2015 Recap: Hardin Design and Development

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  • Capital Entrepreneurs is a group dedicated to creating new connections and a community around the amazing startups in and around Madison.
  • Madison VR is a meetup group comprised of game developers, artists, students, and other members from the community that are interested in the future of virtual reality.
  • Madison Game Alliance is a network of video game industry enthusiasts set on growing the greater Madison region.

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2015 Recap: Networked Insights

ni-logo-cyan@2x12015 proved to be a year of great developments for Networked Insights. Marketers are challenged like never before by a complex marketing environment where ad formats and content channels are multiplying and consumers are in control of which messages break through. Networked Insights is helping top consumer-facing brands like Under Armour and American Family Insurance connect to their audiences.

This year, Networked Insights introduced Hi-Def Audiences™, built upon a new partnership with Twitter. Brands with access to Hi-Def Audiences can build upon basic demographic profiling to understand their opportunity audience along more than 15,000 dimensions including everything from psychographics, to interests, affinities, to brand preferences. The partnership with Twitter, announced at the 2015 Flight Developer and Data Conference, opens new and expanded audience segmentation, insights, measurement and targeting to Twitter advertisers. Twitter selected Networked Insights as a launch partner to integrate our Kairos platform on their newest data innovation, the Audience API.

Another major partnership announced in 2015 put Kairos into the hands of more than 25,000 employees at the world’s largest media management firm, GroupM. The exclusive partnership represents one of the largest-ever marketing SaaS implementations and will give GroupM the capability to adaptively plan and continuously optimize client campaigns using real time data from the social web.

This announcement has been years in the making, beginning with a vision years ago by Networked Insights’ CEO, Dan Neely to use consumer data from social media sources to inform marketing investments across a wide variety of media platforms – not just social. In 2015, the technology caught up with that vision. We enhanced our platform with features that speed up Kairos’ ability to analyze data in real-time through a combination of machine learning, computational linguistics, and Boolean logic. These analyses now create a massive set of meta-data organized around audience segments that generate rich media planning insights for both online and offline advertising.

But, knowing what’s important to consumers is only half the equation. So, in 2015, Networked Insights launched Pinpoint, to help brands understand WHY social trends are happening. The technology is integrated throughout Kairos to help brands understand what’s important to their opportunity audience and why it’s important while there’s still time to act. We announced the new Pinpoint technology and demonstrated how it works in a webinar, which was the first in our new series of webinars, all of which are available for on-demand viewing on our website.

On the corporate front, the company moved into new office spaces in Madison, Chicago, and New York. The company also has colleagues located in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and North Carolina as well.

To learn more, visit www.networkedinsights.com or follow @netinsights.

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2015 Recap: Updown Technologies

updown-logoIn 2015, Updown launched as a company and released its first product – the Updown Fitness App – on the web and on both the Apple and Google Play stores. Our team of four working out of an apartment off State Street has come a long way in the last 12 months.

We spent the first half of the year doing market research and developing the app and then started beta testing in the summer. The app, which functions as a personal trainer that customizes workouts and helps users reach their fitness goals, launched on the Google Play store in November and the Apple store in December. In just a short couple of months, we’ve managed to reach 3,000 users, and the rate of new user signups is increasing quickly as we gain traction and generate press. The initial feedback has been great, as the app maintains a 4.7 rating on the Google Play store.

2016 is all about continued development and growth for us. We are working hard on expanding the social functionality of the app, and we’re also developing a rewards system that will allow our loyal users to cash in for working out. Integration with wearables devices is also in the works. We’ve kicked off 2016 by raising $100k which will allow us to expand marketing and to grow our team, and we’ll be looking to complete a Series A funding round later this summer.

We look forward to exponential growth and a continued role in Madison’s growing entrepreneurial climate in 2016!

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2015 Recap: Ten Forward Consulting

ten-forward-consulting-logoAs 2015 comes to a close, we reflect on another successful year over here at Ten Forward Consulting. Startup companies, long-time clients, innovative product development, and new hires have kept us quite busy – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ten Forward committed to our long-standing partnership with Mobile Doorman when Brian Samson, founder of Ten Forward, accepted a position as CTO and helped the Chicago-based tech startup secure its first round of funding, hire technical staff, and meet key technical milestones.

We’ve always felt connected with entrepreneurs and start-ups, and have been fortunate enough to partner with several this past year. Habit Catalyst is a compliance tracker and reminder application, which is designed for trainers to help their clients develop healthy habits. Built by Ten Forward and based here in Madison, this app is expected to launch publicly in early 2016. In addition, we’ve developed new mobile applications for Fanbread, a YouTube personality outreach tool, and Looper, a new way to connect golfers and caddies which is scheduled to launch in Spring 2016.

As busy as clients keep us, we try to spend any additional development time working on internal products. After some frustrations with client-facing CMS tools like WordPress we decided to work on a simple solution for small businesses to request content updates so they don’t need to learn yet another system. We have used this platform, called “CRS” internally, with several clients and look forward to expanding features in the coming year.

None of this work can happen without a lot of help. In the past year, Ten Forward has made some very important hires. Mark Norman, with over 10 years of development experience, has worked on a number of projects with Ten Forward as a contractor. In 2015, we made it official, and Mark was brought on as a senior developer and our first equity partner. We hired developers out of Epic, Omaha Code School, and interns from Madison’s YWeb Career Academy. Ten Forward nearly doubled in size from five employees in January to nine in December.

2015 has been a great year for the growth and sustainability of our young company, and we look forward to continuing that trend as we move forward in our mission to create the best software for our clients.

Have a great New Year!
Your friends at Ten Forward Consulting

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2015 Recap: Underground Food Collective

ufc-logo2015 for Underground Food Collective saw continued growth and the opening of one new business. The biggest leap for us was opening a new retail location in Minneapolis called Lowry Hill Meats. Furthermore 2015 was a year of planning as we look to expand our operation in wholesale, retail and restaurants.

This was the first time we have opened a space outside of Madison and marked a new level of expansion for our company and gave us experience in how to run businesses remotely and operate under different regulatory bodies.

We saw an overall growth at Underground of around 30 percent this year led by big increases at Underground Butcher (35 percent) and Underground Meats (50 percent). Underground Meats released 3 new products into national wholesale: our Summer Sausage, Smoked Hams and Dry Cured Bacon along with continued efforts to get our dry cured salamis approved through the USDA.

We were excited to be awarded Madison’s Favorite Butcher Shop by the Isthmus, Top Caterer by Madison Magazine as well as a James Beard Nomination for Jonny Hunter for Best Chef Midwest and Chef of the Year by Madison Magazine, and Underground Meats is a finalist for the Good Food Awards.

We are looking forward to 2016, which will bring the opening of Middlewest Restaurant, a new Underground Butcher location, and potentially a Milwaukee location.

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2015 Recap: OpenHomes

openhomes logoIn 2015, OpenHomes has seen +100% year over year growth in revenue and customers We’ve become a top 12% agency in our first market, south central Wisconsin, and have sold homes throughout southern Wisconsin. We sell homes faster and for more money than traditional agents, too – just 11 days on market (vs. market average of about 28), and for 99.2% of listing price (vs. market average of about 97%).

OpenHomes customers save an average of about $6,000 vs using a traditional agent. Our net promoter score is 100 points – meaning every single customer surveyed said s/he would recommend OpenHomes to a friend or colleague. Now that our tech is in great shape and our traction is strong, we’ll be opening up a $500k round to help us expand to new states and drive even more rapid growth.

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Healthfinch Raises $7.5M in Funding

healthfinch-logoHealthfinch has just announced a $7.5M Series A funding round led by Adams Street Partners.

The company, which was founded in 2011 by Jonathan Baron and Lyle Berkowitz, has developed a software that automates routine tasks that physicians would other wise have to complete. For example, Healthfinch’s applications automatically fulfill medication requests and schedule appointments. To date, the technology is used by over 2,000 physicians who have completed over 2.6 million tasks using Healthfinch.

The most recent funding round will be used to launch a new framework called Charlie, a platform that will serve to link all of Healthfinch’s applications together. In addition, the Series A round will allow the company to hire additional engineers.

Healthfinch has now raised over $10 million in funding. You can read more about Healthfinch’s recent raise on Xconomy here.

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2015 Recap: Noble Applications

noble-applications-logoNoble Applications is a local bootstrap startup that turned 3 years old in September. We are pleased and proud to report that we have significantly grown each year, and our model of continuously investing in upgrading our design and development talent really started showing returns in year 3, a year in which we hired 3 new employees. Having our team and processes in place led to the following financial highlights for 2015:

  • 15% revenue increase over 2014
  • 425% profit increase over 2014
  • 100% customer satisfaction and all invoices paid within 60 days
  • As always, $0 of debt

The growing core of our business continues to be providing our design and development talent to established enterprises with new mobile strategies. We added 8 new customer partnerships to this core in 2015.

For the annual Capital Entrepreneurs list, however, we like to highlight a couple startup partners that we helped bring new products to the world. We were the product-company-for-hire partners for these new and exciting companies that launched in 2015:

We want to express our gratitude to our team and our customer partners. We get to work with incredible people with amazing ideas and we are all very grateful that our customers give us the opportunity to push boundaries and bring real innovation to the mobile ecosystem.

For 2016, we are signed on to help bring mobile innovation to the following industries:

  • Tourism
  • Healthcare
  • Agriculture and Dairy
  • Employee Benefits
  • Sports Coaching and Player Development
  • Manufacturing

Stay tuned to our website (we’ll have a new one in February), where you can keep track of the new apps and platforms that are built for the world, right here in Madison.

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2015 Recap: Autosport Labs

autosport labs logo2015 was a year of significant progress for Autosport Labs. The first part of the year marked improvements in the existing RaceCapture/Pro product line. Several new features were added to the hardware platform and a new version of the RaceCapture App was made publically available, unifying the experience across tablets and computers alike. In late August the company completed the design and construction of 6 working prototypes of its next generation hardware: RaceCapture. These were demoed at a trackday at Laguna Seca in September and a rainy race weekend at Portland, OR in October to very positive reviews and customer interest.

With hardware built and put through validation, the group executed the next stage of the plan and launched the RaceCapture Kickstarter. As of Jan 2, 2016, the campaign was successfully funded at 128% of its goal. With the feedback and excitement from their enthusiastic Kickstarter backers, Autosport Labs is entering 2016 with lots of momentum from the successful campaign.

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New Years Kick Off


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!

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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.

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Build Madison Returns November 21-22

buildmadisonlogo_150Build 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. Forex Exchange Rate Today In Bangladesh 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

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Redox Raises $3.5M in Funding

redox-logoHealthtech 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.

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StartingBlock Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

sb-logo-greenStartingBlock 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 hereFor more information, check out StartingBlock Madison in the news on Madison Magazine and The Cap Times.

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