2018 Forward Festival Startup Showcase


The 6th annual Forward Festival Startup Showcase takes place the evening of Tuesday, August 21 at the Memorial Union. The Startup Showcase is a high energy stage that celebrates and showcases what’s next in Madison’s startup ecosystem. It features an evening of startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies. A select group of 5 rising startups will give a 5-minute “demo day” style pitch showcasing their company.

In addition, over 15 Startup Showcase alumni from past years will take part in a lightning round of 1-minute update pitches highlighting their recent successes. A reception on the Memorial Union Terrace will follow.

We’re excited to announce the lineup of new 2018 Startup Showcase presenting companies:

  • GrowthChart Records – Provides hands-free documentation services to child care centers, such as preschools, daycares and in-home providers.
  • Moonshot Insights – Performs predictive candidate evaluations for employers to determine a candidate’s job performance, growth, culture fit and longevity.
  • NovoMoto – A for-profit social enterprise that provides clean electricity for off-grid communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • UCHardChip – Creating smart personal protective equipment and services for construction sites.
  • YoEats – A customer-facing restaurant application that provides personalized menu generation and allows patrons to split & pay bill right from their phone in real-time.

REGISTER NOW to attend the Startup Showcase. Startup Showcase admission is also included with Forward Tech Conference registration and with the Forward Pass.

2018 Forward Festival is August 16-23


The 9th annual Forward Festival is August 16-23, 2018. Forward Fest is Wisconsin’s largest technology and entrepreneurship festival and includes 40+ events by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. The 2018 Festival event line up and website are here.

Looking to attend multiple events? The Forward Pass is the fastest, easiest, and the most cost-effective way to take advantage of all the Forward Fest has to offer. This one pass gets you into nearly all the 2018 Forward Festival events. Get your Forward Pass here.

Be sure to consider attending the headline Forward Tech Conference and Forward Festival Startup Showcase on August 21, as well as our Capital Entrepreneurs Rooftop Social (and Forward Fest wrap party) on August 23.


What is the Forward Festival?
It’s Madison’s flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival. Since starting in 2010, it now attracts thousands of attendees and includes 8 full days packed with 40+ events. All events are organized by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs and encompass technology, food, music, social good, art, and more. Join fellow entrepreneurs, nerds, geeks, hackers, foodies, and creatives from the Midwest in an 8-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Whether you’re already plugged into the Madison startup community, or you’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to sample what the area has to offer, the Forward Festival is about bringing the startup community together to learn, share, and have some fun.

2015 Forward Festival Recap

ftf-logo-smallThe 2015 Forward Festival is a wrap! This year’s Festival was a huge success drawing 3,000 attendees over the course of 8 days and 34 events. After a few weeks to take it all in, we have compiled a summary of the two headline Capital Entrepreneurs events: the Startup Showcase and the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social.

 

Startup Showcase

The third annual Startup Showcase took place on August 25th at Monona Terrace and featured nearly 30 emerging Madison startups. This year, the Startup Showcase joined forces with the Pressure Chamber for a full Pitch Night evening. Pressure Chamber is a Shark Tank style pitch series that rewarded one startup with a trip to San Francisco to meet with potential investors. After six companies took the stage and received difficult questioning from a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, bluDiagnostics walked away with the prize. BluDiagnostics, a company that recently won the Wisconsin Governonr’s Business Plan Competition, has developed a saliva-based fertility test for women.

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Following the Pressure Chamber, the Startup Showcase featured a series of pitches from compelling Madison startups. Five new companies that have not previously presented at the Startup Showcase each gave a five minute demo-day style pitch about their company, and over 20 Startup Showcase alumni companies gave quick one-minute update pitches. Collectively, the 30 companies that took the stage at Pitch Night have created over 500 jobs and raised more than $150 million in funding. You can watch the recorded Pitch Night events (and other Forward Fest events) here.

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Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social

The Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social was held on August 27th on the beautiful Boardman & Clark rooftop terrace and atrium on the Capitol Square. The event featured MobCraft’s signature Forward Festive-Ale as well as some other premiere local taps. Nearly 200 attendees socialized and enjoyed themselves as DJ Kayla Kush played an awesome live set!

The Open Social was a great way to cap off an action filled 2015 Forward Festival! Special thanks goes out to all Forward Festival event organizers as well as all participants. We hope you enjoyed the week and we hope to see you again next year!

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Forward Fest Startup Showcase and Open Social Recap

ftf logo smallThe 2014 Forward Festival is a wrap! The 2014 Festival was the best yet, with 20 awesome events over 8 days that drew 2,500 attendees. After a few weeks to decompress and reflect, we were finally able to compile and put together a summary of the two headline Capital Entrepreneurs events: the Forward Festival Startup Showcase and the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social.

Forward Festival Startup Showcase

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The second annual Startup Showcase had 10 exciting young companies present at the Majestic Theater in Madison on August 27. DJ Nick Nice kept the energy levels up at the event which drew 250 attendees to see 5 minute pitches from the class of new companies, as well as 1 minute update pitches from 10 of the companies that presented at last year’s Startup Showcase. Check out more pictures from the Startup Showcase here.

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Watch each new company’s five minute pitch here:

  • Deneb Outdoors: Producing high quality, functional, and sustainable outdoor apparel and equipment for both extreme adventurers as well as for the casual outdoors enthusiast
  • Dock Technologies: Developing simple visual reminders for healthcare providers
  • HealthMyne: Improving patient outcomes by allowing providers to efficiently search medical images using the search, analytics, and imaging (SAI) technology
  • 900dpi: A Hosted CMS, Built for Designers
  • ForkForce: A Social Network tailored to ease hiring for the food and beverage services industry
  • Clemetric: Providing data analytics technology to improve healthcare delivery, including intensive care units
  • BankMyBiz: Matching Lenders and Business Owners
  • DigSite: Online insight communities to let businesses gather in-depth insights in a confidential and secure way
  • Iristocracy: Combining the Virtual Look technology with the great local care you receive from your trusted eyewear experts
  • MobCraft: The World’s first totally crowdsourced brewery

Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social

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The Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social was held on August 28 and was a great way to wrap up the Festival. The Open Social was held on Boardman & Clark’s beautiful rooftop terrace and atrium on the Capitol Square. Over 100 people attended the event, and socialized to the beats of DJs Kayla Kush and Captain Smooth. Attendees enjoyed MobCraft’s signature Forward Festive-Ale, taps from other local brewers, and great snacks highlighting local producers prepared by Underground Food Collective and Wisconsin From Scratch. Check out more pictures from the Open Social here.

The Open Social rooftop party concluded the 2014 Forward Festival, and discussions are already underway on how to make the 2015 Festival even better. Special thanks goes out to all Forward Festival event organizers, as well as Yuri Zapuchlak, Noah Willman, and Steve Faulkner for helping capture these events in photos.

Forward Festival Kicks Off This Week

ftf logo smallThe 2014 Forward Festival kicks off this week! The Festival runs from August 21-28 and is now in its fifth year. There are 20 different exciting events lined up, and there’s still time to secure your spot at many of them. Check out the full event list here.

Be sure to join us for the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social on Thursday, August 28. The Open Social takes place on a rooftop on the Capitol Square, and will feature MobCraft’s 2014 Forward Festive-Ale, taps from other local brewers and other beverages, as well as snacks from a variety of local producers and food entrepreneurs. For more information and to RSVP (it’s free!), go here.

We’ve also got another exciting Startup Showcase coming up on Wednesday, August 27. We’ll feature 10 exciting new startups who are revolutionizing everything from healthcare to software publishing to banking and more. You’ll also hear an update from the startups that presented at last year’s Startup Showcase. More information is available here, and a limited number of event tickets are now available here.

Be sure to attend the headline Festival event – the Forward Technology Conference, as well as other great events including the Badger Startup Summit, Edible Startup Summit, the Wisconsin Innovation Awards and more. Check out the full lineup of events here.

Forward Festival Startup Showcase Seeking Nominations

ftf logo smallThe Forward Festival Startup Showcase features an evening of lightning round startup pitches from some of Madison’s most compelling emerging companies on the “big stage” at the Majestic Theatre.

Last year, the inaugural Startup Showcase brought nearly 200 entrepreneurs, business leaders, and civic leaders together to hear pitches from emerging companies in the Madison area. For this year’s event, we are looking to find ten new startups to take to the stage and tell us their story in just five minutes.

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Nominate a startup to pitch in the 2014 Startup Showcase by July 25 here.

Check out the video from last year’s event here. The Startup Showcase is organized by Capital Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Madison.

Sign up for Festival updates here, and help create this year’s Forward Festive-Ale here!