Underground Meats Open Sources USDA Process via Kickstarter

underground-meats-kickstarter-logoUnderground Meats is in the midst of a Kickstarter project to create “An open-source, educational approach to sharing the complex process of becoming a USDA-certified meat processor.”

In order to distribute on a national level, the government requires a detailed food safety and sanitary practice plan known as a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Up until now, producers have held their HACCP plans as intellectual property, but with this Kickstarter project, Underground’s goal is to create a transparent, concise HACCP model for small salami producers to use. This plan will be shared with the world and released under the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication.

The Kickstarter project runs through October 12, and has received notable attention in the food science and safety community around the country. For more information and to back the project, go here.

Sector67 Takes Top Spot at NYC Maker Faire

sector67_1-300x225Sector67 traveled to NYC for the 2013 Maker Faire to participate in the final Powerwheel Racing Series race of the season. Though they are called the world series, the participants were a motley crew of hackerspaces from mostly the midwest and east coast. Taking place over two days, the event had 3 sprint races the first day of 25 laps each, and the second day was a 75 minute endurance race, where teams must change drivers every 15 minutes and the goal is to keep the car running as long as possible.

Sector67's Fauxrarri and Lamebourghini
Sector67’s Fauxrarri and Lamebourghini Powerwheel cars in action.
Sector67 brought two cars; the Fauxrarri, which has won every race it’s been in, and a new entrant, the Lamebourghini, which was built the night before and checked onto a plane to make it to NYC. Getting Lamebourghini running was a challenge, and involved scavenging parts from bicycles and friendly other teams, but ultimately it was able to run two races. Fauxrarri, driven primarily by Karen Corbeill, won every race handily.

In the end, good fun was had by all.

Thanks to Sector67’s Bob Baddeley for recapping the event.

2013 Wisconsin Science Festival

wisconsin-science-festival-2013-logoThe Third Annual Wisconsin Science Festival kicks off this week Thursday, September 26 and runs through Sunday, September 29.

The festival offers a robust mix of interesting people, music, art, food, explosions and hands-on demonstrations that bring the wonders of science to life. The festival’s 100+ events are primarily based on the UW-Madison campus, but events will also take place in 21 other cities across the state. The goal of the festival is to inspire, educate and develop global citizens by raising awareness and understanding of science. It is produced by UW–Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Morgridge Institute for Research, with assistance from a number of other nonprofit organizations.

For more information and the event list, go here.

Ignite Madison

ignite_Madison-300x254Join your fellow Madisonians for Ignite Madison on September 25th at 8pm at the High Noon Saloon to learn about and celebrate unique ways to stay active in Wisconsin. Ten speakers will each give 5 minute presentations using slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds, covering activities like log rolling, bike polo, juggling, ultra running and more.

The night will include DJ Vilas Park Sniper, plenty of time to socialize and grab a drink, and in general a great night. All proceeds go to the UW Organ & Tissue Donation Education Fund ($10 tickets). To learn more or purchase tickets visit www.ignitemadison.org

Venture Investors Raises $80M Fund

ventureinvestorsMadison based Venture Investors has completed fundraising for their fifth fund, which will target 12-15 early stage life science and technology companies over the next 3-5 years. The VC’s latest fund totals $80 million and will primarily target companies in the Midwest. Venture Investors was established in 1982 with its first four funds totaling $177.6M. They have invested in 68 companies to date, including Promega, Third Wave Technologies, and TomoTherapy. Read more about their latest fund here.

DineInTime, Entrepreneurs Featured at Annual Chamber Dinner

innovation-has-a-locationThe 61st Annual Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner attracted over 1,000 business leaders for the largest annual dinner to date. The event focused on three core ideas: “Innovative”, “Entrepreneurial”, and “Identifiable” and threading them all together for how they tie to Madison. Highlighting the important role entrepreneurs and groups like Capital Entrepreneurs play in the ecosystem and in driving future economic growth was a common theme throughout the evening.

20130912_200935DineInTime CEO Leora Greenburg spoke about her experience as a startup founder. She was joined by American Family Insurance CEO Jack Salzwedel and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank as the 3 keynote speakers for the evening. Author and Inc.com columnist Debra Kaye was the Emcee of the evening, along with Chamber President Zach Brandon.

Healthfinch Takes Top Spot in Open App Challenge

healthfinch-logoHealthfinch won the grand prize in the nationwide Open App Challenge hosted by Allscripts. Nearly 100 developers submitted applications to “Start a Revolution” by creating innovative applications that integrate directly with Allscripts Open Electronic Health Records (EHR) software.

Healthfinch’s mission is to help increase quality and productivity by reducing non-reimbursable physician time and wasted staff time. The winning Healthfinch Refillwizard application is on its way to achieving this mission by providing a solution that automates prescription renewal requests. Check out the press release here and the Wisconsin State Journal article here.

AquaMost Featured in Wisconsin State Journal

aquamost_logoAquaMost‘s CEO Todd Asmuth was featured in the Wisconsin State Journal Executive Q&A. The cleantech company uses a process called photoelectrocatalysis to purify water without the addition of chemicals. AquaMost has focused primarily on applications of their technology in the oil fracking industry, and has an industry-leading solution that could have a significant impact on the rapidly growing industry.

AquaMost has raised $5M, and is now shipping production systems. Check out the full Wisconsin State Journal article here.

Abodo Raises $325k

abodo-logoApartment listing service Abodo.com completed its seed funding round of $325,000 recently, led primarily by Wisconsin based angel investors. Abodo has helped more than 40,000 Madison renters find new apartments in the last 12 months, and plans to continue expansion across the Midwest. Abodo employs 5 full-time people and is a graduate of the Winter 2013 gener8tor class. Read more here.