EatStreet Raises $15M in Funding

eat-street-logoEatStreet just announced that they raised an additional 15 million dollars in funding. The series C round, which was led by VC 4490 Ventures and Lumia Capital, will make EatStreet competitive with the biggest online food ordering services on the market.

EatStreet was founded in 2010 by three UW-Madison students, and five years later they have now partnered with over 15,000 restaurants in 250 cities across the U.S. They have been able to stand out in a very crowded market by targeting restaurants in smaller cities. In addition, their service is centered around online ordering. By leaving the food delivery to the restaurants themselves, EatStreet is able to focus their attention on developing the best software solution for its users.

The latest investment round will allow EatStreet to scale their business even more, and it will also provide the capital needed to hire an additional 30 employees. You can read more about EatStreet’s latest investment round in this article on TechCrunch.

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 http://ignitemadison.org/

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, Abodo.com 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.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/business/technology/biotech/tech-and-biotech-gener-tor-grads-abodo-and-understory-raise/article_c8197fd8-3bc0-5357-9c4f-b2b4de2c00bf.html#ixzz3188XWZvc

2014 Startup Weekend Madison Recap

RGB-StartupWeekend_LogoGFEThe 2014 Startup Weekend Madison event is a wrap! Congratulations to all teams and thank you to everyone who participated. We hope you enjoyed the weekend and learned a ton. Check out some great pictures from the event here, and the full team list here (with project details).

The high quality of projects this year made it difficult for the panel of judges to select the top 3 teams. Even teams that did not make the top 3 did a phenomenal job and we wish everyone the best of luck as the move forward. The top 3 teams are:

1) Memory Bank – Give someone the gift of Love, capture a memory they can cherish for a lifetime. We enable you to record memories for your loved ones, which they can cherish when you’re away. All your memories are stored on cloud and preserved for eternity.
2) Konga – This web application will advertise open tables for restaurants on a map, using green dots to show openings and red dots to show restaurants with wait times. For the user, the application is opened and the party size is entered, a map is then populated to show where that party could be seated right away. For the restaurant, a host or a hostess can update which party sizes they can immediately accommodate.
3) Mitinerary – Group travel collaboration website. Bringing discussion, planning, and booking to one location for multiple travel parties to coordinate.

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 jami@snow.sh and order your free developer kit here.

Ignite Madison – Crafted By Hand

ignite_Madison-300x254Ignite Madison is back! Join your fellow Madisonians for Ignite Madison on Wednesday, February 12th at 8pm at the High Noon Saloon to learn about people who are using their creative talents in unique ways to make or engineer items by hand. Ten speakers will each give 5 minute presentations using slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds, covering such things as making artisanal foods, 3D printing or prototyping, screen printing, metal working, illustration, and more.

The fun event will include a DJ, as well as plenty of time to socialize and grab a drink before, after, and during the presentations. Tickets are $9 in advance and $12 at the door, with all proceeds for this event being donated to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Dane County. To learn more or purchase tickets visit http://ignitemadison.org/

Madison Sewing Studio Opens

Madison-Sewing-StudioThe Madison Sewing Studio held it’s grand opening, as well as an all day ‘Swatch-a-thon’ last weekend to great success. The events kicked off Friday night with an open house, featuring sewing demonstrations, music, and more. Saturday’s event, the Swatch-a-thon, was a sewing/creating marathon where participants used swatches donated by area stores to create a design over the course of the day.

The Madison Sewing Studio, located inside Sector67, is a community workspace that allows users access to a variety of sewing equipment, including industrial-grade machines. It’s also a great space for people interested in the textile arts to network with others in the field. In addition, the space will offer classes on several different types of sewing and sewing projects.

Co-organizers Melissa Behrens and and Maggie Welsh have been hard at work setting up the space and getting it ready for use since November. With the space now open, we are looking forward to a variety exciting sewing classes and events.

Design Like Mad Recap: A 12-hour design marathon to benefit local non-profits

abby-larner-bioAbby Larner is a UI/UX Designer, Front-end developer, and Graphic designer. She is a co-founder of 900dpi and was the organizer of Design Like Mad. She shares the full recap of the Design Like Mad event that took place earlier this month with us now.


design-like-mad-logoI live in Madison, Wisconsin, where the tech scene is booming and startups flood the streets. But for some reason, designers still lurk in the shadows. The design community in Madison is very fragmented, so four months ago I had a crazy idea. How awesome would it be to have a “hackathon” specifically for designers?

After weeks of meetings, emails, and advertising, Design Like Mad, the first 12-hour design marathon in Madison, was born. Our mission was three-fold:

1. To bring together the designers of Madison and strengthen the local design community.
2. To give students the opportunity to work with professional designers in a 12-hour “micro-mentorship.”
3. To give back to the local community and positively impact Madison by allowing designers to use their own skill sets.

The application process was relatively simple for the first time around. We had non-profits apply describing their design needs, and we had designers apply specifying their skill sets. We then created teams with a wide variety of designers based on skill-set and the needs of the non-profit. We aimed to keep people from the same company on different teams to allow designers to work with people they didn’t know.

Come December 7th, 2013, we had 60 graphic designers, 6 architects, 5 interior designers, and 14 developers representing 20 non-profit organizations assembled in the Madison Public Library ready to get going. These teams worked on projects such as logo design, business cards, letterheads, website development, marketing and promotional materials, interior design, and architecture. The work they produced over 12 hours was truly astonishing (see the final projects here). All food and necessary supplies were provided by donations from 14 local sponsors.

To see photos from the event follow us @design_like_mad.
If you have questions or would like more information about the event, please email me at abby@designlikemad.org!

“Start Me Up” Joins Digital Healthcare Conference June 10-12

dhc-logoThe inaugural “Start Me Up” Emerging Healthcare IT MeetUp Day joins the 2013 Digital Healthcare Conference this year. The Digital Healthcare Conference (June 11-12) is an exclusive gathering of healthcare leaders to network, learn and innovate. Attendees share insights, compare experiences, and hear engaging presentations from their peers. The list of speakers is available here.

Start Me Up (June 10) is for the emerging and start up Healthcare IT vendors as part of the Digital Healthcare Conference. This unique event brings entrepreneurs, investors and healthcare CIOs together in one setting. Register now to be a part of the ground-breaking event. See the full list of speakers and panelists here.

Both events will be held at the Fluno Center in Madison. Register for both events here, or register for only “Start Me Up” here.

2012 Recap: WomStreet

WomStreet wraps up an amazing first year with a bang, launching one of their most viral contests to date. The contest was a promotion for 6 pop icon DJs. In just 1 hour after launch, the contest set a submissions record with nearly 40 entries.

It was their 42nd contest, with over 30 different customers, and they now have over 11,500 active users. WomStreet is starting a new year with an angel round of financing (anticipated to close by mid-January), and is currently looking to hire a VP of sales.

Check out past WomStreet news posts here.

Hardin CEO Named To Under30CEO Top Entrepreneurs List

Hardin Design & Development CEO Jon Hardin was named one of the top 9 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in the Chicago area by Under30CEO. Under30CEO launched a nationwide campaign this summer to discover the most promising young entrepreneurs from all across the United States.

Hardin Design & Development is headquartered in Madison and builds cutting edge iOS, Android, and web applications for companies including Mercedes, Toyota, Coleman Campers and FedEx. Earlier this year, Under30CEO named Madison one of the top 12 Places to Live and Work as a Young Entrepreneur.

Bad Donkey Social Featured by InBusiness

Bad Donkey Social‘s Enriched Text Content (ETC) technology was highlighted by InBusiness recently. ETC is a mobile product that creates an alternative to bland alphanumeric text by adding relevant branded images in-line as part of text conversations. The product is currently in beta testing, with a release slated soon. More than 20 Madison area businesses have signed on to participate. For more information, check out the full article here.

Asthmapolis Featured in Wired

Asthmapolis and their “smart” asthma inhaler were recently featured in Wired. Asthmapolis helps patients and health providers better monitor the behavior of asthma utilizing a sensor that attaches to an inhaler. The sensor records the time and location of each use, which makes data collection part of the act of using the inhaler. The data can then be analyzed by patients and physicians, and it can also be aggregated to visualize larger patterns. Check out the full Wired article here.

TrustEgg Launches Public Beta

Madison based TrustEgg is launching their public beta today, and was also featured on TechCrunch. TrustEgg provides parents a way to save for a child’s future that’s ultra-simple, gets a market rate of return, and is accessible to families of all income levels. A parent can set up an account for each child in minutes and start contributing immediately, and the account can be shared with grandparents, aunts & uncles, anyone. TrustEgg is a 2011 Y-Combinator graduate, and tied for first place at the 2011 WI Early Stage Symposium’s Elevator Pitch Olympics. Read the full TechCrunch article here, and sign up for their beta here.

Re-imagining Health – With a Startup Twist

We’re looking for Wisconsinites who think differently – creatives and entrepreneurs – to engage in a fun brainstorm at Merchant on Monday, December 5 from 6-9pm. We need help envisioning a new health start-up rooted in social innovation and public-private partnership.

Questions like:

  • What does a healthy city look like?
  • Can a new health start-up make that happen?
  • How does it operate, what does it need?

The Challenge: Can we apply lessons learned from creative, agile startups in Wisconsin to building a forward-thinking public service?

The brainstorm will help inform a new project to transform 10 Wisconsin cities for health. If you’re interested, RSVP here.

94labs Upcoming Social Cause Hackathon

Milwaukee/Madison based technology incubator 94labs will sponsor a Hackathon to benefit area non-profits as a part of Marquette University’s Entrepreneurship Week.

The 94labs Social Cause Hackathon will encourage collaboration between students, entrepreneurs, designers, and developers as they work to create applications for the participating non-profits. The apps created will help the agencies raise awareness, increase donations, or improve their current web functionality. The top apps–as decided by a panel of judges–will receive cash prizes totaling $10,000.

The Hackathon is open to the public, and will begin with a kick-off ceremony Sunday, November 13th at 6:00pm in Marquette’s AMU Ballroom. Participants will develop throughout the week and present their finished apps on Thursday, November 17th to a panel of judges. Prizes will be awarded on Friday, November 18th from 2:00-4:00pm in the Weasler Auditorium. The first place winner will receive $5,000; second place will receive $3,000; third place will receive $1,000. Two additional $500 cash prizes will be awarded in special categories.

All winning applications will be donated to the non-profit organization for which they were developed. The Hackathon provides an opportunity for industry professionals and students to come together in the spirit of innovation for a worthy cause. 94labs hopes that the event will foster growth in Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial community and emphasize the positive social impact that startup companies create.

For more information, see http://www.94labs.com/2011/09/30/94labs-social-cause-hackathon/

Participating Non-profits:

  • The Salvation Army
  • Vote Simple
  • Milwaukee Public Museum
  • 7 Cees
  • H20 Score

TEDx Madtown Features CE Members

Madison’s very own TEDx event wrapped up a successful day Saturday at the Promega auditorium in Fitchburg. TEDx events are independently organized TED events.

The vision for TEDx Madtown is to bring together people who are motivated to take the ideas discussed out into the state and engender new conversations in their communities, particularly about possibilities for the future of the state’s economy and educational system.

TEDx Madtown featured CE members Justin Beck of PerBlue and Greg Tracey of Asthmapolis. The videos of the TEDx Madtown talks should be posted to the TEDx YouTube channel in the next couple of weeks. Until then, you can view part of the event by checking out this stream.