Guest post from Justin Beck, founder and CEO at PerBlue
There seems to be a big misconception about tech startups. Many potential entrepreneurs think the Silicon Valley is the only place a startup can grow and thrive. People are amazed when I say that the only things you need to build a company are a laptop and a business internet connection. Business can be done just as effectively from a coffee shop as it can be from a corner office.
After interning at Google and Microsoft, I chose to return to Madison, a place I love, in order to pursue my passion of entrepreneurship. What is so special about Madison? What is the secret mix of community, resources, and other cool things that make it a great place for a startup?
Talent: Badger pride! The UW – Madison has an amazing pool of talent, they are sharp and ready to work really hard. We have many University of Wisconsin-Madison alums on our team.
Affordable Living & Great Lifestyle: Madison has a great nightlife, awesome restaurants and many natural resources. Head down to the Memorial Union for a beer by the lake on Friday night, or check out the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. Another great advantage to the Midwest? The cost of living is much lower than in Silicon Valley.
Encouraging Community: The tech scene in Madison is a tight-knit community of startups and mature businesses. Everyone is supportive and encouraging of other startups in town. Many of these younger companies are involved in groups like Capital Entrepreneurs, and are really focused on building up the startup community as a whole. They’ve organized homegrown events like the Forward Technology Festival, Build Madison, and other tech conferences that have been attended by thousands of people.
We’ve had investors ask us to move our operations to Silicon Valley. However we are committed to keeping our business in Madison. Madison has always been my home, and I hope to live here for a long time.
Guest post by Justin Beck
Justin Beck is the Co-Founder and CEO of PerBlue, a mobile and social gaming company in Madison, Wisconsin. The company is best known for its flagship product, Parallel Kingdom, the first location-based RPG. Justin is a passionate software developer and entrepreneur. As CEO, Beck has grown PerBlue from a group five college friends to a team of 30 full-time employees.
Prior to starting PerBlue, Beck held software engineer and program manager positions at Microsoft and Google. Beck graduated from the University of Wisconsin. Go Badgers!