2013 Recap: 32Auctions

32auctions-logo32auctions is a bootstrapped startup based in the great city of Madison. We provide an effective cloud based service for anyone wanting to host a silent auction fundraiser. To date, 32auctions has benefited nearly 12,000 causes across the globe, including in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia. We even broke into the top 100,000 global traffic ranking on Alexa. Best of all, we’re very pleased to have helped a large number of causes based right here in Dane County.

This year we had over 30 local organizations choose our service for hosting their silent auction fundraiser. These local organizations and their benefactors included United Way of Dane County, Dane Buy Local, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation, TASC (Total Administrative Services), UW Credit Union, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Steve Brown Apartments, Wisconsin Women’s Network, Office of Child Care and Family Resources, UW College of Engineering. And for many of these, it was not their first time using 32auctions.

This year was monumental for our company. In mid-2013, both co-founders left gainful Fortune 500 employment to work full time on 32auctions. With the extra time and focus, we’ve been able to add a number of highly requested features and further improve our already top notch customer service. A few of the new features include shipping, custom branding, extended bidding, and administrator notes.

Early in 2013, we broke into the mobile space by releasing a mobile optimized version of our site for phones. We choose this direction over native or responsive because it best suits the needs of our customers and our business model. We’ve been very pleased with the positive reaction to our mobile site used by people on the go and those attending a live event fundraiser.

This year we had a lot of fun getting active in the Madison startup community. We joined Capital Entrepreneurs, attended local conferences (Forward Technology Conference, Madison Ruby), and attended local technology meetups (gener8tor, MadJS, Mad-Railers). We also had a lot of fun giving our “Alternative Route to Entrepreneurship” presentation at the MadJS meetup in August. It was very well received and we would love to present it to more groups in 2014.

We received some “interesting” mentions in Yahoo! Finance, Huffington Post, VentureBeat, and GeekWire for a startup’s innovative approach to raising capital. The story caught fire and raced through Silicon Valley in just a couple of days. It even led to some unsolicited venture capital attention which we politely declined (you can learn more about that in our presentation). In the end, the story was a concocted hoax by an entrepreneur trying to garner some press, which definitely worked!

Our goal when we started 32auctions was to help people raise money for their cause, especially those within our community, by providing an effective tool for fundraising. It has been very fulfilling to see our service benefit thousands of worthy causes across Wisconsin, America and beyond. 2013 has been a terrific year for 32auctions and we’re anticipating continued growth which will positively impact tens of thousands more people in 2014 with funds raised through our service.