Forward Fest 2015 is over and 100state members, founders, and board members were all over the fest’s agenda:
- Founder and current board member Niko Skievaski pitched Redox at the Pressure Chamber for a chance at an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley.
- Executive Director Greg St. Fort and members Christina Libs, Will Green, Allen Dines, and Zach Brandon were panelists at the Social Good Summit, which member Alnisa Allgood helped organize.
- Members Shobhan Thakkar and Rachel Neill organized the We Are All Criminals event at the Madison Central Library.
- Members Luke Bonney and Troy Vosseller spoke on a panel at the Badger Startup Summit.
- Member Field59 live-streamed Forward Fest and MobCraft provided beer.
When 100state first started, it was a coworking space with a goal of supporting people as they pursued their entrepreneurial dreams. Over the past two years, it’s evolved into a conduit for talented people who come to Madison and want to become involved in something big.
At the Badger Startup Summit, while discussing how we can transform Madison from fly-over into fly-into land, Luke Bonney highlighted the connection between getting involved and staying in Madison. During his first years in Madison, he said, he had no meaningful connection to the community. When he joined 100state, he got his first taste of what it meant to be a community member. Soon after, Luke co-founded Redox with several other 100state members and is now actively building a business here in Madison.
Not all who come to Madison for grad school or their first job post-college make that community connection and choose to stay and help grow the city’s future. Madison can be a fly-out-of city as much as it is a fly-over city, but we can change that.
To retain the talent that pours into this city to attend the UW or to work at Epic, as Luke said, “we need to bring people here and connect them to the community the minute they arrive.” We need to show them reasons to stay beyond the initial opportunity that brought them here.
There are many organizations and groups that connect people to the greater community in Madison, and it’s exciting to have 100state stand as one of them. 100state doesn’t just connect people together, it connects people to resources and opportunities within the larger Madison community so that together, we can make broader connections through the community and collaboratively solve bigger problems.