Build Madison: Madison’s Create-a-thon

The first annual Build Madison community create-a-thon is being held this weekend at Sector67.  Build Madison is a 24-hour event open to anyone in Madison with ideas, skills and the desire to create something over a weekend.  Everyone gets together at Sector67 at 11am on Saturday to brainstorm ideas and form teams.  After the pitch session, teams have until 11am Sunday when teams present the projects they’ve created in the previous 24 hours.  Next, the top projects win prizes and every team receives information and resources on how to take their newly created product to market as quickly as possible.

Back in November, Capital Entrepreneurs members Steve Faulkner, Michael Fenchel, Dan Gordon and Heidi Allstop attended the Defrag Conference in Denver, Colorado scholarships as part of a Kaufman Foundation grant.  “We first conceived of the idea last fall while hearing about similar events at Defrag,” Faulkner tells me.  “We thought, the Madison community had so many talented and unique individuals, why not get them all together for a weekend and see what comes out?”

When they got back, Faulkner and Fenchel teamed up with Chris Meyer of Sector67 and Forrest Woolworth of PerbBlue.  Meyer volunteered his space to host the event and the community quickly lined up behind the event.  Companies including Google, Sony, Supranet, PerBlue, Murfie and organizations like Capital Entrepreneurs have thrown their support, resources and expertise to make Build Madison a reality.

“Build Madison is designed to foster collaboration between people with a variety of skill sets that may never otherwise work together, yielding innovation as well as strengthening ties in Madison’s professional community,” said Fenchel.

Build Madison is part of a larger entrepreneurial renaissance in Madison.  Along with August’s Forward Technology Festival, the Burrill Business Plan Competition, Capital Entrepreneurs, High Tech Happy Hour and Sector67, Madison’s entrepreneurial scene is beginning to boom.  “The entrepreneurial energy in Madison is on the rise,” said Forrest Woolworth.

With over 70 Madisonians planning to attend, I think Faulkner sums it up best, “I think the community has been waiting for something like this.”

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