Madison startups top 800 jobs, report shows

By Judy Newman, Wisconsin State Journal

Eric Martell (left) & Matt Howard, co-founders of EatStreet

Eric Martell (left) & Matt Howard, co-founders of EatStreet. Photo: Wisconsin State Journal

Madison’s startup community is a growing economic engine, providing more than 800 jobs and bringing in more than $66 million from investors in 2015 alone.

The annual survey by Capital Entrepreneurs shows some impressive gains, said Forrest Woolworth, a co-founder of the networking organization.

Of 57 young companies that responded to the survey about their 2015 achievements:

  • They created 215 full-time jobs, up from a net increase of 175 full-time jobs in 2014.
  • They now employ more than 675 full-time and 165 part-time workers, compared with 500 full-time employees a year ago.
  • They raised $66.5 million in outside financing, a jump from $44 million raised in 2014.
  • Fifteen companies drew $1 million or more from investors in 2015, up 50 percent over the prior year.
  • EatStreet, a mobile and online restaurant ordering tool, got $15 million, the largest investment.
    Woolworth said the results were surprising.

“I thought last year’s numbers, as far as job creation and funding raised, were really strong,” he said.

With investment running 50 percent higher than the year before, “that raises the bar” and prompts the question: “Can we maintain this level?” Woolworth said.

For the third straight year, tech startups have raised at least $40 million, and two were acquired. Social media marketing firm Shoutlet was purchased by Spredfast, of Austin, Texas, and Quickstep Technologies, with a fast way to process data, became part of Pivotal, of Palo Alto, California. Terms of the deals were not announced. Read more …

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