ABODO Raises $1.25M in Funding

abodo-logoThe hyperlocal online rental marketplace ABODO announced today it has closed $1.25 million in Series A financing, led by American Family Ventures. Also joining the round are 4490 Ventures and Lakewest Venture Partners, and this investment is the first for the new 4490 Ventures fund. ABODO is an apartment listing service that has already launched in 6 markets, with plans to expand to 25 nationwide in the coming year. ABODO is a graduate of the 2012 gener8tor accelerator class.

More info about ABODO and their raise can be found here.

Forward Festival Startup Showcase Seeking Nominations

ftf logo smallThe Forward Festival Startup Showcase features an evening of lightning round startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies on the “big stage” at the Majestic Theatre.

Last year, the inaugural Startup Showcase brought nearly 200 entrepreneurs, business leaders, and civic leaders together to hear pitches from emerging companies in the Madison area. For this year’s event, we are looking to find ten new startups to take to the stage and tell us their story in just five minutes.


Nominate a startup to pitch in the 2014 Startup Showcase by July 25 here.

Check out the video from last year’s event here. The Startup Showcase is organized by Capital Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Madison.

Sign up for Festival updates here, and help create this year’s Forward Festive-Ale here!

gener8tor Summer 2014 Class Announced

gener8torMadison and Milwaukee based startup accelerator gener8tor has announced their Summer 2014 class of companies. This is now the fifth gener8tor class, and since launching in 2012 gener8tor’s 23 portfolio companies have gone on to raise nearly $25 million in financing and created over 150 jobs.

gener8tor selected the five companies for the current class from over 450 applicants. The 12-week program just kicked off, and the gener8tor Summer 2014 Class includes:

Beekeeper (Madison, WI) – Beekeeper Data allows companies to make smarter decisions with their vast amounts of data. Beekeeper’s collaborative software platform democratizes data analytics in the same way the Github has democratized software engineering.

HITLIST (Provo, UT) – HITLIST takes the annoyance out of advertising. The HITLIST SaaS application uses gamification techniques to provide online publishers with an embedded display ad widget to increase user site duration, user engagement, and customer targeting.

Modern Movement (Madison, WI) – Modern Movement is creating the next generation of balance training products. Beginners to elite athletes, including those on the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding teams, are using Modern Movement products to improve their balance. The new, patented designs will combine instability and 3-dimensional movement with sensor-based performance measurement and tracking.

Project Foundry (Milwaukee, WI) – Project Foundry is an intuitive, web-based platform that helps students and teachers manage and expedite authentic personalized learning. Project Foundry is the most complete workflow management system available for project-based learning.

Stock Mfg. Co. (Chicago, IL) – Stock is a vertically integrated, domestically made clothing brand that blends an innovative sales model with old school, American craftsmanship. By skipping the traditional retail middlemen that inflate the cost of clothing, and selling directly to customers, Stock is able to deliver premium, American-made garments at price points that are affordable to the average consumer.

Read the full announcement here

900dpi Launches Blog CMS

900_256The founders of 900dpi, the leading fully intuitive website content management system, recently launched an easy-to-use and implement blog CMS platform.

Using nothing more than a toolbar and straightforward editing box, users are able to add dynamic blog content including images, videos, lists, links and more. The tool provides all the functionality of more complicated blogging applications, but does so in a simple, fun-to-use package.

“When we envisioned what blogging would look like on 900dpi, we knew it had to be incredibly simple to implement while still giving designers full control over the look and feel of their designs,” – Aaron Larner, 900dpi Co-Founder

Read the full press release here.

Apply for Doyenne Group’s 5x5x5 Pitch Competition

doyenne-logo-2014The Doyenne Group is taking applications for women-led ventures to submit their businesses to compete to be awarded $5,000 in Seed Funding. Of the applicants, 5 women led businesses will be chosen and will have 5 minutes to pitch their business for a chance to win $5,000 during the Doyenne Breakfast part of the Forward Technology Festival on Wednesday, August 27, 2014.

Apply by July 9th. For more information and to apply, go here.

StudyBlue Raises $1.7M in Funding

studyblue-logoStudyBlue has completed a new funding round totaling $1.7M. The company has raised $17.1M in total funding to date from investors including Great Oaks Venture Capital and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Over the last year, the education technology startup has attracted over 1 million new users to their vast user-created study documents targeted at K-12 and college students.

More information on StudyBlue’s latest funding round is available from Xconomy here.