Build Madison Recap

On September 22nd,  Capital Entrepreneurs held the third and most successful Build Madison event to date. Over 70 participants descended on Sector67 to see what they could create in just 24 hours.  Build Madison is about bringing the local community together and leveraging individual skills to create something new. It is amazing to see people from such varied backgrounds come together to create products, solve problems, and just have fun. Projects spanned several areas such as hardware, software, and design. On Sunday morning,  teams presented their projects and judges awarded various prizes provided by our genourous sponsors. This year we awarded over $800 in cash prizes to some of the best projects.

We would like to thank our sponsors whose generosity allows us to provide food, prizes, and hold Build Madison as a free event. We couldn’t have done it without them:

Here are your winners of the Fall 2012 Build Madison:

  • Best in Show – Classr
  • Most Innovative – Audio/Video Sync
  • Most Functional/Polished – Classr
  • Biggest Potential Impact – PIGLET
  • Most Beneficial to Madison Community – CityCiter
  • People’s Choice – PIGLET
  • Sony Creative – Workout Timer, Passive Grille Shutters
  • American Family Insurance – Hacker Care
  • SupraNet – CityCiter, ScroogeBuster
Thank you to everyone who came out and helped make Build Madison such a wonderful event. Check out the live blog from the event here, and download the project list here. We hope to see you all next year!


  • Prizes: Best in Show ($250), Most Functional/Polished ($100) is a peer-to-peer network that connects experts in any given topic with experts-in-training, for short educational chat sessions using video or screensharing.


  • Prizes: Most Beneficial to Madison Community ($100), Supranet ( Hosting for one year)
  • Team: Eve Galanter, Chris Keller
  • URL:

City Citer is a multi-device platform that allows everyday citizens to submit information about quality of life issues and problems they feel a municipality can address. Using a smartphone web app, a native Android app, or their laptop, desktop computer or tablet, you and your neighbors can send images and descriptions of these issues and opportunities, which can be rated and given priority over other issues.


Scrooge Buster is a shared Christmas wish list.  Users can create a list, share with friends, and claim items on friends’ lists.  This helps prevent overlaps in gift giving.  Scrooge Buster also links to amazon to help users find the perfect gift item for friends and family!


  • Prizes: Biggest Potential Impact ($100), People’s Choice ($100)
  • Team: Brendan O’Conner

PIGLET provides a personal, wearable computer that
searches for open WiFi signals and connects; having gained a
connection to the Internet, it then provides a strong, encrypted
tunnel for the user’s traffic, and gives the user a secure WiFi
hotspot to allow all the user’s devices to utilize strong privacy

Workout Timer

  • Prizes: Sony Creative ( Video Editing Software)
  • Team: Shannon Younger, Bob Baddelly

This is an application that works via bluetooth to communicate with a portable scoreboard. It enables easy interval workouts with a visual countdown. Users can manipulate the amount of time for the intervals as well as the number of intervals. It also has a buzzer component that can be turned on or off.

Pocket Bartender

  • Team: Adam Eggum, Justin Smith, Ian Powell, Alex Smith, Matthew From, Yuen Lye Yeap

We worked on a mobile application for the ‘Pocket Bartender’.
It will allow you to see what drinks you can make with the alcohols you have and, also it will allow you to see what other types of drinks you would be able to make if you’re willing to buy one, two, or three more drinks.
Many more features are planned in the future.

3D ASCII Renderer

  • Team: Ryan Zoerb, Andrew Zoerb


Affordable group health coverage for self-employed individuals.


  • Team: Jacob Hanshaw

What I developed at Build Madison, was a game app called Mental which is a new take on the side scrolling genre. The idea of the game is that the player is an individual lost in the world of his own mind as his or her mental world begins to unravel. The player progresses through this puzzle game by popping inter-dimensional objects from each room (which takes up the entire iPhone screen) and using them in a different room.

The game mechanic has been developed and programmed for iOS devices, so moving forward, I’ll be working on level design, plot, and finding an artist. I made this game to develop my skills, but I believe it has market potential. I’m thinking about having a kickstarter to either make the code open source or free on the app store.

Hill Bomber Longboarding

HillBomber is an app for Longboarders that turns the entire globe into a database of trails to hit. On Android and iPhone, it allows anyone to create and upload a trail and mark its difficulty to share with anyone else who uses the app. It provides a map interface that determines your location and presents trails that are nearby.

Audio Video Synchronization Offset Measurement Devise

  • Prizes: Most Innovative ($100)
  • Team: Dennis Adams

Home theater enthusiasts invest in expensive displays and audio systems because they know that great picture and sound contribute to the enjoyment of movies. However, they may not realize that their system might not be presenting the picture and sound precisely synchronized as it was intended. Small sync errors (also known as “lip sync” errors) reduce immersion in the movie, and large sync errors make viewing annoying and tedious. Unfortunately, in most cases it is the picture that is late (due to extra processing in modern flat panel) and this is the opposite of how it happens in nature so we’re particularly sensitive to it. While you can buy calibration discs and sound pressure level meters to tune your AV system, I couldn’t find any consumer device to measure the AV sync, so I designed and built one at Build Madison. The prototype uses an Arduino microcontroller with light and sound sensors added. When you play a special file, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc containing synchronized flashes and beeps it measures and displays the offset between them. You can use this value to adjust your AV receiver to add a delay to the audio to match the video (note that HDMI version 1.3 includes a Lip Sync feature that allows a display to report its latency so the receiver can compensate but your display and receiver must both have this feature to use it, and so many people have to adjust this setting in their receiver manually, or might want to know if the feature is working correctly). This technology could be built into an SPL meter and sold as part of a calibration kit.

Revolution Kitchen

A bike food cart serving magical coffee and food in Houghton, MI.


OpenWire is a person-to-vendor SMS and email client that allows you to get the information you want when you want it. With OpenWire, you can text or email questions directly to a delegate at the venue of your choice and receive a reply ASAP. Get your info on the Wire!

Expandable Shoes

  • Team: Micah Binns

With the help of others I worked on my creative shoe project. With the help of multiple people, I designed a child’s shoe that can expand in length backwards. To help parents save money, from being forced to buy shoes, at inconvenient financial times for them.

Defrag Conference – Day 1 Recap

Defrag Conference 2010 is taking place this week in Denver, CO and Capital Entrepreneurs is attending.  The Kaufmann Foundation sponsored 25 young entrepreneurs to come to the conference and four Capital Entrepreneurs members were lucky recipients: Steve Faulkner of Real Time Txts, Dan Gordon and Mike Fenchel of Momenta Technologies, and Heidi Allstop of Student SPILL.

Here are some highlights of day 1:

  • Alex Wright, Director of UX for the New York Times, gave a fantastic opening talk about the history of social networks.  Take away message: Social networks have been around forever, the medium has just changed, not the behavior or the motivation.
  • Blekko is here demoing their new search engine.  All of us were skeptical, but after the CEO gave us a personal demo we were singing a different tune.  If the use of slashtags really takes off, Blekko could be a much better way to search the web.  Google is getting gamed by content farms and spammers and there has to be a solution.  Blekko may be it.
  • Vivek Wadhwa literally ranted and raved for 45 minutes on the sad state of innovation in the US and most other countries.  The talk was very polarizing and there were mixed reactions from the crowd.  He did applaud the Startup Chile program which Capital Entrepreneurs members Nate Lustig and Jesse Davis of Entrustet just started this week!
  • Jeff Ma, the inspiration for the movie “21”, gave the final keynote.  Great talk, great story.  Black jack is completely data driven so the information was very appropriate.  Also, he did not get beat up like in the movie… or so he claims.

Overall, the conference has been awesome so far.  We have all met some amazing people and are thrilled that Kaufmann allowed us to attend.  We will be posting tomorrow to recap Day 2.

Follow Up: Sector 67 Grand Opening

Last Friday was the grand opening of the Sector 67 hacker space in Madison.  There were many members of Capital Entrepreneurs in attendance.  Personally, I thought the event was fantastic. Great to see so many people out supporting this awesome new space in Madison. Check out their website for more information on upcoming events, otherwise see below for some embedded photos and video from the grand opening.

15 gallons of Spotted Cow and 3.5 gallons of root beer consumed. . . #S67less than a minute ago via web