2016 Forward Festival Startup Showcase

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The fourth annual Forward Festival Startup Showcase is almost here! The Startup Showcase features an evening of startup pitches from 5 of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies, as well as update pitches from 20 companies that presented in prior years. The Startup Showcase is a high energy stage that celebrates and showcases what’s next (and what is going on now) in Madison’s startup ecosystem.

The Startup Showcase will kick off at 4 pm on Tuesday, August 23rd at the Monona Terrace, and is part of Pitch Night. Pitch Night includes the Startup Showcase (4pm), neXXpo (5pm), and Pressure Chamber (7pm) plus complimentary appetizers and beverages!

Pitch Night is included with Forward Technology Conference registrations and the Forward Pass. You can also purchase Pitch Night only tickets for $30 here.

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Our line up of new presenters for the 2016 Startup Showcase:

  • The Rabble – The Rabble started with a simple idea: libraries deserve software that reflects their values. MUSICat is a fully open sourced platform designed by The Rabble with libraries to empower them to share local music and support creative communities.
  • Export Abroad – Export Abroad is a global intelligence software and emerging markets advisory company. The core mission is to break down the barriers of international expansion and provide companies with the tools to be successful in any market.
  • EnsoData – EnsoData is creating machine intelligent software to unlock the vast wealth of clinical expertise lying dormant in archived data. Their first product automates sleep data analysis for sleep clinics.
  • Understory – Understory detects rain, hail, wind and other weather events directly at the earth’s surface, where the risk to life and property is greatest. The ground-truth-based detection is a marked enhancement in both resolution and fidelity, providing real time datasets and graphical views of the movement and intensity of weather events, which leads to better insight and early detection of risks.
  • The BikeMobile – The BikeMobile is a fully stocked mobile bicycle repair van that provides on-site service to individuals at home, or in a group setting, in Madison, WI.

The Forward Festival Startup Showcase is presented by Capital Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Madison.

Startup Showcase and Pressure Chamber Seeking Nominations

The 3rd annual Forward Festival Startup Showcase returns this year and will be bigger and better than ever! This year, the Startup Showcase will join forces with the Pressure Chamber competition for a Startup Pitch Night evening following the Forward Technology Conference on August 25, 2015. The density created by having all of these popular events together will create a truly unique experience, bringing hundreds of entrepreneurs, business, civic and education leaders together in celebration of all of the innovation happening in greater Madison.

Nominate a startup to pitch in the 2015 Startup Showcase or Pressure Chamber event by July 7 here.

startup-showcase-logoAbout Startup Showcase: The Forward Festival Startup Showcase features an evening of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies. Five to seven startups will be selected to give a 5- minute “demo day” style pitch. In addition, several Startup Showcase alumni from past years will take part in a lightning round of 1-minute update pitches. The Startup Showcase is a high energy stage that celebrates and showcases what’s next in Madison’s startup ecosystem. Checkout highlights from last year’s event here.

pressure-chamber-logoAbout Pressure Chamber: Whether your company is currently raising or planning to raise investment capital in the future, Pressure Chamber is a valuable platform to tell your story and make new connections across the country. A select number of companies will be chosen to pitch in front of a panel of investors, business executives and a live audience at the Pressure Chamber event. In addition to receiving the coveted golden suitcase and other prizes, the winning company receives an all-expenses paid spot on the Chamber’s exclusive Madison-area startup delegation to Palo Alto in October for meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms.

The Startup Showcase is presented by Capital Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Madison, and the Pressure Chamber is presented by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce and Michael Best & Friedrich. Startup Pitch Night is part of the 2015 Forward Festival, which runs August 20-27, 2015.

2013 FTF: Madison Startup Showcase

FTF-logoThe 2013 Forward Technology Festival runs from August 15-24, and encompasses 10 days of tech and entrepreneurship focused events throughout Madison. For a full event list and more information, go here.

Accelerate Madison and Capital Entrepreneurs present a lightning round of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies on the “big stage” at the Majestic Theatre. The Madison Startup Showcase, part of the Wisconsin Startup Night series, will take place Monday, August 19 with networking beginning at 5pm, and presentations starting at 6pm. Hear about the interesting and innovate things Madison startups are working on, with short 5 minute presentations by each company.

Presenting companies include: PerBlue, Murfie, Drifty Co, EatStreet, Asthmapolis, HealthFinch, SnowShoe, MobileIgniter, Quintessence Bioscience, Networked Insights, C-Motive Technologies, OpenHomes, StudyBlue, and Ronin Studios.

Registration is FREE through August 14, and $10 after that. Register to attend here.

Tonight: Wisconsin Startup Night with TechStars

techstars-logo-smallWisconsin Startup Night: TechStars in Madison is happening tonight (March 4) at the Monona Terrace starting at 5pm. The event is co-organized by Accelerate Madison, Capital Entrepreneurs, and Foley & Lardner.

Presenters include Monty Schmidt, founder of Madison’s Sonic Foundry; Sam Yagan, co-founder of OkCupid, CEO of match.com and co-founder of Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago); and Matt Younkle & Preston Austin, co-founders of Murfie, serial entrepreneurs and TechStars alumni. The evening will include networking, a full explanation of TechStars Chicago, and a call for new businesses to apply to the TechStars Midwest accelerator.

To register, go here.

Wisconsin Startup Night: TechStars in Madison

techstars-logo-smallNew tech businesses are thriving in Wisconsin – and your odds just got even better! Could your idea become the next Sonic Foundry or match.com? On Monday evening, March 4 at Monona Terrace, join Accelerate Madison, Foley & Lardner, LLP and Capital Entrepreneurs in welcoming TechStars Chicago to Madison.

TechStars Chicago’s co-founders are prominent entrepreneurs Troy Henikoff and Sam Yagan, co-founder of OkCupid and now CEO of match.com. TechStars, billed as “the world’s #1 business accelerator,” is a 12-week bootcamp program designed to provide promising startups with seed capital, intensive mentoring, infrastructure, and a chance to pitch angels and VCs. TechStars has a history of successful programs in Boston, New York, Boulder, Seattle and San Antonio, and now they have expanded to the Midwest through a combination with Chicago’s Excelerate Labs. This is an exciting opportunity to learn from and with some of the smartest and best-connected people in the high-tech industry.

Presenters include Monty Schmidt, founder of Madison’s Sonic Foundry; Sam Yagan, co-founder of OkCupid, CEO of match.com and co-founder of Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago); and Matt Younkle & Preston Austin, co-founders of Murfie, serial entrepreneurs and TechStars alumni. The evening will include networking, a full explanation of TechStars Chicago, and a call for new businesses to apply to this excellent Midwest accelerator.

Register by February 25 and attendance is free!

Who should attend

  • Founders of startup tech businesses
  • Entrepreneurs with new tech concepts
  • Managers & professionals working in the digital sector
  • Anyone involved with business growth in southern Wisconsin

Event details
Location: Monona Terrace, Madison
Time: Monday, March 4, 5-8 p.m.
        5:00-6:30: networking, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar
        6:30-8:00: program & Q&A
Cost: FREE through 2/25, $10 after 2/25 or at the door

Madison Startup Scene Featured in Fast Company

Madison was recently highlighted as a “vibrant tech hub” in Fast Company. Madison has seen significant growth in the tech space, and is now home to many established tech companies as well as a burgeoning tech startup community. The article highlights the first tech startup wave to hit Madison almost 20 years ago and its impact today.

The scene has continued to grow, and has seen significant growth in the past 3 years in particular. Capital Entrepreneurs has emerged as a cornerstone community for the latest wave of young tech companies, and now has over 175 member entrepreneurs representing well over 100 startup companies in Madison. Check out last year’s Madison Startup Scene recap here, and the full Fast Company article here.

Madison Entrepreneurs Present at Accelerate Madison

Last week Capital Entrepreneurs member Networked Insights led a group of entrepreneurs at an Accelerate Madison event called Entrepreneurs vs. Economy. The presenters included Planet Propaganda founder John Besmer, StudyBlue CEO Becky Splitt, Networked Insights VP Brian Johnson and Netconcepts (now Covario) founder Stephan Spencer.

These entrepreneurial presentations are available for free online, so check them out to learn more about entrepreneurship from some great Madison companies.