2011 Recap: The Madison Startup Scene

The year of 2011 saw a lot of growth in many ways for the Capital Entrepreneurs community. Existing Capital Entrepreneurs companies grew revenue, employees, and expertise. Many new companies were launched, and the entire scene as a whole saw a lot of positive growth. Madison was rated as the most educated city in America, one of the top cities for young adults, and one of the top 10 cities to start a business. Young, smart people are the cornerstone of the Capital Entrepreneurs community, and Madison’s role as a top startup hub continues to grow.

Capital Entrepreneurs more than doubled in size over the year and has over 150 member entrepreneurs. Capital Entrepreneurs companies now employ over 200 full time and nearly 100 part time people. In 2011 alone, these companies created 121 full time jobs, 66 part time jobs, and raised $23.7 million in funding. The direct economic impact of Capital Entrepreneurs companies continues to grow as they create new jobs, bring in new funding, and create new revenue streams.

Capital Entrepreneurs companies are curing cancer, preventing suicides, and organizing community groups. They are making mobile apps and games used by millions, revolutionizing the digital music industry, making sense of social media, shaping some of the world’s largest brands, and much more. Capital Entrepreneurs companies participated in prestigious startup incubator programs including Y Combinator, TechStars, Startup Chile, and 94labs.

Over the last year, Capital Entrepreneurs companies were featured in news outlets around the globe. These included The New York Times, NPR, Mashable, TechCrunch, CNN, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, MTV, Sports Illustrated, AdAge, and more. Locally, Capital Entrepreneurs companies were the topic of two Isthmus cover stories, and were featured in the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison Magazine, and InBusiness.

Capital Entrepreneurs members gave talks at TEDxMadtown, were featured on panels at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, Accelerate Madison, and the Wisconsin Science Festival, and many Capital Entrepreneurs members have emerged as some of the top experts in their fields. Multiple Capital Entrepreneurs companies were also recognized as Qualified New Business Ventures by the State of Wisconsin.

Capital Entrepreneurs organized Build Madison, a 24 hour community create-a-thon that took place in both February and September. Each event drew over 60 people that came together to work on some awesome projects and compete for $1000 in prizes. Sponsors included Google, Sony, plus more, and multiple projects turned into real companies.

The 2nd Annual Forward Technology Festival took place in August and was organized by Capital Entrepreneurs members. The ten day festival showcased Madison’s entrepreneurship and creative community. The festival included events throughout the city, a multi-day Madison Ruby Conference, and was headlined by the Forward Technology Conference. The conference had record attendance and featured top thought leaders and entrepreneurs from Madison and beyond.

Capital Entrepreneurs companies saw a lot of success in 2011 and Capital Entrepreneurs continues to serve as a cornerstone of the Madison entrepreneurial community. There is a lot of excitement going into the new year, and 2012 should prove to be another action packed year for the Madison Startup Scene. Are you an entrepreneur? Madison’s a great place for startups, and Capital Entrepreneurs is a great family to join.