In its short history, the Parallel Kingdom franchise has pioneered several firsts: first real-time MMORPG for iPhone and Android, and the first location-based MMORPG on iPhone and Android. Now the developer, PerBlue, is continuing to take the game into new territory â€“ a micro-transaction based mobile economy.
In the MMO genre, virtual economies are common and almost inevitable in some cases. In Parallel Kingdom, a de facto in-game economy naturally evolved when the developers first gave players the ability to drop items on the ground and transfer gold directly from player to player. This style of trading was unregulated and led to scamming in which players would drop items on the ground for trade only to be picked up by the other player who sometimes never sent any gold. Even with these limitations, a very active economy flourished in the game.
Ã‚Â In the new version, a consummable resource called â€œFoodâ€ is required for some features. Every new player starts with some for free, and they can get more by purchasing it in the game or trading with other players. This allows players to acquire more of this resource without having to pay money if they donâ€™t want to.
Ã‚Â In addition, trade posts and cities have been introduced. These allow players to trade with each other safely and securely. Players put items up for sale and other players visiting the city can browse and buy anything they come across. This has led to many players making careers in the game solely as traders, visiting trade posts, scouting out good deals and selling in another city.
Bryon Shannon is the founder of Wisconsin Relic, an apparel company that he started in January 2009.Â Bryon graduated with a degree in Management and Real Estate from the University of Wisconsinâ€™s business school and started Wisconsin Relic while he was still a student.Â He describes Wisconsin Relic as:
Wisconsin Relic is an apparel company that I started in January 2009.Â It is a creative, colorful brand centered on shirt slogans that resonate with young people in Wisconsin. We sell clothing on our website, www.wisconsinrelic.com, as well as through stores such as the University Bookstore in Madison and Milwaukee.Â Wisconsin Relic is a lifestyle brand providing premium quality apparel that celebrates the Midwest and its young pioneers.Â We sell vintage, organic and Wisconsin Relic original tees at numerous outlets, as well as on WisconsinRelic.com.
Broadcast Interactive Media (BIM) today unveiled a new partnership between Social Media Platform, YouNewsâ„¢ and hyper-local content provider City Dictionary (CityDictionary.com). The two Madison, WI-based companies have combined forces to provide users of the nearly 80 YouNews affiliates across the U.S. an opportunity to experience and contribute to a growing localized dictionary of community terms, slang, â€œismsâ€ and definitions.
City Dictionary, launched in May 2008, showcases the personality of individual cities through eccentricities of language and culture. The site relies on input from registered users, or â€œcitizensâ€ who contribute words or phrases and share information about attractions, events, restaurants, people and more. Case in point: a Milwaukee drinking fountain is called a â€œbubblerâ€ and â€œsluggingâ€ in DC is a form of hitchhiking that allows commuters to use the faster HOV lane. Information and little-known facts abound on City Dictionary, which earned the top prize in the 2009 G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition.
â€œWeâ€™re capturing the local subtleties of American cities that other resources might be missing,â€ says Thomas Carmona, co-founder of City Dictionary. â€œThe goal is to engage contributors from around the country and collect as many terms as possible â€” places, businesses, neighborhoods and slang â€” that become part of â€˜everyday speakâ€™ for various places.â€
YouNewsâ„¢ â€“ a social media platform where members of the community upload videos/photos to local media websites – now includes a City Dictionary channel with options to view existing content, add a word, add a definition and more. For example, visitors to KHOU.com in Houston, TX may navigate to the YouNews section of the site to learn the origin of the areaâ€™s many nicknames including: Space City, Bayou City, H-Town and Clutch City. If a favorite is missing, a new moniker can be added to the Houston Dictionary.
Member company Networked Insights was featured in Business Watch Magazine and includes a Q&A with founder Dan Neely.Â From the article:
Perched high above downtown Madison, Networked Insights, mines 3.5 million conversations a day, totaling over 1 billion annually. Using proprietary software, CEO and founder Dan Neely and his staff are monitoring our online social lives and using what we read, rate, share, link to and write to help businesses make informed decisions on who and what we like â€¦ the signal in the massive amount of e-noise. Neely, a native of Liverpool, England, talks with BusinessWatch about how Networked Insights (NI) began, Measuring the Social and how we are all content creators, whether we like it or not.
Capital Entrepreneurs welcomes new member company GuruCapus.Â From their website:
GuruCampus was founded by college seniors to highlight the events, ideas, trends, and students that shape campus culture. We give students a national voice in the fields of current events, entertainment, humor, sports, music, politics, and research. By covering these topics, our goal is to encourage a discussion that connects students across campuses.
PerBlue, Inc. has released a new title in its popular “Parallel Kingdom” line of location-based games. The game, “Age of Emergence” is now available in the iTunes App Store and the Google Android Market. Age of Emergence can be played on all iPhones, iPod Touch, and Android phones. It is free to download and free to play.Â From their release:
Madison, WI November 25, 2009 — PerBlue, Inc. has released a new title in its popular “Parallel Kingdom” line of location-based games. The game, Age of Emergence, is now available in the iTunes App Store and the Google Android Market. Age of Emergence can be played on all iPhones, iPod Touch, and Android phones. It is free to download and free to play.
The Age of Emergence adds a large number of features and significantly increases the depth of the whole game. Among the new features is the ability to found and expand cities with other players. There are four new types of dungeons players can explore and the locations of these dungeons are linked to actual features on the Google Map. Water on the Google Map is now also clearly distinguished and is played differently, adding another linkage between the game and real life. Also, all players are now ranked on a weekly basis in 20 different categories, and the top player in each category wins a trophy hat for their character.
In addition to new features, the previous game features have also been expanded by adding over a dozen new buildings, many new creatures to hunt, and over 30 new items to collect.
The developers of Parallel Kingdom will monetize the game using a micropayment-based business model. Players will be able to buy an in-game resource called Food using their iTunes account or Google Checkout. The functionality used by Parallel Kingdom for these in-app purchases was only recently added to Apple products in the 3.0 OS.
MADISON, WIS. â€“ November, 19 2009 â€“ Majic Enterprises, Inc is pleased to announce that their President & CEO, Michael Jurken has advanced from several thousand applicants to be one of twenty-two finalists for the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards competition in Kansas City, MO. Jurken will be representing the USA and competing against student entrepreneurs from 17 other countries. Jurken, currently a senior majoring in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will compete against twenty-two other student entrepreneurs in front of the 2500+ attendees at the annual GSEA conference November 16-20, 2009 at the Kansas City Convention Center. Ultimately, one finalist will become the 2009 GSEA winner, and receive more than $150,000 in cash and donated business services. In addition to being a student at UW-Madison, Jurken currently guest lectures for The Wisconsin School of Business and School of Human Ecology.
Founded in 1999 by Mike Jurken, Majic Enterprises, Inc. is one of Milwaukeeâ€™s largest entertainment industry holding companies. Majic is currently composed of four companies serving multiple aspects of the entertainment industry. Production Majic is an event production firm that provides sound and video support for concerts, special events, and conferences throughout Milwaukee, Madison, & Chicago and their respective suburbs. The second company under Majic is Review Majic, composed of reviewaconcert.com, the worldâ€™s largest online concert review website. The third company under Majic, DJ Majic, is a mobile disc jockey service that provides services for weddings and university and high school functions throughout the greater metropolitan areas of Milwaukee and Madison. The fourth company under Majic, Majic Management, is a full service talent agency, which has established promoting and managing experience with actors, writers, models, musical artists and touring shows. Additionally, it offers tour management services for musical artists and touring shows.
Capital Entrepreneurs welcomes it’s newest member Brazen Careerist. Â Brazen Careerist becomes the 42nd Capital Entrepreneurs member company!
Brazen Careerist exists to give everyone an opportunity to build and nurture a network of trusted peers. Other professional sites allow you to display a network, but not necessarily build one. Microblogging resources like Twitter can tell you who you should network with, but itâ€™s tough to build a real relationship on 140 character missives. And social networks like Facebook are great for having a conversation, but itâ€™s a conversation that employers donâ€™t want to hear.
Brazen Careerist brings the best of all these worlds into one, cohesive, social media based career management tool. Think of it as a 24-7 virtual networking event, filled with people who can help you get ahead in your career.
For marketers, social networks offer a goldmine of data about topics and brands. But thereâ€™s actually too much data to easily parse for most companies to get at the most valuable data. Thatâ€™s whyÂ IDG has built Social Scout, a new service powered byNetworked Insights.
The idea is to be able to filter through some of the noise associated with social media. This in turn helps b2b marketers learnÂ what people are saying about brands rather than just that theyâ€™re talking about them. â€œItâ€™s significant that theyâ€™ve [IDG] chosen an analytical listening tool over a monitoring tool,â€ says Dan Neely, CEO of Networked Insights.
Capital Entrepreneurs member PerBlue was mentioned in the New York Times today. Â Parallel Kingdom, PerBlue’s location based game for mobile devices like the iPhone and Android phones, is launching its new age Friday after an innovative prelaunch. Â Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times Article:
Players immersed in Parallel Kingdoms need to be wary in case digital dragons or other mythical creatures are lurking nearby.
â€œThe whole world is covered in creaturesâ€ said Justin Beck, the chief executive of PerBlue, the creator of the game. â€œWherever you go, you can stumble upon these creatures. You can combat them. You defeat some of them and partner with others. Some dragons are very vicious and you want to defeat them, but some trolls are very kind and they can help.â€
Student Spill – Heidi Allstop â€“Â SPILL, or Supporting Peers in Laid-back Listening, is aÂ peer-based online support networkby and for UW studentsÂ that provides a confidential, student-based â€œventing outletâ€Â where they can write in about issues they want to get off of their chests. Â We connect them with other students who have dealt with that specific issue,Â providing the â€œspillerâ€ withsupport, feedback, and resourcesÂ for dealing with that specific issue.
Posipair – Sarah Manski – At PosiPair we’re building the internet architecture of the new green economy: An online retail and networking platform serving green businesses, consumers, and nonprofits in the rapidly expanding green products and services market.
Flatt Cola – Dave Kruse & Paul Pucci â€“Â Flatt Cola is an Energy Cola company based in Madison, WI made with all natural sugar, vitamin C, and extra caffeine.Â A beverage with a sarcastic brand image, Flatt Colaâ€™s tagline is Everyday World Domination.Â Flatt can be foundÂ at Metcalfeâ€™s Sentry in Hilldale, Woodmanâ€™s East and West, Steveâ€™s Liquor on University, and the Old Fashioned, with new locations being added daily.Â Try it out, its pretty tasty.
Following the popularity of the â€œWeâ€™ll Never Forget You Brentâ€ original SconnieÂ® design, Sconnie Nation has released a slew of new designs for Packer fans. The â€œBrentâ€ shirts continue to fly off the shelves, with a flurry of increased demand as the Monday Night Football game approaches. In anticipation of the game, Sconnie Nation has released a limited edition green on gold version of the original â€œBrentâ€ design, printed on ultra-comfortable American Apparel t-shirts.
Sconnie ran a contest for fans to submit their own ideas for a shirt. From the slew of hilarious and original ideas proposed by fans came three new designs â€“ â€œBreak Himâ€, â€œBrettâ€™s Waffle Houseâ€ and â€œMinnesota Dumpster Diversâ€ which have also become wildly popular through online sales at www.sconnie.com. Also added to the lineup of shirt designs are Worst State Ever shirts, with the MN edition taking center stage this week.
Capital Entrepreneur member Proactive Sleep was featured as #3 on Gizmodo’s list of top 10 apps of the week. Â Here’s what they said:
Proactive Sleep: Is there a such thing as a sleep coach? Let’s assume there is! In a nutshell, that’s what this app, designed with SCIENCE, aims to be. It’s an alarm clock at its core, which wakes you up with music of your choice then challenges you to a game, or offers you a dream diary. It’ll also track your sleep patterns and warn you when you’ve dipped below average. A little steep at five dollars, but it’s fairly polished and written by a bon-a-fide sleep researcher.
Capital Entrepreneur member Per Blue is about to launch its new Age of Emergence version of Parallel Kingdom. Â Below is info from their press release regarding the launch:
Beginning Halloween, October 31st, Parallel Kingdom will be having an in-game event called the Scroll Hunt that will involve players gathering randomly placed scrolls and then uniting within the game. When four players that have each found a scroll all meet at one location, they will be able to combine their individual scrolls, creating a blueprint for a one-of-a-kind building called the Great Library.
The first four players that unite and successfully build the Great Library will be documented as the founders of the new version of the game, titled “Parallel Kingdom – The Age of Emergence.” The entire scroll hunt is expected to take about two weeks, but it has the possibility to last indefinitely. The new version of Parallel Kingdom will not become available until four players get together and build the Great Library. After the Great Library begins construction, the game servers will go down to update the game. When they come back up, the new version of the game will be available in Google Market and the iTunes App Store. In the new version, the construction of the Great Library will be complete and it will exist forever in the same location where the four players decided to build it.
Justin Beck of PerBlue, Inc., the company that developed Parallel Kingdom, says “We’re really excited about the Scroll Hunt because to the best of our knowledge, no other video game has ever done anything like this.” This contest will let the players compete with each other to find the scrolls first, and then they will have to cooperate to get four people with scrolls together in the game to build the Great Library. Beck says, “Its like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with 4 golden tickets except instead of a tour, you get to usher in a whole new game title”. The four winners’ names will be permanently inscribed on the Great Library. “For the developers and players the whole event should be tons of fun.”
View their trailer for the new age here.
This is the next generation of alarm clocks. Unlike an alarm clock that just wakes you up, this alarm clock enables you to get personalized feedback about the consistency of your sleep schedule. It records and tracks when you go to bed, based on when you set the alarm and when you get up, based on when the alarm goes off. It records and tracks how many times you awaken at night, based on when you press a button. You then play a stimulating game in the morning that suggests your level of fatigue.
Behavioral treatments for insomnia have been shown to just as effective as medications. This device gives you a tool that helps you set a schedule, then monitors it and records the outcome or level of fatigue. This application provides you with an alternative that would otherwise require professional support that could be expensive. The cost means iPhone and iPod users can try it without much downside. If, after a month, you’re still struggling, you can reach out to a sleep specialist and have information to show them.
â€œIt certainly hasnâ€™t been by accident,â€ says Matthew Mikolajewski, manager of the cityâ€™s office of business resources. â€œIt has taken lots of concerted effort to grow that entrepreneurial spirit.â€ That includes a renewed focus on entrepreneurship by the Universityâ€™s business school, the establishment of a fast-growing University research park, half a dozen business and arts incubators, and plans for a new food science lab and incubator developed with the Environmental Protection Agency. The fact that Madison has the second most educated work force in the country and one of the best quality of life ratings makes it attractive to business owners of all stripes. â€œIf you walk through one of our incubators, youâ€™ll find everything,â€ Mikolajewski says. â€œYouâ€™ll find a software engineer right next to someone making crackers.â€
We will use the front page to post updates on our members and their progress as they operate their business and highlight entrepreneurial events in the Madison community.
One of the coolest entrepreneur resources in Madison is the Burrill Business Plan Competition, a competition put on by the Wisconsin School of Business. The Burrill invites teams from all across the UW campus to write a business plan and make a presentation to a top notch judges panel. Its a great experience for entrepreneurs who are just getting their start.
This year’s competition was one of the best and two of our own took home top prizes. Thomas Carmona of CityDictionary.com took the $10,000 first prize, while Corey Capasso of Add The Flavor took the $7,000 second prize.Â Congrats to both Thomas and Corey!
Capital Entrepreneurs was founded in 2009 as a resource for the burgoening Entrepreneur community in Madison, Wisconsin. We are dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship in Madison by bringing entrepreneurs together to create new connections and a community around the disparate startups in Madison. We realize that entrepreneurs come in many different shapes and sizes: non-profits, retail, innovative websites and high tech innovations are all forms of entrepreneurship.
We have created a place were entrepreneurs can find resources that will help them succeed. From law firms who are flexible when working with startups to local investment firms, our Entrepreneur Resources page is the place for entrepreneurs to find talented, entrepreneur friendly businesses and services.
We are also interested in finding affordable heath care solutions for growing companies, helping others start new businesses and making connections with others in the community who are interesting in seeing Madison be the best city it can be.
If you are a Madison entrepreneur, join us! We would love to have you.