Madison a Top City for Information Technology Job Growth

Forbes-logoForbes has recognized Madison as having one of the quickest growing information technology sectors in the country. Madison came in 5th behind Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Boston, and Austin. Madison is the smallest city by far on this list, which is dominated by large metro areas renowned as tech hubs. Forbes points out that Madison is heading toward reaching critical mass in the industry.

A large portion of this growth is a result of Epic Systems, but the quickly growing and very active tech startup community has also played an important role in Madison’s growing information technology sector.

Read the full Forbes article here.

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Yahara Music Library Launches

yahara-music-library-logoThe Yahara Music Library, a collaborative project between the Madison Public Library and Murfie Music, recently launched.

Using technology from Murfie’s online music streaming platform, the Yahara Music Library enables any library card holder to stream music from the Yahara Music Library using any web browser or download albums in multiple formats to a variety of devices. The diverse collection of music in Yahara includes established musicians and up and coming artists who play everything from rock, hip hop, classical, and more. Murfie and the Library are releasing technical elements of the Yahara Music Library under an open source license.

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gener8tor Madison Office Hours, Meetup and Application Deadline

gener8torgener8tor has a handful of upcoming events leading up to the application deadline for the Summer 2014 class on June 1st.

They are holding Madison Office Hours on Wednesday, May 28th from 10am-1pm as well as a Meetup starting at 5:30pm at their office on the Capitol Square. Learn more about their Milwaukee 2014 accelerator program, pitch your startup, get feedback and ask questions at these events. The application deadline for gener8tor’s Summer 2014 class is June 1st. Apply to gener8tor for your chance at up to $70,000 in startup funding and 12-weeks of intense, mentorship-driven programming. To apply, go here.

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OpenHomes Raises $180k in Funding

openhomes-logoOpenHomes, a real estate startup aiming to make it easier and more affordable for people to sell and buy homes, has raised over $180,000 in seed round funding.

OpenHomes is a simple, affordable, and convenient way to sell or buy a home, saving homeowners thousands of dollars by charging only a 1% commission. The seed round will provide capital for marketing and software development. Investors include CSA Partners, Angels on the Water, Mark Bakken, gener8tor, and several other angel investors. OpenHomes is a graduate of gener8tor’s Summer 2013 accelerator program.

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Governor’s Business Plan Contest Finalists Announced

gov-bpc-logoAfter three rounds of judging, the finalists for the 2014 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest have been announced, with nearly half of the 13 finalists coming from the Madison area. The Madison area finalists include: Elucent Medical, Spectrom, Little Green Pencil, MobCraft Beer, WebRacing, and Digsite.

The finalists are competing for over $100k in prizes and will present at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison, which runs from June 3-4. For more coverage on the Governor’s Business Plan Contest, go here. For more info on the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, go here.

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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.

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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

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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! 

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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