PerBlue CEO Featured on Tech Cocktail

PerBlue co-founder and CEO (and CE co-founder) Justin Beck was featured recently on Tech Cocktail. Tech Cocktail covers startups, entrepreneurs, and apps. The article highlights Justin’s journey from student to business owner, and includes insight on his experience building PerBlue. The article even includes a shout-out to Capital Entrepreneurs.

“The way I see my CEO role of a bootstrapped business is you do anything that the company needs. Whatever bridge is burning at the moment is what you need to put your focus in so the whole company doesn’t fold,” says Beck.

Check out the full article here.

MixRank Raises $1.5 million

Capital Entrepreneurs and Y Combinator alum Ilya Lichtenstein’s latest venture, MixRank, recently raised $1.5 million from 500 Startups, Mark Cuban, and more. MixRank is a tool for online advertisers to more effectively optimize wordings and approaches of display ads. It allows advertisers to see exactly where their competitors are buying traffic and which ad copy is performing best for them.

A Month Away From Madison

Guest post from Michael Fenchel of 7Cees. Michael and his team recently departed Madison on a 1 year journey around the country in a mobile-bus-studio.

I’ve been away from Madison about a month now on a journey across the country with 7Cees’ mobile bus studio. Even in just that short time I’ve begun to realize things about Madison’s incredible community that I often took for granted having lived there for almost all my life.

There’s an incredible wealth of intelligence in our city. We have great schools and universities, a growing start-up scene and some of the best tech minds in the country. Every other week it seems Madison pops up in some national ranking, like Forbes’ 3rd best city for Young Professionals or Men’s Health’s most educated city in the country. No big surprise.

Being known for smarts is cool, but in my opinion what’s really remarkable about Madison is that its gifted people don’t act ‘special.’ They drive the same cars (or, more likely, ride the same bikes) as anyone else and generally you’d never know that your neighbor invented the Bucky Ball or the woman next to you in line for a beer at the Union won a Pullitzer. Madison’s talent understands that real ability doesn’t lie in people knowing how good you are but rather in quietly and consistently performing. As I travel and meet many ‘high-caliber’ people, I’m finding that’s a rather rare quality.

Madison’s down-to-earth and open community is where its potential for continued growth and success lies. It’s amazing how much just the fact that the person working at the coffee shop has a quick-witted response can keep you sharp and constantly learning. Couple that consistently stimulating atmosphere with an environment of smiles and acceptance and you end up with a breeding ground for innovation.

On top of generating innovative ideas, Madison is becoming an ideal spot for getting them off the ground. Living and start-up resources are cheap especially if you know who to talk to (hint, they run this blog…) and as I’ve elaborated human resources are everywhere (get an intern program like Entrustet’s with students from UW- worked for me). Plus since it’s still a relatively small pond it’s pretty easy to get noticed.

There are of course some factors of ‘impending doom’ that could jeopardize the beautiful balance Madison has achieved. A city goes through a lot of stress as it breaks the 500k population barrier, especially during a recession and in an extremely divisive political atmosphere. I think so long as we stay focused on what we do best- performing at high levels and being open and kind, Madison will continue to thrive.

I can’t wait for November 8, 2012 when our 7cees team rumbles back in to town, bringing our experiences with us to the place that helped us get on our feet from day one both as humans and young entrepreneurs. Madison and all the people in it, we miss you. Thanks for making Madison our favorite place on Earth.

The 7 Cees

Advice For College Entrepreneurs

Justin Beck and Forrest Woolworth of PerBlue were recently featured on Young Go Getter – a blog for young entrepreneurs. Justin and Forrest offered their perspective and advice for college aged entrepreneurs, including: why it’s sometimes scary to be an entrepreneur, why you should be sharing your ideas, and more.

Read the full post here.

CE Members to be Featured at Accelerate Madison

On Thursday, December 8th, Accelerate Madison is hosting a panel discussion featuring Capital Entrepreneur members, Brad Grzesiak of Bendyworks and Scott Resnick of Hardin Design & Development. Brad and Scott, along with Bob Vanden Burgt of Yahara Software will be discussing local resources for independent software design and development. They’ll talk about industry trends and cover a few case studies from their most important clients.

Other topics for the panel:

  • Trends in mobile apps
  • Going to the cloud
  • Taking ideas from concepts to implementation

Registration is free for Accelerate Madison members, and $40 for non-members/guests. Deadline for registration is today, so be sure to reserve your spot before 5PM. If you can’t make this month’s event, tune into the program via webcast here.

For more information and to register, go here.

Re-imagining Health – With a Startup Twist

We’re looking for Wisconsinites who think differently – creatives and entrepreneurs – to engage in a fun brainstorm at Merchant on Monday, December 5 from 6-9pm. We need help envisioning a new health start-up rooted in social innovation and public-private partnership.

Questions like:

  • What does a healthy city look like?
  • Can a new health start-up make that happen?
  • How does it operate, what does it need?

The Challenge: Can we apply lessons learned from creative, agile startups in Wisconsin to building a forward-thinking public service?

The brainstorm will help inform a new project to transform 10 Wisconsin cities for health. If you’re interested, RSVP here.

AquaMost Raises $4 Million

Madison based clean tech company AquaMost has recently completed a $4 million Series B round of funding. AquaMost is developing a new type of water purification technology called photoelectrocatalytic oxidation (PECO), which was invented at UW-Madison. The round consisted of $3 million from investors lead by the Golden Angels Network, and a $1 million phase II SBIR grant.