What “Churn” Does For a Community

Guest post by Justin Beck. Justin is the co-founder and CEO of PerBlue, a Madison based mobile and social gaming company.

What does Silicon Valley have a lot of? Churn. Entrepreneurs found a company then move on to work at another company as a VP or create another company. Then they move on to be an angel investor to other companies. While churn can be particularly annoying for an employer, it is ultimately good for the community as a whole. When people get too settled or stagnant, they become unproductive and there is no cross pollination of ideas or proactive growing.

The best form of success for an entrepreneur is to create churn. We need to inspire passion for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs need to instill their own lessons learned along the way to early stage employees. The ability to look past the P&L statements and the sunk costs of losing an employee in order to inspire other entrepreneurs will allow us to create more churn within the community and drive real value into Madison.

To find out more about churn and why it’s important, read Justin’s full post on the topic here.

Murfie.com Co-Founder Featured in WI State Journal

Murfie.com co-founder and CE member Matt Younkle was recently featured in the Executive Q&A section of the Wisconsin State Journal. Murfie is the latest venture from the serial entrepreneur, which turns your physical CDs into digital bits to be traded or sold online. Murfie currently has over 70,000 CDs stored that its members have sent in, and receives more than 1,000 new discs each day. They are also in the process of raising $1.25 million in funding, which is on track to be fully committed by the end of the year.

“There’s terrific energy around entrepreneurs and startups in Madison and it’s only getting stronger.” – Matt Younkle

Check out the full Q&A here.

94labs Upcoming Social Cause Hackathon

Milwaukee/Madison based technology incubator 94labs will sponsor a Hackathon to benefit area non-profits as a part of Marquette University’s Entrepreneurship Week.

The 94labs Social Cause Hackathon will encourage collaboration between students, entrepreneurs, designers, and developers as they work to create applications for the participating non-profits. The apps created will help the agencies raise awareness, increase donations, or improve their current web functionality. The top apps–as decided by a panel of judges–will receive cash prizes totaling $10,000.

The Hackathon is open to the public, and will begin with a kick-off ceremony Sunday, November 13th at 6:00pm in Marquette’s AMU Ballroom. Participants will develop throughout the week and present their finished apps on Thursday, November 17th to a panel of judges. Prizes will be awarded on Friday, November 18th from 2:00-4:00pm in the Weasler Auditorium. The first place winner will receive $5,000; second place will receive $3,000; third place will receive $1,000. Two additional $500 cash prizes will be awarded in special categories.

All winning applications will be donated to the non-profit organization for which they were developed. The Hackathon provides an opportunity for industry professionals and students to come together in the spirit of innovation for a worthy cause. 94labs hopes that the event will foster growth in Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial community and emphasize the positive social impact that startup companies create.

For more information, see http://www.94labs.com/2011/09/30/94labs-social-cause-hackathon/

Participating Non-profits:

  • The Salvation Army
  • Vote Simple
  • Milwaukee Public Museum
  • 7 Cees
  • H20 Score

Style Shuffler Wins Early Stage Symposium Elevator Pitch Olympics

CE member company Style Shuffler tied for the top spot at the Elevator Pitch Olympics held at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium. Style Shuffler gives you personalized clothing suggestions based on your style. The company was initially started as Brainsy at the first BuildMadison earlier this year where it took home first place. They were also accepted into the 94labs incubator program over the summer.

Madison based TrustEgg also tied for first place at the Elevator Pitch Olympics. TrustEgg makes it easy for anyone to put money into a trust for a child. They were also accepted into Y Combinator last Winter.

Read more about the Elevator Pitch Olympics here.