Make Music Madison is This Saturday!

Make-Music-Madison-Blog3Make Music Madison, an annual day-long citywide, free, outdoor music festival held on the Summer Solstice, is this Saturday, June 21. Back for its second year, the festival will include 380 free public concerts across the city. Powered by Madison start-up Solstice, Make Music Madison will include all types of genres, ethnicities, and styles of music, both amateur and professional musicians, and will occur in various public and private spaces throughout the city.


Fishidy Raises $1.5M in Funding

fishidy_LOGO_v1Fishidy, an online map-based fishing social network, is planning its next moves after raising $1.5 million in its latest round of funding.

Formed in 2011, Fishidy launched its app in early 2013 and currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. The app supplies users with map-based fishing tips, as well as a fishing social network.

Per CEO Brian Jensen, the new funds will help Fishidy to expand membership as well as add more features and revenue channels.

Additional info on Fishidy’s latest funding here.


Forkforce Raises $250k in Funding

forkforceForkforce, a job matchup service for the restaurant industry who just opened shop online in March, has already closed on $250,000 from investors. This recent round of funding is in addition to an initial $100,000 the company has received since it was established last September by Mike Wagner.

Currently, the most prominent eateries on Forkforce’s website are those of the Food Fight Restaurant Group including places like Monty’s Blue Plate Diner and Eldorado Grill.

More info on Forkforce and other Madison area companies receiving recent funding here.

Ignite Madison – All Things Food

ignite_Madison-300x254Ignite Madison is back! Join your fellow Madisonians for Ignite Madison on Wednesday, May 21st at 8pm at the High Noon Saloon to learn about people who love all things food. Ten speakers will each give 5 minute presentations using slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds, covering such things as cooking, fermentation, gardening, and food sustainability.

The fun event will include plenty of time to socialize and grab a drink before, after, and during the presentations. Tickets are $9 in advance and $14 at the door, with all proceeds for this event being donated to the Community Action Coalition, which provides many services in south central Wisconsin including several programs targeting food security. To learn more or purchase tickets visit

OnRamp Wisconsin – Application Deadline May 19th

onramp-logoThe second annual OnRamp Wisconsin event will be held May 30th from 11am to 5pm at Lambeau Field. A collaboration between the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, gener8tor, and Angels on the Water, OnRamp Wisconsin will give young companies an opportunity to pitch their products and services to established corporations.

This event is intended to help startups in the critical effort to find sales channels and to provide a way for established companies to engage with the entrepreneurial community. Participating Corporations include Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, American Family Insurance, Assurant Health, and more to be announced soon.

The application deadline is May 19th, so be sure to apply here now! 

Madworks at Campus Accelerator Launches

logo-madworks-campusMadworks Coworking at UW Campus is a seed accelerator program which provides mentoring, training and financing of up to $10,000 to early stage companies.  Successful applicants will spend the summer further refining and developing their business plans on the road to commercial success. The program seeks six companies who will be trained using lean start-up principles.

For more information on Madworks at Campus, or to apply for the program, click here.

Understory Raises nearly $2M in Funding

logo-siteUnderstory, a company that has developed a more real-time and thorough system for collecting weather data that, has just raised $1.9 million in funding.

Formerly known as Subsidence, the company builds weather-sensing grids comprised of small weather stations that can be installed on cellular towers or billboards, every mile or two within a metropolitan area. This allows a very up-to-date picture of weather moving across the city. An alum of the gener8tor program in Madison, Understory was accepted into the Bolt accelerator program in Boston last August.

More on Understory’s funding here.


gener8tor Grad Abodo Raises over 900k in Funding

abodo-logoAbodo, a Madison company that lists apartments for rent in order to help people find a place to live, has just raised over $900,000 of funding.  A graduate of the gener8tor program, currently has over 80,000 listings in cities like Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and Raleigh, NC, with more cities to come in the near future. An app that would allow potential renters to ‘walk-around’ their desired neighborhoods and scope out rentals is in the works as well.

More info on Abodo’s funding here.

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EatStreet Closes $6M Series B Funding Round

eat-street-logoMadison-based online restaurant ordering platform EatStreet has just raised $6 million in Series B funding. The funding will help the company to increase its staff, as well as help EatStreet to reach its goal of expanding to more than 15,000 restaurants in 150 cities by the end of the year. In addition to its Web and mobile ordering platform, EatStreet builds custom websites, mobile apps, and Facebook ordering features for restaurants.

Founded in 2010 by UW graduates Matt Howard, Alex Wyler and Eric Martell, EatStreet’s services initially started in Madison, but have now expanded to include 75 cities across the country. In the last three months alone, EatStreet has signed up 3,000 new eateries, and now services approximately 5,500 restaurants.

More details on this story can be found here and here.

Flux Mopeds to Launch April 4

fluxFlux Mopeds will be officially launching their product, the 100% electric EM1 moped on April 4. The Flux EM1 is a fully electric vehicle that can reach up to 30 mph and drive up to 25 miles on a single charge. Flux Mopeds’ Grand Opening and Open House will take place at their dealership, located at 710 Williamson St, Madison, WI, 53703, on April 4 from 3-6pm.  The event will kick off with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3pm, and an Open House continuing throughout the weekend.

You can RSVP to attend the Grand Opening event here.

CEO and Co-Founder of Nordic to Keynote gener8tor Launch Day

gener8torMark Bakken, a nationally recognized healthcare IT expert, entrepreneur, and CEO of Nordic Consulting will be the keynote speaker at gener8tor’s Launch Day event on April 3. An experienced IT executive and seasoned entrepreneur with more than 20 years of IT consulting experience, Bakken will speak from his entrepreneurial experiences at the event.

The gener8tor Launch Day event will feature five start-up companies who have completed gener8tor’s Madison Winter 2014 accelerator program pitching their businesses to potential investors. Featured companies include Edison DC Systems, Review Trackers, Driblet Labs, Men’s Style Lab and LivBlends. The event will take place on April 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the Barrymore Theatre.


Drifty Raises $1M; Featured on TechCrunch

drifty-logoDrifty, the makers of tools for mobile developers building websites and apps, has just announced closing on $1M in seed funding from Arthur Ventures.  This funding will be utilized to help the company grow its team and to continue it’s development on their Ionic software framework.

Drifty, founded in 2012 by Ben Sperry (CEO) and Max Lynch (CTO), helps mobile developers build apps and websites with a suite of tools, including Ionic, Codiqa, and Jetstrap. Ionic is the newest of these tools, and it works by letting developers build apps using web technologies like HTML, CSS and AngularJS.

Full TechCrunch article on Drifty’s funding can be found here.


4490 Ventures Fund Launches

SWIB-WARFlogoWisconsin’s new $30 million venture capital fund, 4490 Ventures, has officially launched, with San Francisco Bay Area VC investor Greg Robinson to lead the fund. 4490 Ventures, which focuses on information technology startups, was announced nearly a year ago by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). With Robinson on board, the fund is now officially able to begin making investments.

Robinson was previously one of two partners at Peninsula Ventures, an early-stage VC firm in California. As the leader of the 4490 Venture fund, Robinson will, according to a press release, “identify investment themes, source new investment opportunities, serve on boards of new investments he leads, and act as a mentor and advisor to young start-up companies”.

More on 4490 Ventures from Xconomy here and Madison Startups here.

CE Members Named to 2014 Top 40 Under 40 List

40under40This year, four Capital Entrepreneurs members were named to the InBusiness 40 Under 40 list for 2014. The 40 Under 40 list honors emerging business stars under 40 years of age in the greater Madison area.

Brad Grzesiak, co-founder and CEO of Bendyworks. Grzesiak is also very involved in Madison’s tech scene as an early member of Capital Entrepreneurs and a chair of Madisonium, a group working to raise Madison’s visibility as a tech/Internet hub. Recently, Grzesiak was named to the city of Madison’s Digital Technology Committee.

Max Lynch, founder and CTO of Drifty Co.  Lynch looks to reinvest in young tech entrepreneurs to “build software companies focused on profitability and sustainability.” He aims to have Drifty Co. “impact the world” and “put Madison on the map for Internet companies like Mailchimp and 37signals.”

Daniel Neely, founder and CEO of Networked Insights.  Neely became CEO of Networked Insights at the age of 29 and has since grown the company to over 150 employees. He has also earned a board position with UW Business School’s Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship program.

Ben Raboine, CTO of Optimal Media Group. Raboine founded his first company at the age of 21 and is currently an equal partner in six LLC enterprises: Raboine Web Matrix, Optimal Media Group, Custom Offsets, Vistrata Health, Mysteria Games, and SeeMeNow. Raboine hopes to one day become an angel investor to help more fellow Madison and Wisconsin entrepreneurs.

Wellbe is a Finalist in Two Nationwide Contests

wellbe-logo_3Wellbe, a Madison health IT startup, is a top contender in two nationwide contests, each of which carries a grand prize of up to $100,000.

Wellbe, founded in 2008 by James Dias, has developed Guided CarePaths, a series of online tools used to help prepare patients for surgery and keep them on track for recovery. Wellbe’s program is currently being implemented by four hospitals, including UW Hospital, and has helped over 5,000 patients.

In an effort to get a sense of what the health care industry thought of CarePaths, Dias applied to the competitions, and was pleasantly surprised when Wellbe was named a finalist in both the Henry Ford Innovation Institute HealthTech Challenge and the Patient Education App Challenge by Box, Dignity Health and The Social + Capital Partnership.

Read more about Wellbe’s competition success here.

Healthcare App Branch2 Launched by Blue Tree Network Co-Founder

b2-large-logo-220x146Branch2, a new company working to create software that will link various parts of the healthcare system, has just been recently launched by Blue Tree Network Co-Founder Reggie Luedtke. His second healthcare IT startup, Leudtke hopes to use Branch2 to convince healthcare providers to share more data, and break down bureaucratic divisions across the industry. Using software to connect different entities within the healthcare system will make it easier for hospitals, clinics, and health insurance companies to share data, while still adhering to regulations like HIPAA.

Branch2 currently has 2 full-time and 14 part-time staff and plans to increase hiring after securing investment. Branch2 is also partnering with Madison software companies MIOsoft and Hardin Design & Development to perform application development and data analysis.

More information on Branch2 here.


Health IT Startup Incubater 100health Launches

100health-220x91100health, a new company housed in the current Madison co-working space 100state, is working to put Madison on the map as a leading hub for healthcare and healthtech startups. Part think tank and part startup incubator, 100health will work with healthcare providers, insurers, and other organizations to try to identify problems that could be solved using technology tools.  100health will then help to create startups that will build software to address these problems.  The startups will receive office space at 100state, as well as some funds to cover operating costs, and connections to a network of business mentors and investors.

Founded by former Epic employees Niko Skievaski, James Lloyd, and Luke Bonney, 100health’s portfolio contains such companies as Patient Proxy, Inc.Well, and ICD-10 Illustrated. In addition, they are aiming to hire about five to ten staff and recruit about 100 entrepreneurs by the end of the year.

More in-depth information on 100health’s launch here.


Bendyworks Co-Founder Featured in Wisconsin State Journal

bendyBrad Grzesiak, co-founder and CEO of Bendyworks, was featured in an article in the Wisconsin State Journal last Sunday. Grzesiak, who originally worked designing products to be launched into space, is now working to create software programs designed to meet companies specific needs through Bendyworks, which he co-founded in 2009.

Grzesiak is also very involved in Madison’s tech scene as an early member of Capital Entrepreneurs and a chair of Madisonium, a group working to raise Madison’s visibility as a tech/Internet hub. And recently, Grzesiak was named to the city of Madison’s Digital Technology Committee. Full story, including a Q&A segment with Grzesiak here.


A Night with reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian

reddit-event-logoReddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian will be featured at an upcoming Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecture Series event on Thursday, February 20th, starting at 7:30 pm. Alexis is currently on a tour for his latest book, Without Their Permission, which aims to promote Internet startups and entrepreneurial environment among students and the community. The event will also feature UW-Madison alumnus Nilay Patel, who is currently the managing editor of the Verge. This event is free and open to the public, however, seats are first come first serve. There will also be a book signing and reception after the event. More info about the event can be found here.

SnowShoe – New Website Design and Demo

snowshoe-logoSnowShoe has just launched a newly designed website and demo, and they need help from Madison’s developer and hacker community! SnowShoe wants you to go to their site and order a free developer kit. Once you receive the kit, SnowShoe would like to schedule a Google Hangout with you as your build your first test application on their site, which should take no longer than 30 minutes. In return, they will send you some free SnowShoe swag and an Amazon gift card. If interested in helping SnowShoe please contact Jami at and order your free developer kit here.