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.

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Pressure Chamber Pitch Contest Launches

pressure-chamber-logoGreater Madison’s most promising early-stage companies will have the chance to promote their work, connect with investors and potentially join an exclusive delegation of Madison-area startups in meetings with global venture investment firms, all as part of a new business pitch contest called Pressure Chamber. The live competition will be held in conjunction with the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce neXXpo: Business in Fast Forward on April 8 at the Alliant Energy Center.

The winner of the Pressure Chamber will join a delegation of top Greater Madison startups in a series of meetings with prominent venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, organized by the Chamber and supporting partner organizations. The application period for interested startups is now open. For more information and to apply, go here.

“This is not only a significant opportunity for entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity for Greater Madison to be recognized nationally as a place where talented people are building great businesses. Our message will be: if we are not already on your radar, we should be. Because this region is what is next.” – Chamber President Zach Brandon

The Pressure Chamber is presented by Michael Best & Friedrich with support from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Accelerate Madison, Capital Entrepreneurs, Kegonsa Capital Partners and Venture Investors.

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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.

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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/

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Bus to Techstars in Milwaukee Event – Last Call to Sign Up

techstars-logo-small-300x215Join Capital Entrepreneurs on a (coach) bus trip to Milwaukee on Wednesday, February 12th to spend an evening learning about Techstars’ Chicago program, presented by Startup Milwaukee and Golden Angels Investors.

This free event will feature prominent entrepreneurs Sam Yagan (CEO of match.com and co-founder of OkCupid) and Troy Henikoff (co-founder of Techstars Chicago and SurePayroll). Also sharing their experiences, will be the co-founders of a startup that recently participated in a Techstars accelerator program.

This is the last call to sign up for the free bus trip to Milwaukee; don’t miss out on this exciting event.

For more information and to reserve your seat, go here.

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MobCraft Named 2013 Best New Wisconsin Brewer

MobCraft-logoRatebeer.com has named local crowdsourced brewery MobCraft the 2013 Best New Wisconsin Brewer. Launched in May 2013, MobCraft is a brewery that uses customer collaboration to come up with a multitude of unique beer ideas. Customers can both submit ideas for brews to be created, as well as vote on which brews will be mass produced. Some of the interesting beers being brewed by Mobcraft include a Mayan Chocolate Chili ale with ghost chilies and cacao, and a Hazelnut Amber made with locally sourced hazelnuts.

MobCraft was also recently featured in an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – check out the article here.

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Crypto Currency Hackathon at Madworks

madworksWhether you’re an expert on digital currency, or just want to learn more about it, the Crypto Currency Hackathon being held on February 15th at Madworks Coworking is worth checking out. The event will follow a similar format as a Startup Weekend, but instead of focusing on jump-starting a business, the goal of this 12-hour event will be to create and complete a tech project. The entry fee for this event is $5 and the winner will receive one bitcoin, which is currently valued at about $850.

For those who are simply interested in learning more about cryotocurrency, there will also an ‘unconference’ running in parallel to the main hackathon event, which will include talks, discussions, and demos to explain more about what cryprocurrency is and how it works.

For more info and to sign up go here.

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Today! Madison Startup Fair

Capital EntrepeneursJoin Capital Entrepreneurs and 40+ Madison startups for the 2014 Madison Startup Fair TODAY (February 5th) from Noon-4pm at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW campus.

Anyone interested in technology and entrepreneurship can talk one-on-one in an informal environment with startup founders and employees about their experiences. Find out more about the burgeoning Madison startup scene and the opportunities startups have to offer, including ways you can get involved by starting your own company or through internships and full-time positions with existing startups.

More info is available here.

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UW ACE Program Launches

ACElogo-squareUW-Madison has just launched a brand new advocacy group to help foster innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. The group, called The Advocacy Consortium for Entrepreneurs (ACE), will provide entrepreneurs with several tools to help them succeed. Led by Tomotherapy founder Rock Mackie, ACE will be established as an independent, nonprofit organization that can advocate for policies that support entrepreneurial development.

Check out more info about ACE here.

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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.

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2014 Madison Startup Fair

Capital EntrepeneursThe Startup Fair is back! The 2014 Madison Startup Fair features successful startups from the Madison area. The goal of the event is to enable startups to connect with potential intern and full time employees, as well as raise the awareness of Madison startups on campus.

Anyone interested in technology and entrepreneurship can talk one-on-one in an informal environment with startup founders and employees about their experiences. Find out more about the burgeoning Madison startup scene and the opportunities startups have to offer, including ways you can get involved by starting your own company or through internships and full-time positions with existing startups.

When: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 from Noon-4pm
Where: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

The event is organized by Capital Entrepreneurs in cooperation with on campus partners: UW Office of Corporate Relations, Advocacy Consortium for Entrepreneurs, TheHub, CEO, Transcend, Student Business Incubator, and the Physics Garage.

For more information and to RSVP, go here.

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Bus to Techstars in Milwaukee Event

techstars-logo-smallJoin Capital Entrepreneurs on a (coach) bus trip to Milwaukee on Wednesday, February 12th to spend an evening learning about Techstars’ Chicago program, presented by Startup Milwaukee and Golden Angels Investors.

This free event will feature prominent entrepreneurs Sam Yagan (CEO of match.com and co-founder of OkCupid) and Troy Henikoff (co-founder of Techstars Chicago and SurePayroll). Also sharing their experiences, will be the co-founders of a startup that recently participated in a Techstars accelerator program.

For more information and to reserve your seat, go here.

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Tonight! Capital Entrepreneurs-Startup Milwaukee Joint Event

Capital EntrepeneursThe 2nd Capital Entrepreneurs / Startup Milwaukee joint event will take place in Madison TONIGHT (January 22nd) starting at 6pm. It’s an Open Social format, so anyone with an interest in entrepreneurship is welcome to join.

The event will focus on continuing the conversation about better connecting and strengthening the entrepreneurial communities in Madison, Milwaukee, and throughout the state. There will be plenty of time for networking with entrepreneurs from Madison and beyond. It will take place on the top floor of the new Madison Central Library. Additional partners for this event include 100state, gener8tor, the Forward Technology Festival, Godfrey & Kahn, and UW-Milwaukee.

Be sure to RSVP here.

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Health and Wellness Events Go Mobile with GoStrive

StriveLogoThere’s a new startup in town. Meet GoStrive, a community engagement platform for health and wellness organizations (and special events).

Founded in 2012 by University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor, Choton Basu, the startup now has nine employees. GoStrive is currently lead by Accelerate Madison founder, James Jackson. GoStrive is the exclusive partner of the National Parks and Recreation Association, and is based in both Whitewater and most recently, on the Capitol Square in Madison.

GoStrive is good news for those who love Parks and Recreation programs in Madison! The startup has just launched Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR) events on their mobile platform. MSCR marks GoStrive’s 100th Parks and Recreation partner. MSCR is one of many Wisconsin agencies on GoStrive, joining Middleton, Whitewater, and Lake Mills. The platform is now used by 100 agencies in 22 states.

“We are excited to be part of this cutting-edge Wisconsin company connecting Madison citizens to a wide variety of recreation opportunities.” said Lucy Chaffin, MSCR Executive Director.

“Marking this milestone with Madison School and Community Recreation is an honor to GoStrive, and a testament to the groundswell we’re creating within Parks and Recreation agencies in our own backyard, and in communities across the nation,” said James Jackson, President and COO of GoStrive.

Learn more about GoStrive on their website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Download GoStrive for free in the App Store and on Google Play.

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2013 Recap: The Madison Startup Scene

Capital Entrepeneurs2013 was a year full of activity and increasing visibility for the Madison startup scene.

Capital Entrepreneurs membership grew 50% in 2013 and now encompasses nearly 300 members – all of which are founders or early stage employees of Madison area startups. Capital Entrepreneurs member companies now employ over 350 full time people and created over 100 full time jobs last year.

In 2013, Madison tech startups (digital and health IT) raised $44 million in funding. This was lead by Networked Insights ($9.4M) and StudyBlue ($9M), with other companies raising rounds on average of $960k. Madison was ranked as a top 20 area for venture capital investment per capita, and over $150 million in new capital was committed to Wisconsin based venture funds last year.

Capital Entrepreneurs member companies had revenues of over $28 million in 2013, and these companies continue to have an increasing impact on the broader Madison community. These companies have also contributed to establishing Madison’s place as one of the top cities in the nation for high tech jobs and tech job growth.

Capital-Entrepreneurs-Madison-Startup-Showcase-Forward-Technology-Festival-20130819_161220There was a flurry of activity and events in the entrepreneurial community in 2013. The annual Forward Technology Festival continued to grow, and with 2,200 participants has emerged as the showcase event for the Madison tech and entrepreneurship scene. Capital Entrepreneurs also organized the 4th Build Madison “community create-a-thon”, the 2nd Startup Weekend, and the inaugural Madison Startup Fair which connected students to startups on the University of Wisconsin campus.

Capital-Entrepreneurs-Open-Social-Forward-Technology-Festival-IMG_3138Capital-Entrepreneurs-Madison-Startup-Showcase-Forward-Technology-Festival-20130819_173609Capital-Entrepreneurs-Open-Social-Forward-Technology-Festival-IMG_3254Startup-Weekend-2013-1

Capital Entrepreneurs partnered with Accelerate Madison to host “Wisconsin Startup Night: TechStars in Madison” which was headlined by Sam Yagan (co-founder of OkCupid and CEO of match.com) and attracted an audience of nearly 500 people. Capital Entrepreneurs partnered with Startup Milwaukee for the first in a series of events designed to bridge the Madison, Milwaukee, and broader Wisconsin entrepreneurial communities. Capital Entrepreneurs also partnered with gener8tor and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for OnRamp, which increased connections between Wisconsin startups and established corporations.

There were also a number of other great events in the broader Madison tech and creative scene including CityCamp, 3 Day Startup, TEDx, Ignite Madison, FoodCamp, Design Like Mad, Artup Weekend, and MakeMusicMadison. The Early Stage Symposium even brought TechStars co-founder Brad Feld (digitally) to Madison.

There was also a lot of activity and growth around “spaces for entrepreneurs” in 2013. Capital Entrepreneurs celebrated existing spaces expanding, and new spaces opening. Horizon Coworking moved to a new and larger location on the Capitol Square, and the hackerspace Sector67 doubled in size. 100state opened its doors downtown, and Madworks Coworking opened at University Research Park. Capital Entrepreneurs announced StartingBlock Madison, which is a startup hub project in the works that will provide Madison-based startups with affordable, flexible office and co-working space, accelerator support, peer and mentoring resources, education and training, and community building activities.

Startup accelerators continued to play an important role in the Madison startup community. Drifty graduated from TechStars Cloud in San Antonio and SnowShoe graduated from TechStars Boulder. Subsidence graduated from the Bolt accelerator in Boston, and Moxe Health graduated from the Rock Health incubator in San Francisco. Madison and Milwaukee based gener8tor also graduated strong Winter and Summer accelerator classes.

madison-magazine-NovCover_WebThe Madison startup scene saw more visibility throughout the broader community in 2013. Madison Magazine prominently featured the burgeoning tech and startup scene in their inaugural “M List” issue, which recognized fifty-three entrepreneurs and technologists who’ve launched or grown businesses in 2013 as the new “who’s who” of Madison (nearly all of which are involved in Capital Entrepreneurs). The annual Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce dinner was attended by 1,000 business leaders and focused on entrepreneurship and establishing Madison as a global innovation hub.

Young entrepreneurs continue to play an increasing role in Madison’s economy, and Capital Entrepreneurs members were again recognized as distinguished young alumni by the Wisconsin Alumni Association on their annual Forward Under 40 list (which featured executives from PerBlue), as well as top young leaders by InBusiness on their annual 40 Under 40 list (which featured executives from Murfie).

Capital Entrepreneurs companies were featured in and recognized by prestigious news outlets around the world. They were named as top 100 AngelList companies, top 10 under the radar startups to watch by Mashable, top 10 cloud startups, top 10 video game publishers, top 10 food delivery startups, and called some of the top tech of 2013 by Yahoo.

Sector67 took the top spot at the NYC Maker Faire, and Healthfinch won the grand prize at the nationwide Open App Challenge. The citywide Open Data portal launched, and the Underground Food Collective even open sourced the USDA process for charcuterie production via Kickstarter.

2013 was a great year for the Madison startup community, and there are even more exciting things to come in 2014!

Be sure to also check out individual company recaps for 2013 here, as well as past startup scene recaps from 2012, 2011, and 2010.

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