Preston Austin, Kelly Hiser, and Matt Wheeler co-founded Rabble in August 2014, but our history begins nearly a year earlier. Beginning in the fall of 2013, Preston and Kelly worked with Murfie and the Madison Public Library to create the Yahara Music Library, an online collection of local music freely available the library’s cardholders. We founded Rabble to make it possible for all libraries to host collections like YaharaMusic.org.
In the fall, we began developing our MUSICat software, which expands the capacity of Yahara’s software. We’re working out of Horizon, a location that allows us to continue to consult with the folks at Murfie.
Just a month after our start, Xconomy ran a great article on Rabble, with sound bites from both Preston and Kelly.
In December, we finalized a partnership with the Edmonton Public Library, Library Journal’s 2014 Library of the Year. Together, we’re preparing the library’s Capital City Records project for a spring 2015 launch. Capital City Records will be both a collection of local music and a record of the city’s musical past. We’re also continuing to work with the forward-thinking Madison Public Library to enhance YaharaMusic.org.
Over the next year, Rabble will partner with about a dozen libraries to build local music collections and continue to develop MUSICat in preparation for the open release of its source code and its broad availability as a Software as a Service in late 2015. We’re looking forward to all kinds of other fun things in the new year, including the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference and a partnership with the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities.
Wellbe has closed a new $2.42 million funding round. Wellbe helps hospitals adapt to new market expectations for value-driven care by leveraging patient navigation to reduce risk, improve efficiency and increase competitiveness. The cloud-based platform combines vital tools for patient engagement and care coordination to help patients and care teams achieve satisfying outcomes by actively engaging them with step-by-step guidance along their journey of care.
More information is available here.
2014 Capital Entrepreneurs Recap Series: This is Day 1 of our multi-day series of posts from Capital Entrepreneurs companies highlighting their year in review.
First up: Noble Applications.
At Noble Applications, our exciting second full year was highlighted by:
- Doubling our revenue over year 1
- Adding staff and adjusting processes to ensure that we maintain our 100% success rate
- Having great customers that give us the opportunity to challenge the standards for design and function in the mobile and web application ecosystems with each release
As hired guns, we measure success by profitably executing every project and having every customer be reference-worthy after successful release. For over two years now, we have achieved a 100% success rate on those metrics. We are very proud of that, and grateful to our staff and our customers.
Here are a couple of the entrepreneurial customers that we helped release new products to the market this year:
The foundation of our business is built with established enterprises, but we like to highlight entrepreneurial endeavors that bring new products to the world for the annual CE list. Plus, these tend to be the most creative and fun projects, that allow us to push what is possible.
For the next year, we look forward to challenging the standards for design with the new Apple and Android products and operating systems. We have 3 new health/medical platform releases coming in Q1 to get the new year started, and we are already signed on to release 8 new platforms in 2015. Stay tuned to our website to learn more about platforms and apps that are built for the world, right here in Madison.
To bring us into 2015, we’ll first be looking back at 2014. A lot of great things happened within the Capital Entrepreneurs community and the Madison Startup Scene and we’d like to share them. We’ll be kicking off with a series of posts from Capital Entrepreneurs companies summarizing their year in review, and we’ll cap it off with a full 2014 Madison Startup Scene Recap post. The daily series will start on Monday, January 5. Stay tuned!
Vidmaker has been acquired by YouTube for an undisclosed sum. Vidmaker created an online collaborative video editor which enables real time editing, sharing, and management of videos between multiple people.
The company was founded in 2011 and previously raised approximately $650,000 in funding. Vidmaker was also a participant in the first class of the TechStars San Antonio accelerator in 2012.
At a breakfast event attended by nearly 100 business and community leaders, including Toni Sikes, Mayor Paul Soglin, MGE CEO Gary J. Wolter and American Family Insurance CEO Jack Salzwedel, StartingBlock Madison announced more details of its plan to create a 50,000 square-foot entrepreneurial hub in the Capitol East District of downtown Madison.
Headlining the event was the announcement that American Family Insurance has pledged a major investment toward construction of the project, joining the City of Madison which has already committed $1.5 million in its 2015 budget. StartingBlock is now looking for additional private funding to match the $1.5 million contribution from the city, as well as $1.5 million for an operating reserve.
This represents a significant milestone for the StartingBlock Madison project, which has now been in the works for 2 years. The project is spearheaded by Capital Entrepreneurs, gener8tor, Sector67, as well as a group of business and community leaders. Pending additional funding from the private sector, construction of the building would begin in the fall of 2015, with an opening slated by the end of 2016.
“The potential of StartingBlock Madison to foster economic growth and job creation in our community is strong and definitely worth pursuing. It will not only help create our region’s next generation of companies, it will develop talented, motivated young people needed by existing employers to innovate in their marketplace.” – Jack Salzwedel, CEO of American Family Insurance
More information on the StartingBlock Madison project is available here, and more information on this most recent announcement is available here.
Madison soon will be the newest home of a national program to engage, educate and connect local entrepreneurs. 1 Million Cups — based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee — is a free, weekly gathering in which every Wednesday morning, one or two early-stage startups present their companies to an audience of mentors, advisers and other entrepreneurs. Each founder presents for six minutes, followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session with the audience.
1 Million Cups began in 2012 at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo. More information on upcoming Madison sessions is here.
Madison and Milwaukee based startup accelerator gener8tor has announced the completion of their latest fund – “gener8tor Fund II”. The $2.1 million raised will provide funding for continued operation and investments of the gener8tor accelerator program. Funding was led by CSA Partners, Venture Management, and Wisconsin Investment Partners.
Gener8tor’s 28 portfolio companies to date have raised nearly $30 million in funding. Applications are due for the next accelerator class on January 1. More information on the new fund is available here.
Madison was ranked as the 2nd best city in the country for young entrepreneurs by finance site NerdWallet. The site compiled ratings based on access to funds, networking and mentoring opportunities, the strength of the local economy, and the cost-of-living.
Young entrepreneurs in Madison benefit from one of the highest per capita rates of small business loans ($799 per loan) in any major city. Three of the top five cities were located in the Midwest. The full rankings and more information is available here.
Nordic Consulting co-founder and CEO Mark Bakken is stepping aside to launch a new venture fund targeting seed and early stage healthcare IT startups in Madison. Nordic, an Epic consulting firm, has experienced rapid growth in recent years and now employs nearly 500 people. It was also recently recognized as the 46th fastest-growing privately held company in the U.S. on the annual Inc. 500 list.
“Madison is quickly gaining national recognition as a world class healthcare hub.” – Mark Bakken
More information on Nordic and the new fund is available here.
Applications for gener8tor’s “Madison 2015” program are now open. gener8tor is a startup accelerator that invests its community, capital, expertise, mentorship and network in capable, early-stage entrepreneurs with innovative business models.
gener8tor is seeking to invest in technology-enabled businesses including software, IT, web, SaaS, e-commerce, and hardware. Accepted companies receive up to $120,000 of guaranteed funding and 12 weeks of mentorship-driven programming. gener8tor is a proud member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) and is sponsored by American Family Insurance. To date, gener8tor’s 28 portfolio companies have raised nearly $30 million, with average follow-on funding exceeding $800,000 per company.
There is an Information Session in Madison on December 2, and more info is here. Applications are now being accepted through January 1 here.
Murfie was featured in an article in Inc. magazine about “5 Interesting Startups from the Midwest“. The article highlights some of the unique traits startups in the Midwest often have, including homegrown hospitality, lower over head/cost of living/small business taxes, and a little extra heart. Read the full article here.
Last summer the Wayward Nation film crew traveled the country documenting the “New American Dream“. They stopped for a few days of adventure in Madison, where they spent time at Sector67 and PerBlue. You can check out the full season of episodes on Ora TV.
The full episode (#9 – “The New American Dream is Hacked”) is available here. An additional interview with Sector67 founder Chris Meyer is available here, and a video game pitch session is available here.
We’re excited to announce the 5th annual Build Madison event coordinated by Capital Entrepreneurs and hosted at Sector67. Build Madison is a 24 hour hackathon that gives you the opportunity to set aside some time over the weekend to finally get to that project you’ve been thinking about for a long time!
The weekend starts out on Saturday, November 8th, at noon, when we’ll host short (<1 minute) pitches from anyone who has a project they're contemplating working on. This will allow people who don't have their own project to work on to collaborate with others; and also to get a general idea of the kinds of projects to expect for the next 24 hours. After that, you can spend the next 24 hours working with others or on your own project, and when noon on Sunday swings around we'll have short project presentations and/or sharing of lessons learned (aka: why my project didn't quite get done in time!).
That's as simple as it is - take the 24 hour period as seriously or as inquisitively as you'd like. In the past, projects have varied from very sophisticated to very basic, software to hardware, art to engineering - so don't feel like your concept isn't going to fit in - it will.
This is a FREE event. Please register at the Build Madison website to attend.
Who: Anyone interested
What: 24 hackathon
Where: Sector67 – 2100 Winnebago St, Madison, WI – short ride on your bicycle, hop on the bus, or take advantage of parking in front of the building for your car
When: November 8th at noon through the 9th, with project presentations starting at 11AM on the 9th
Why: A great excuse to focus on a project for a weekend and meet with other interesting folks too
Check out the prior project summaries here.
PerBlue‘s latest game, Titan Empires, launched globally just over 3 weeks ago and now has well over 1 million players worldwide. It took over 3 years for their first title, Parallel Kingdom, to reach that milestone. Titan Empires was also featured on the Google Play Store all week. Read more here.