2014 Forward Festival Returns August 21-28

ftf logo smallThe Forward (Technology) Festival returns for its 5th year! Registration is now open for many of the 2014 Forward Festival events. This year’s Festival takes place from August 21-28. In addition to some of the favorite events from past years, new events will be added around food, health tech, and music.

Check out fowardfest.org for the current event calendar and links to register.

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Apply for Doyenne Group’s 5x5x5 Pitch Competition

doyenne-logo-2014The Doyenne Group is taking applications for women-led ventures to submit their businesses to compete to be awarded $5,000 in Seed Funding. Of the applicants, 5 women led businesses will be chosen and will have 5 minutes to pitch their business for a chance to win $5,000 during the Doyenne Breakfast part of the Forward Technology Festival on Wednesday, August 27, 2014.

Apply by July 9th. For more information and to apply, go here.

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StudyBlue Raises $1.7M in Funding

studyblue-logoStudyBlue has completed a new funding round totaling $1.7M. The company has raised $17.1M in total funding to date from investors including Great Oaks Venture Capital and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Over the last year, the education technology startup has attracted over 1 million new users to their vast user-created study documents targeted at K-12 and college students.

More information on StudyBlue’s latest funding round is available from Xconomy here.

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Make Music Madison is This Saturday!

Make-Music-Madison-Blog3Make Music Madison, an annual day-long citywide, free, outdoor music festival held on the Summer Solstice, is this Saturday, June 21. Back for its second year, the festival will include 380 free public concerts across the city. Powered by Madison start-up Solstice, Make Music Madison will include all types of genres, ethnicities, and styles of music, both amateur and professional musicians, and will occur in various public and private spaces throughout the city.


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Madworks Accelerator Announces Inaugural Class

logo-madworks-campusThe Madworks Accelerator has announced the first class of companies to participate in its summer 2014 seed accelerator program. Madworks is an early stage seed accelerator which will provide mentoring, training and financing of up to $10,000 to early stage companies. The companies accepted into the inaugural class are:

900dpi – 900dpi eliminates the set-up and support hassle that comes with building websites as a freelance web designer or developer.
BlueTipz – Ice fishing hardware startup with smartphone-connected alerting device that lets you catch more fish faster.
CleMetric – CleMetric combines the power of streams computing, machine learning and visual discovery to develop advanced data analytics software for healthcare operations management and medical research.
ConfPlus – ConfPlus provides event mobile solutions to enhance the user experience for all event participants.
Deneb Outdoors – Deneb Outdoors is an outdoor brand that is creating the next generation of outdoor products that are high performing, sustainable and cost competitive.
ivMD – Medical software startup that handles medical decision making for organ donors and other patient populations that are critically ill.
Metamodeling Analytics – We feature best-in-class analytics to significantly accelerate and enhance complex simulations.
SELA Medical – SELA overcomes the limitations of current topical anesthetic applicators and offers healthcare providers a universal applicator with selectable spray options, enabling its effective use with both indirect and direct laryngoscopes as well as other airway visualization devices.
ZeroNine – ZeroNine makes attorneys more effective at prior art search through a unique approach to search and various workflow improvements.
Zuntik – Zuntik is an online calendar distribution tool that allows user to create, upload and manage virtual calendars and share them with their community.

Madworks Coworking is also hosting an event on June 17 from 4-6:30pm to celebrate the co-working space’s 1 year anniversary and the kickoff of the summer accelerator (RSVP here).

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Fishidy Raises $1.5M in Funding

fishidy_LOGO_v1Fishidy, an online map-based fishing social network, is planning its next moves after raising $1.5 million in its latest round of funding.

Formed in 2011, Fishidy launched its app in early 2013 and currently has more than 160,000 members nationwide. The app supplies users with map-based fishing tips, as well as a fishing social network.

Per CEO Brian Jensen, the new funds will help Fishidy to expand membership as well as add more features and revenue channels.

Additional info on Fishidy’s latest funding here.


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PerBlue Raises $3M in Funding

perblueMobile gaming company PerBlue has raised $3M in a Series A-2 funding round lead by Chicago based Lightbank. This funding marked Lightbank’s first investment in a Wisconsin based startup.

PerBlue designs, develops, and publishes mid-core mobile strategy games for Android and iOS platforms. Their games have been played by over 10 million people in 200 countries around the world. For more information on the funding, see coverage on Xconomy and the Wisconsin State Journal.

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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 http://ignitemadison.org/

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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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