Fast Madison

Our city's growing tech scene is one to watch

Last winter, a friend told my husband and me how he lost a lot of weight drinking a lot of water. Like, tons of water. We were skeptical. Everyone knows the eight glasses a day rule, but this guy was matching a glass of water with all liquid intake, most of which was beer since we were on vacation. When we got home, we went on a major diet, scrapping our cheese, bread and microbrew food groups for meat, tofu, veggies and … water. Lots and lots of water. It worked, and while we’ve added the good stuff back in moderation, we still drink water like we’re stuck in the Sahara. So this summer, when Michelle Obama told the world to drink more water, I was feeling a little slighted. I tell people to drink water and they give me the crazy stare; the First Lady tells people and it’s front-page news.

I’m hoping it won’t take a White House endorsement for you to believe what we’re saying in this month’s cover story. Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millenials, especially Millenials, are starting and growing high-tech companies here at a fast clip—the “fast” fueled by the Internet, mobile technology and social media. Today’s entrepreneurs are super-smart and creative, and they’re grabbing onto the tools they’ve been given and to each other to forge a scene, a hub, a sector. They’re coming out of the woodwork of UW, Epic, Sonic Foundry, Lands’ End and even the state Capitol, commercial banking and law to put ideas into action. Some could become the twenty-first century stalwarts of our economy. And they stand on the shoulders of the business and civic leaders who came before them.

We found great synergy in the idea of launching the new Madison “who’s who”—we call it “The M List”—by recognizing business execs doing some exciting launching of their own. Here in Madison, “who’s who” isn’t always who you think it is.

Brennan Nardi is editor of Madison Magazine.

Find more of her columns here.

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