Tech Groups — In and Around Town

The Web Chef's Café will focus on giving you insights, tips and links to free and fee resources on some of the latest developments in online marketing. Our Web Chef encourages you to send topic ideas and to comment on the postings as the bi-weekly series continues to evolve. Read Full Bio

While the Madison area isn't as well known as the Silicon Valley when it comes to technology innovation and companies, it is the home of a growing number of e-businesses, including: online retailers Alice, ArtfulHome, CityDictionary (recently reviewed by, MusicNotes, ShopBop and WisconsinMade.

Madison business-to-business companies have also embraced information technology in their operations. Beyond B2C and B2B, the area is also home to a number of technology enabling companies that help provide infrastructure, development and strategy for e-business and marketing initiatives. This broad array of organizations, along with the university community and well-educated population in Dane County, has made the community one well represented by professional development and networking organizations related to e-business and marketing.

Among the organizations serving in this capacity are the following:

Accelerate Madison — represents professionals interested in information technology, e-business and marketing. LinkedIn: 148 members representing Accelerate Madison professional members.

Madison High Tech Happy Hour — informal high tech social networking group with monthly sponsored events at locations around the area. LinkedIn: 379 members.

Madison Social Media and Web Marketing Mastermind Meet-up — one of 95 meet-up groups listed in the Madison area. 67 members. Organizer: Bryan Bliss

Madison Web Development and Design Meet-up — 182 members. Organizer: Ben Siegel

MIMA — Milwaukee Interactive Marketing Association — "the Milwaukee Interactive Marketing Association is Milwaukee's only interactive-centric professional organization dedicated to the enhancement and acceleration of business opportunities, professional development, and networking for interactive marketing professionals in Milwaukee." Twitter: @milwaukeeIMA

Social Media Breakfasts — Organizer: Wendy Soucie

Social Media Club of Madison — a brand new organization formed to accelerate the development of social media knowledge and tactics by organizations and individuals in the Madison area. Twitter: @MadisonSMC

UW e-Business Consortium — represents large companies as members of a "collaborative e-learning community with a focus on six critical areas for business: Web & Multichannel Marketing, Information Technology, Customer Service, Sales Operations, Supply Chain Management and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)."
LinkedIn: 755 members representing consortium company employees. — an umbrella organization designed to facilitate technology interchange. Has a listing with links to about 40 networking/professional development organizations representing a range of Web technology interests.

Wisconsin Technology Council and Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) — "the Tech Council's membership subsidiary – a community-based economic development organization dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. In association with the Tech Council, WIN programs focus on the needs and challenges faced by new and growing technology-based businesses in Wisconsin."

Other organizations that have periodic speakers on web and Internet marketing topics include:

These and countless other organizations here and in Southeast Wisconsin will continue to play an important role in the development of new high technology businesses in the state. I encourage you to explore these organizations and their valuable development and networking events as part of your professional growth strategies. If you're part of the planning of events for these and other organizations, don't forget to use the convenient calendar submission form to publicize your event.

To find out more about the latest trends in e-business, marketing and innovation you can follow me on Twitter @thewebchef.

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