CityDictionary.com is a Web site that dishes up local culture and language for various cities.Â Based in Madison, it allows users to define a city in their own words.Â The entries range from local slang and nicknames to events, restaurants, neighborhoods, food, people and more.Â Co-founder Thomas Carmona stopped by the WisconsinEye studios in Madison to talk with Business Profile host Jason Fischer. Carmona described how CityDictionary.com has become the place to find insider information that you won’t necessarily find in a tour book, on a map, or in the yellow pages.
In December the Best App Ever Awards held nominations through online voting. The Parallel Kingdom community showed their dedication and as a result, PK is a finalist in FOUR categories! I’ll say it again, our players never cease to amaze me!
Finalist voting is open to the public starting now and going until January 31st. Whichever app gets the most votes in each category wins. Let’s keep this momentum going and continue to show our love for PK.
If you are interested in voting and supporting a fellow Capital Entrepreneurs member, click here.
How long have you been involved with City Dictionary and how would you describe your present role at the company?
I have been working on City Dictionary ever since late 2007 when I was developing the idea with my brother and my sister-in-law. At that point it was difficult to progress quickly because I was starting a full-time MBA program and my partners were already running a rapidly-growing e-commerce business of their own. Now my main role is to promote the Web site and pursue strategic partnerships with other media companies that operate in the local landscape. Meanwhile, I have gained a lot of insight from observing and working with my brother, John. He is an accomplished entrepreneur with a knack for knowing what works and what doesn’t. Some of that has rubbed off on me. (I hope.)
The Govorner’s Business Plan Competition is an annual business plan competition run by the state of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Technology Council.Â With a grand prize of $50,000, it is a great way for Wisconsin companies to get exposure and potentially win some money. Approaching
The deadline for entries is January 31, 2010 and it is fast approaching.Â For the first phase, simply submit at 250 word abstract on their website and you are good to go.Â For more information please see the Governor’s Business Plan website:
The mission of the Governorâ€™s Business Plan Contest is to encourage entrepreneurs in the creation, start-up and early-growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin. Participants have the chance to win seed capital, valuable services that will help them launch their businesses and a Grand Prize worth $50,000. Since its inception in 2004, more than 1,500 entries have been received and $1 million in cash and in-kind prizes has been awarded.
…the first release of the app had me hooked from day one.Â I would find myself waking through the skyways in Minneapolis on my lunch breaks just so I could discover new areas on the map so I could kill more creates and build up my stash of gold.
The latest release of the game (Parallel Kingdom â€“ Age of Emergence) was launched in late November.Â Once I reinstalled the game, I quickly realized that it was a whole new world I was walking into.Â It has been over six months since I played the game.Â I had to uninstall it since my wife would yell at me every time I pulled out my phone to kill a few trolls or dragons.Â Age of Emergence has quite a bit to offer.Â I was planning on writing up a quick review on it a few weeks back, but found out that I would need some extra time to delve into all the new features that it includes.
The real fun comes in with the addition of Cities.Â Players can now team up to build a city which adds a whole new element to the game.Â Once you join a city (costs 1000 Gold) you will be able to travel to it wherever you like and can trade your items in the Trading Post.Â You will also get your own personal Oil Well which will collect Oil for you even while you are not playing.Â Oil can then be sold, traded, or dropped for Gold so you can purchase new items from other players or upgrade your weapons.
…Iâ€™m hoping that this is enough info to get you started on your Parallel Kingdom adventure.Â Â The game has a lot more to offer than what Iâ€™ve covered and it truly is one of the most addicting and immersive games for the Android platform.Â I find myself logging in 2-3 times a day to collect my Oil, harvest Berries, and hunt Dragons. I should also mention that Parallel Kingdom is also available on the iPhone.Â So donâ€™t be surprised to find a fair number of iPhone freaks in the chat rooms and trading posts of Parallel Kingdom.
Entrustet is a secure, organizational tool that brings together people like you, estate planning lawyers and the companies that provide online accounts and memberships. Entrustet allows users to maintain a secure portfolio of online assets, nominate heirs and manage asset distribution and deletion after their passing. Entrustet’s wide range of services allow you to organize and decide what happens to your digital assets, before your loved ones or your executor are faced with the unknowns and complexities of protecting your online legacy.
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.