Just back from Montreal, I was excited to jump into Madison, WI and the startup scene here. There are a number of different initiatives going which are changing and empowering the startup scene in Madison (and Wisconsin).
Capital Entrepreneurs: A local networking group focused on early stage startups. Also a good resource to start to get involved in Madison as it has links to many other things going on here.
Gener8tor: The Wisconsin accelerator program. Just met the guys last night and they were awesome.
Mad Railers: Meetup group dedicated to Ruby on Rails.
There are initiatives in the pipeline to bring an 1871 to Madison.
And more which I’m still learning about.
The energy and interest from all parties involved is also really great. I was speaking with the Gener8tor guys last night and they are really excited about what is happening here. Their program is getting more and more applicants and they are heading up some other really cool things. I also spoke with the WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation ) and they are really interested in supporting startups and developing the ecosystem. There is a lot of work to do yet however it has legs, it is moving, and its cool to be a part of it all.
I was mildly involved with the scene before I left but now feel much more interested in helping make the community a great place. After reading Brad Feld’s book “Startup Communities” I think I know why. After three months of receiving time, connections, and other ‘gifts’ from mentors, founders, and the entire ecosystem, I feel compelled to try and help and give back all that has been given to me. In his book he talks about giving before you get. I think it is a very clever and welcoming way to approach it and start to convert people into the pay it forward mentality. I am wishing we could apply these principals to everyday life and all citizens would embrace it. Imagine an entire culture based on give before you get. Amazing.
Here’s to the future.