. Networked Insights was founded in 2006 and makes a social media listening platform that helps agencies and brand marketers make better strategic and tactical decisions by analyzing what’s happening on the social web.
The second Build Madison proved to be even more successful than the first. Over 60 people gathered at Sector67 on Saturday and pitched 19 different potential project ideas. Teams formed around 13 of these projects and quickly got to figuring out how they were going to turn their idea into a real product in the remaining 23 hours (live blog).
Many participants attended the first Build Madison back in February and were pumped to get started at this event. Sponsors were extremely generous and supportive – we were able to increase the amount of prizes for teams, as well as have an even larger variety of food, drinks, and snacks on hand for participants.
There were many great ideas that came together into some awesome projects. Projects overall were mostly software based, but others involved stepper motors, videos, headphones, projectors, and more. Team sizes varied from 1 to 8 members, and participants encompassed a wide range of skill sets. Some came with an idea of a problem they needed solved and partnered up with other participants that could make their project a reality, others came as a team with a set mission. The projects presented were well executed and very impressive.
The winners of the top cash prizes were decided by a panel of Capital Entrepreneurs members (Mike Fenchel, Forrest Woolworth, Steve Faulkner, and Jeremy Shafton). Deciding the winners was extremely difficult and was based on a combination of: How big of a need the project filled and how much value was provided, how polished and production ready the project was, the variety of skill sets used by the team, and the quality of the final presentation. In the end, the top placing projects were:
1st Place ($500) – Daily.do 2nd Place ($250) – Goal Keeper 3rd Place ($100) – Boardify
Peopleâ€™s Choice ($100) – Boardify
Supranet Prize (1 yr virtual co-location hosting) – Goal Keeper
Sony Prizes (Sony Vegas Movie Studio packages):
1st – Daily.do, 2nd – SitePass, 3rd – Uin
Universal Modeling Prize ($50 for best use of open source software) – Boardify
Prizes: 1st Place ($500), Sony Prize (1st) Team: Joe Nelson, Mohammed Jabbar, Johnny Fuchs, Aerick Valentinus Available live:http://daily.do
Daily.do helps people accomplish big goals in small steps. Things like buying a house, running a marathon, planning a wedding, or making a PB&J sandwich are broken down into simple daily tasks sent via phone/email/twitter. The task breakdown is provided by both experts and crowd-sourcing. Users can stay motivated by betting $$ on themselves to succeed. They post the bet with Daily.do, then earn it back with each successful task. In the end, if they diligently complete their goal, they win the whole bet back, and the satisfaction of accomplishing something BIG. Daily.do strives to give people the structure, engagement, and incentives to conquer complicated, intimidating, long-term goals.
An important component of the federal Race to the Top initiative is the creation of a system to evaluate teachers and principals that includes standardized tests and individualized measurements. Goalkeeper provides a way for teachers and principals to collect and report data as part of the evaluation system. The application allows teachers and principals to create SLOs, indicate which standard and school and district goals are linked to the SLO, track student progress, aggregate data at the school level, and share progress with individual students and their parents. The system provides for transparency about student achievement for districts, schools, principals, teachers, students and their parents.
Prizes: 3rd Place ($100), Peopleâ€™s Choice ($100), Best use of open source software ($50 from Universal Modeling) Team: Dan Silvers, Mark Ratzburg Available live:http://boardify.net/
Boardify is a solution for enterprises, allowing them to cleanly capture information from whiteboards and written correspondence. Boardify relies on the users cell phone camera as the data entry point. It eliminates noise, corrects for perspective, and saves the information in an infinitely scalable, archivable, vector image format. By generating an industry standard PDF file, Boardify allows the modern worker to easily share the information with their coworkers or integrate it into other information management solutions like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote.
SitePass is a flexible and easy way to let content providers charge users for only the content they view. Webmasters only need to include two lines of code to start generating money. Users log into the service once and then it will work with any site that uses SitePass. Here are just some of the features:
Charges can be made on a time or number of views based subscription basis.
Users can set site and global settings to auto-approve transactions under a certain amount.
Users and content providers can see all of their transactions and can dispute and refund payments.
Prize: Sony Prize (3rd) Team: Ryan Zoerb, Andrew Zoerb, Isaac Gerges, Jon Wing
Uin is an Android application that makes it easy to organize casual and spontaneous social gatherings. Guests can receive invites, respond to invites, and view event details via SMS, making the RSVP process platform agnostic. Uin takes the hassle out of organizing spontaneous events, allowing users to do more stuff with more people.
Team: Andrew Hanson, Nolan Berry, Brad Lang, Colin Juillard, Peter Colins, Ryan Long, John Detloff, Phil Dougherty Available live: (coming soon)
Zombie Craft is an online multiplayer zombie survival game that you can play through your web browser FOR FREE! Collect resources, build turrets, and protect villages, while keeping your health in the positive and slaying green dinozombies in this fantastical post-apocalyptic/medieval world.
Team: Dennis Adams
My goal was to build a projection mapping system that could correctly project an image onto a surface which is not aligned with the projector. I built a projection surface with sensors in each corner, and created software that used “structured light” to detect where these sensors were from the point of view of the projector. At the conclusion of Build Madison, the system could show where the detected corner positions were. Since then, I’ve added the calculations to warp the image so it aligns with the surface. For this project, I used Microsoft Visual Studio, the C++ programming language, the OpenGL graphics library, and the OpenCV open source computer vision library.
Mailblogger.com turns the contents of any blog post or RSS feed into a physical letter. For only $2 we will format, print, and mail the letter to any address. We were happy to find that our first two customers bought letters during our Build Madison demo. Mailblogger was created entirely during the 24 hours of Build Madison, built on Ruby on Rails, and hosted on Heroku. The service is live and fully functional.
Team: Mike Kunze, Zach Gohr
Zach Gohr and I worked on project 14, which is servey.us (or quick survey). The point of servey.us was to utilize node.js along with sencha’s frameworks for both desktop and mobile to create a way for companies to quickly and intuitively create surveys, and for customers to quickly and intuitively answer these surveys. Each survey has its own unique URL which would be embedded into a QR code.
The Build Madison Web 2.0 Idea Generator is a crowd-sourced, on-demand rapid project idea generator. The web application randomly generates usable ideas from a pool of tech buzzwords submitted by Build Madison participants.
It utilizes organic affiliate widgets that connect to a microblogging friend finder algorithm, while maintaining an unbelievably location-aware blogosphere. These features provide semantic carbon positive semi-automatic mashup possibilities extending from crowd-sourced digital craft breweries to award winning semi-automatic obscure robotic video games.
Team: Adam Braus
Car_App is a project management software as a service website for independent autoshops.
Sunday 1:30 pm – Team presentations are finished and the prizes have been awarded. There were some awesome projects and the event was a great time. Thanks goes out to everyone who participated and made it such an amazing event. The top placing teams were:
1st – Daily Do
2nd – Goal Keeper
3rd – Boardify
A full Build Madison recap post will be up this week (including project descriptions and more prize info). Stay tuned!
Sunday 10:30 am – Morning and night have come and gone. Many team members have spent the whole night at Sector67, others are showing back up after taking a few hours to get some sleep. Teams are prepping for final presentations and making last minute touches on their projects. 30 minutes remaining…
Saturday 9:20 pm – It’s the beginning of the late hours. We’ve located some Spotted Cow and the custom Turbo Tab Chiller is sourcing delicious refreshments. Teams are getting ready for the long haul. The projects seem to be coming together, but there is still much work to do.
Saturday 6:15 pm – Teams are entering phase 2 of development. Initial planning and brainstorming behind, theyâ€™re now deep within development of their product. Some are now faced with the daunting scope of actually turning an idea into a product and are starting to think about how to cut down on scale in order to finish on time. Others who may have had a better perspective from the start are still charging forward with original plans. A few participants are showing signs of frustration from bug-hunting in their code, while others are smiling fueled by the Ianâ€™s pizza and Flatt Cola strewn about the tables in front of them. Itâ€™s still relatively early and thereâ€™s a lot of time and ground to be covered. Weâ€™ll check back in soon with more updates from a room full of energized and creative people hard at work.
Saturday 4:40 pm – Teams are hard at work. Almost time for dinner and a break.
Saturday 3:30pm – It’s starting to rain outside, and teams are starting to code inside. A full refrigerator of drinks and a table of snacks are fueling the teams. It’s all about execution now…
Saturday 1:00 pm – Over 60 excited people gathered this morning at Sector67 and the 2nd Build Madison is now underway. People pitched 19 different potential projects to build, and around 16 attracted enough interest and are being worked on. Projects are wide ranging and involve everything from games to movies, iPods, stepper motors, cloud based services, Facebook and more. Much brainstorming and diagramming is happening and projects are starting to be defined more completely. Check out some of the teams working via the Sector67 live webcam and be sure to follow the Twitter hashtag #buildmadison. More live updates to come…
CE members Forrest Woolworth of PerBlue, Chris Meyer of Sector67, and Troy Vosseller of Sconnie will be featured on an entrepreneurship panel this Sunday, September 25th at the Wisconsin Science Festival. Also joining them will be Heather Hilleren of LocalDirt. The 4 day festival wraps up on Sunday with a day focused on entrepreneurship, and will feature the panel discussion and a screening of The Social Network.
Local filmmaker and entrepreneur John Roach will lead a panel discussion featuring Madison-area entrepreneurs, exploring the themes of startup culture, innovation and creativity. Meet UW entrepreneurs from all fields, hear about their successes and failures, and learn whatâ€™s next on the horizon for them. After the panel, stay for a free screening of “The Social Network,” the 2010 hit movie charting the rise of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.
The event will be held at the Town Center of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.
Hey all of you smart people out there! The 2nd ever Build Madison is taking place this weekend. This 24 hour community create-a-thon kicks off at 11 am on Saturday, September 24 at Sector67 in Madison. PerBlue is again one of the presenting sponsors and weâ€™re pumped.
Now what exactly is a create-a-thon? Think of it like a hackathon, but itâ€™s not limited to just programming based projects. You can “create” just about anything. Last time teams worked on everything from iPhone and web apps to microcontrollers to stop-motion videos. There is nearly $1000 is cash prizes + a bunch of other prizes too. Registration is free, and there will be food and drinks throughout the event. It’s being organized by Capital Entrepreneurs and is sponsored by Google, Sony, PerBlue, SupraNet, 94labs, Schematical, Flatt Cola and more.
If you have an idea for a cool project to work on (whether it be a website, widget, or pretty much anything really) this is your event. Bring your idea and meet others at the event to help make your idea a reality. Donâ€™t have an idea, but want to work on a fun project? Attend as a free agent and bring your skill set (whatever it may be â€“ programming, glass blowing, marketing, etc) and find an interesting project there to work on and bring to life.
CE member company Sector67 and 94labs were recently featured in the Sunday edition of the Wisconsin State Journal. Sector67 and 94labs were highlighted as entrepreneurial hubs in Madison and are “helping entrepreneurs create products and start companies more rapidly than ever before.”
CE member Michael Fenchel’s mobile art collective was also highlighted, as well as the upcoming Build Madison – a 24 hour community create-a-thon taking place at Sector67 this weekend.
Fresh Madison Market and CE member company SnowShoeFood, LLC. announce the release of the True Local mobile app for Android users. This app has been available since February for iPhone users and has had over 800 downloads. The True Local app is part of Fresh Madison Market’s commitment to supporting local businesses and is part of an integrated marketing campaign. The app can be used to find local product in the store’s inventory, learn more about the product and company, and download money-saving coupons.