2017 Forward Festival Kicks Off This Week! (Aug 17-24)


The 8th annual Forward Festival is August 17-24, 2017. Forward Fest is Wisconsin’s largest technology and entrepreneurship festival and includes 40+ events by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. See the 50+ events that are part of the 2017 line up here.

What is the Forward Festival? It’s Madison’s flagship technology and entrepreneurship festival. Check out this Introduction to the Forward Festival for an overview. 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. Be sure to consider attending these events in particular:

Forward Tech Conference – August 22 – The headline tech conference of the Forward Festival, the Forward Technology Conference (FTC) is geared toward startup founders, tech geeks, and those wanting to build successful technology companies. Whether you’re thinking about launching a startup business or you’re an experienced entrepreneur, you’ll find this conference relevant and insightful. You’ll get real perspective from tech startup leaders who are actually in the trenches building successful companies. You’ll hear everything from best practices to war stories, and you’ll walk away with real concrete learnings and actionables – not high level generalizations about broad topics.

This year’s conference will feature a Keynote Fireside chat from the founders of Firebase and Ionic, as well as discussions with leaders from Redox, Zapier, healthfinch, Zendesk, EatStreet, PerBlue, and many other seasoned serial entrepreneurs!

REGISTER: A few tickets are still available, get yours ASAP here


Forward Festival Startup Showcase – August 22 – The Forward Festival 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.

REGISTER: Included with Forward Tech Conference registration, or you can get a stand-alone ticket here


Capital Entrepreneurs Rooftop Open Social (and Forward Fest Wrap Party) – August 24 – Join Capital Entrepreneurs as we wrap up the 2017 Forward Festival with a rooftop celebration on the Capitol Square. Come mingle with Madison’s up-and-coming innovators working on a wide variety of interesting startups at the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social. Enjoy great networking and Capitol views from Boardman & Clark’s beautiful rooftop terrace, as well as a variety of taps from local brewers and snacks from local producers.

REGISTER: RSVP here (free)

2016 Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social

ce-open-social-promoThe 2016 Forward Festival kicks off today and runs August 18-25! There are 40+ events on the schedule, and be sure to join us for our annual Capital Entrepreneurs Rooftop Open Social on August 25! This event doubles as the Wrap Party for the 2016 Forward Festival.

  • What: CE Rooftop Open Social
  • When: Thursday, August 25 from 5:30-7:30pm
  • Where: Boardman & Clark (US Bank Building, 4th Floor)

Wrap up the 2016 Forward Festival with a rooftop celebration on the Capitol Square. We’ll have plenty of beverages (including the 2016 Forward Festive-Ale, Restoration Cider, and other local brewers) as well as snacks from Lucille. The event is free to attend.

Please RSVP here if you’re planning to attend.

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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.

2013 FTF: Capital Entrepreneurs Events Recap

FTF-logoAfter 10 eventful days, the 2013 Forward Technology Festival has come to a close. We’re still recovering from the 22 different events, and this year saw the most excitement around the Festival and highest caliber of events yet. Though Capital Entrepreneurs and our members were heavily involved throughout the Festival, we hosted two keynote events: the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social and the Madison Startup Showcase.

The Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social (and FTF kick off) was enjoyed by 125 people on a beautiful evening on the 4th floor terrace of the US Bank building overlooking the Capitol Square. We released the signature beer of the Festival – the Forward Festive-Ale, which was brewed by Capital Entrepreneurs member MobCraft, and enjoyed drinks, snacks, beats, and good company. Check out more pictures from the event here.

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The first ever Madison Startup Showcase was presented by Capital Entrepreneurs and Accelerate Madison. The event brought 200 entrepreneurs, business leaders, and civic leaders together at the Majestic Theatre where sixteen emerging companies were showcased, each taking the stage for 5 minutes. Presenting companies included PerBlue, Murfie, Drifty Co, EatStreet, Asthmapolis, HealthFinch, SnowShoe, MobileIgniter, Quintessence Bioscience, Networked Insights, C-Motive Technologies, OpenHomes, StudyBlue, Ronin Studios, Abodo, and Wellbe. You can view the full video livecast from the event courtesy of Sonic Foundry here.
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Be sure to check out some press for the Festival here and here. We look forward to another great Forward Technology Festival next year!

2013 FTF: Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social

FTF-logoThe 2013 Forward Technology Festival runs from August 15-24, and encompasses 10 days of tech and entrepreneurship focused events throughout Madison. For a full event list and more information, go here.

CapitalEntrepeneurs_Source-e1287977842191.jpgThe Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social kicks off the Forward Technology Festival on the evening of Thursday, August 15 from 6-8 pm on the Capitol Square. Come meet some of Madison’s up-and-coming innovators working on a wide variety of interesting companies at the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social meeting. Capital Entrepreneurs is the cornerstone of Madison’s entrepreneurial community, and the normally members-only monthly meeting opens its door to anyone with an interest in entrepreneurship.

Enjoy great Capitol views from Boardman & Clark’s beautiful fourth floor terrace of the US Bank building. We’ll also be releasing the Forward Festive-Ale brewed by MobCraft.

This event is FREE, but please RSVP to attend here.

Tonight! Spring Tech Kickoff: Capital Entrepreneurs and Horizon Coworking Open Social

Capital EntrepeneursCapital Entrepreneurs and Horizon Coworking unite to bring you Madison’s Spring Tech Kickoff happening TONIGHT (Wednesday, March 20)!

Doors open at 6pm to check out Horizon and learn about what ULI is up to on the Square, and the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social runs from 7-9pm. The event is at Horizon Coworking, located at 7 North Pinkney St. The format is informal, come, mingle, folks will be there to answer questions about Horizon and show you around. Music and refreshments provided, including coffee and drinks from the new Alterra opening soon on the Square, wine from Square Wine, and appetizers from the soon-to-open Fox & Bird.

Sponsored by Urban Land Interests and Godfrey and Kahn, S.C., we welcome you to come meet some of Madison’s up-and-coming innovators working on a wide variety of interesting companies at the Capital Entrepreneurs and Horizon Coworking Open Social.

Spring Tech Kickoff: Capital Entrepreneurs and Horizon Coworking Open Social

Capital EntrepeneursCapital Entrepreneurs and Horizon Coworking unite to bring you Madison’s Spring Tech Kickoff on Wednesday, March 20!

Doors open at 6pm to check out Horizon and learn about what ULI is up to on the Square, and the Capital Entrepreneurs Open Social runs from 7-9pm. The event is at Horizon Coworking, located at 7 North Pinkney St. The format is informal, come, mingle, folks will be there to answer questions about Horizon and show you around. Music and refreshments provided, including coffee and drinks from the new Alterra opening soon on the Square, wine from Square Wine, and appetizers from the soon-to-open Fox & Bird.

Sponsored by Urban Land Interests and Godfrey and Kahn, S.C., we welcome you to come meet some of Madison’s up-and-coming innovators working on a wide variety of interesting companies at the Capital Entrepreneurs and Horizon Coworking Open Social.

Capital Entrepreneurs is the cornerstone of Madison’s entrepreneurial community, and this normally members only monthly meeting opens its door to anyone with an interest in entrepreneurship.

Horizon Coworking is Madison’s downtown, open, collaborative workspace. Recently moved into 7 North Pinkney, we are pleased to formally open our doors to the public. We have worked closely with ULI to create a space where entrepreneurs, independent workers, and broader groups supporting startups and nontraditional work can come together.

FTF 2012 – Save the date!

The 3rd Annual Forward Technology Festival is on the way. FTF 2012 will run from August 16 – August 25 and is a ten day long series of events that showcases Madison’s entrepreneurship and creative community. The festival is headlined by the Forward Technology Conference, which will take place Wednesday, August 22.

Capital Entrepreneurs will again be hosting an Open Social as part of the Forward Technology Festival, and will also be hosting a Pitch Panel event as part of this year’s festivities. More info to come!