To bring us into 2016, we’ll first be looking back at 2015. A lot of great things happened within the Capital Entrepreneurs community and the Madison Startup Scene and we’d like to share them. As in prior years, 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 2015 Madison Startup Scene Recap post. The daily series will start on Monday, January 4. Stay tuned!
EatStreet 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.
Build Madison is back! Come join us for at the 6th annual hackathon event coordinated by Capital Entrepreneurs and Sector67. The event, which will be hosted at Sector67, gives entrepreneurs an awesome opportunity to get going on that project you have been putting off for too long.
The 24 hour community create-a-thon will start Saturday, November 21st, at 11:00 am and will go through the night and into the early ours of Sunday morning. Come ready with a short pitch (<1 minute) if you have an idea you want to start working on. If you do not have a specific project in mind, then you can come collaborate with others and spend the next 24 hours helping to make an idea come to reality. At the end of the event, we will come together for short project presentations as well as feedback sessions. This event is FREE and is open to anyone who wants to tap into their entrepreneurial ambitions. We encourage participation from students, software developers, artists, hackers, business minded people, engineers, and anyone else who wants to get involved!
Please register at the Build Madison Website if you want to attend, and we hope to see you there!
Sector 67 is located at 2100 Winnebago St. Madison, WI 53704
Healthtech startup Redox has closed a $3.5M Series A funding round led by Flybridge Capital Partners and HealthX Ventures. Redox is developing a platform API for healthcare integration, which connects health systems to an ecosystem of health tech applications. Over 120 application developers have signed up for API access so far and Redox is targeting to increase that number to 500 by the end of 2016. Redox also recently was the winner of the Traction pitch competition at the Health 2.0 conference.
Read more on Xconomy here.
StartingBlock Madison has just announced a crowdfunding campaign in order to help close a final funding gap. The exciting new entrepreneurial hub, which is set to break ground this winter, has already raised 85% of the necessary funds. They are now looking for community members to contribute and play a direct role in helping bring this project to reality. Starting at $25, you can purchase a “virtual block” and cement yourself as a contributing member to StartingBlock Madison!
This project will play a crucial role in building the long term infrastructure that will bring Madison’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to the next level and with your help, we can make it happen! You can buy a virtual block here. For more information, check out StartingBlock Madison in the news on Madison Magazine and The Cap Times.
Gener8tor has announced a free accelerator program for early stage startups tied to Wisconsin State Universities. The six week course, called gBETA, is designed to provide resources and mentoring to young companies in both the Madison and Milwaukee area. It will function similar to Gener8tor’s three month long accelerator; however, companies will not exchange any equity for participating.
Gener8tor Co-Founder Troy Vosseller wanted to create a free course for entrepreneurs that are attending Wisconsin state schools, recent graduates, or current faculty. His goal was to give back to the community and help these startups move their ideas forward. Additionally, successful graduates of this program could serve as qualified candidates to continue on to Gener8tor’s longer accelerator program. The first graduating class of 5 companies will culminate their 6 week long summer program in Madison with an invite only pitch event on August 13th. You can read more about gBETA here.
With donations from two more prominent foundations, StartingBlock Madison is gaining momentum. Following significant investments from American Family Insurance and the City of Madison, the most recent donations from the MG&E Foundation and Evjue Foundation come as StartingBlock recently named Scott Resnick as executive director of the future entrepreneurial hub in Madison.
“Our innovative enterprise businesses are sending a clear signal that they value entrepreneurship and view it as a vital piece of the success for our region in their support of StartingBlock. A key element in growing entrepreneurship is spaces that are conducive to the economic gardening necessary to grow an economy.”
– Zach Brandon, President, Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce
StartingBlock will provide emerging companies with workspace and resources that will give entrepreneurs the best chance of success and spur innovation.The many resources that will be offered at StartingBlock include coworking space, educational programming, and startup accelerators like gener8tor. In addition, Sector67 and Capital Entrepreneurs will both have new homes on the 50,000 square foot entrepreneurial hub.
Scott Resnick, COO of Hardin Design & Development and former Madison city alder, was part of the original planning group for StartingBlock and has been a passionate advocate for the concept. Resnick will serve as executive director supporting the StartingBlock board of directors during this formative period of fundraising, organizational and operations development.
StartingBlock plans to be part of a new building in the Capitol East district of downtown Madison. Construction is planned to begin in 2015 with occupants moving in at the end of 2016. For more information on StartingBlock, go here. If you are interested in contributing to the StartingBlock fundraising campaign, contact Scott.
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.
About 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.
About 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.
Quickstep Technologies, a big data startup founded by a UW professor, was recently acquired by Pivotal. This is now the third startup that Jignesh Patel has sold as a co-founder. Patel is a long time computer science professor at UW, but he will now take a year away to serve as chief scientist at Pivotal. Quickstep has developed a unique data processing technology that allows companies to process data quicker and more cost effectively. You can read more about Quickstep here.
The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Content has selected 13 finalists from a field of over 200 startups. A majority of this year’s finalists are from the Madison area, including AltusCampus, bluDiagnostics Fertility Finder, ConfPlus, CountAbout, Élevé Technical Innerwear, KIINCE, Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling, OnLume, and Hunt Butler. The competition will conclude at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference. Read more here.
Fetch Rewards raised $4 million in Series A funding recently. The company, which has developed an innovative app for grocery shoppers, will use the money to scale their business from 10 stores to as many as 100. The service allows customers to track their purchases as they go and apply coupons when they are available. Shoppers also accumulate points for using Fetch, which can be redeemed to buy special in store items. To date, Fetch has raised $8.5 million.
Read more about Fetch Rewards recent funding here.
The 2015 Startup Weekend Madison was a huge success. This year’s 54-hour marathon event featured nine teams who worked tirelessly all weekend to create incredible projects. Congratulations to everyone who participated and we hope you enjoyed the experience. You can check out some pictures from the event here, as well as a list of all the teams here.
This year three awards were not enough. The high quality of presentations led the judges to add on a fourth award, which they named the “YOLO award.” This award was designed to recognize YOLO Pops for their innovative Jello Shot Sticks that won over everyone at Startup Weekend.
All teams did an exceptional job and we wish you all luck as you continue to pursue your goals! The top three teams this year were:
1. Blinky: An accessory for bikers, Blinky plans to revolutionize biker safety. You no longer need to worry about dangerous hand signals because Blinky will alert people behind you which way you are turning with flashing arrows. In addition to winning first place, they also won the crowd favorite award.
2. Cranberry: In order to improve the health care system, Cranberry has created an At-home UTI testing device. The goal is to connect you to a prescription in minutes rather than spending time and money on doctor visits. Cranberry is well on the way to solving an issue that could save health care providers millions in wasted costs.
3. MD Forms: Have you ever spent too long waiting to see a doctor? MD Forms has created a solution that will ensure more efficient doctor visits. Their technology will allow patients to spend more time with the doctor and less time filling out forms through their patient generated notes for clinicians.
Madison and Milwaukee based startup accelerator gener8tor graduated their most recent class of 5 startups. Gener8tor’s Premiere Night took place May 14 at the Barrymore Theater in Madison, where the 5 companies took the stage along with Jack Salzwedel (CEO of American Family Insurance) and the UW Band. Graduates of gener8tor’s latest class include AltusCampus, Bright Cellars, Carson Life, GrocerKey, and Passage.
Watch the full Premiere Night video here. More information on gener8tor’s latest class and Premiere Night can be found here.