They say the best ideas happen over a round of beers with friends, so it’s no surprise that Milwaukee and the surrounding areas are becoming a hub for great disruptive ideas.
From legal and health software platforms that strive to make the jobs of industry professionals easier, to development companies that build apps and solutions for their clients, there’s a lot of great work coming from up the lake.
Here are 25 Wisconsin-based software companies to watch as they keep growing and innovating their products.
Scanalytics is one of the fastest growing IoT companies. Its software tracks human behavior through floor sensors in built spaces: at events, in stores, and throughout commercial buildings. This allows planners to see how occupants think and move around their environments, which helps planners design better spaces.
Zywave is used by more than 2,600 insurance agencies and brokers around the world. The company’s software improves broker communication, focuses on automation, and provides data analytics tools for easy end-user research. There are currently more than 250 employees on staff in Milwaukee.
Based in Madison, EatStreet is available across dozens of cities in America. Users can find coupons for restaurants, discover special offers and place orders through the app. It limits the restaurants to ones that offer delivery or takeout, so you can grab food on the go for lunch or a fun night in.
This company specializes in web design and digital marketing, but don’t underestimate their software development capabilities. The team at Northwoods listens to their customers and decides what tools need to be built, and how they can be built effectively. Their secret to success is investing in different employee teams and cross-training.
Originally, Snapifeye started as a bar app but has quickly become a tool for companies taking photos at promotional events. Attendees or event organizers take photos of events and then upload them online via Snapifeye. From there, organizers are able to track campaigns, market to customers, and increase engagement.
The Good Jobs
The Good Jobs offers an HR software tool that adapts to a company’s cultural traits and how its managers want to prioritize those traits. Start by taking a quiz to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your organization (like trust and transparency), and then follow the program to improve certain areas as needed. Companies receive badges when they take steps to grow their company cultures, which can help companies attract and retain top talent.
This app started in Milwaukee but has since expanded to Brooklyn and has plans to grow further. Spothopper offers marketing automation for bars and restaurants, while assisting owners in website maintenance and content. This way, those owners can focus on their core businesses — namely serving up great food and drinks.
Markable works with retailers and fashion companies to create better shopping experiences by integrating video into their ecommerce platforms. If the customers can see how the garments move and look on real models, they’re more likely to trust the brand and buy online. Better imaging and information also reduces the return rate and costs to retailers.
Okanjo is an ecommerce platform that helps media companies and publishers monetize. The software uses contextual product matching and native advertising to create a platform both advertisers and publishers can appreciate. The company’s commitment to innovation is what sets it apart from so many other ad platforms in the market.
Project Foundry is working to modernize the traditional education system by creating scalable tools for project-based learning. It integrates multiple subjects to make sure teachers hit student requirements for learning while creating a better learning environment for everyone involved.
Red Arrow Labs
The goal of Red Arrow Labs is to modernize legacy software and bring health companies up to speed with technology. The company specializes in the needs and requirements of the health and life sciences industries to improve diagnostics and chargeback processes. Their keys to success are creativity and collaboration.
PKWARE is often credited with putting Milwaukee’s IT scene on the map. It offers enterprise-level data encryption to protect information wherever it is used. The company prides itself on being an industry thought-leader, and regularly hosts or takes part in conferences around the country.
The team at GrocerKey has a passion for local and independent grocers. They create ecommerce platforms and branded online stores for grocery stores in a world where almost everything is bought online. Their clients also have access to management and analytics systems to learn more about their customers.
Digital currencies like bitcoin just might be the future, and Coinigy makes trading them accessible, transparent and user-friendly. Coinigy had a bit of a security scare in October, but the team was able to hustle, double-down on some strong security protocols, and relaunch a new and improved trading platform at the beginning of November.
Based in Madison, this is a highly useful app when sharing information and articles with friends and co-workers. Have you ever sent a longform article just because of one paragraph? Now you can highlight the section and share it to a friend, so they can focus on the important part. Highly is also a great way to annotate articles and save them for later, reducing the backlog of content you want to read in your feed.
Founded in 2007, HarQen creates interviewing and video conferencing tools to help companies vet potential employees. The company’s clients range from Fortune 100 to mid-market organizations, both of whom its serves by creating a use-friendly and scalable product.
As software continues to eat the world, more companies are updating their ancient time clocks for hourly employees. ZoomShift offers a platform for employee scheduling, time clock management, and manager-friendly timesheets for tracking employees in an effort to make this transition seamless for employers.
Used by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Blue Cross Blue Shield of California, Madison-based Datica provides HIPAA-compliant cloud computing software for healthcare companies and professionals. It also has a focus on education and training others who are interested in the software and healthcare tech industries.
PerBlue has been developing mobile and social games since 2008 and believes in creating fun experiences for its customers. In 2015, PerBlue was named one of the best places to work in Madison, mostly because its founders understand that employees who have fun at work will create fun games for their customers.
Ideawake offers innovation management software and consulting services. Entrepreneurs looking to start a business or company managers trying to engage employees create a call for ideas, and then rank and evaluate entries. This creates a sense of collaboration and allows people to find partners in their business. This can either be used within communities or organizations to create a fun collaborative environment.
Fishidy records thousands of waterway maps, fishing reports, local advice, and tools to help fishermen get the most out of their time on the water. To date, they have more than 20,000 freshwater waterways, 180 saltwater waterways, and 1,750 stream gauges. Before you grab your gear, check out this app to make sure you’re going where the fish are.
Date Check Pro
Date Check Pro lets businesses manage expiration dates so they can push out inventory that needs to be sold. This reduces food and product waste (and therefore money) for retailers and wholesalers while also helping the environment.
Founded in Milwaukee in 1999, Centare has built custom software and offered agile coaching to help organizations around the Midwest. Centare also has offices in Chicago and Madison, and offers online courses and resources for companies looking to learn more about software tools to improve business.
If you’re interested to learn how sensors communicate with cloud servers to optimize environments, check out Quietyme, based in Madison. Their tools work with hospitals, healthcare providers, and even residential areas to control the noise, temperature, and light of an area and optimize it for sleep. It can be hard for patients to sleep in hospitals, but the right environments can facilitate the rest and recovery they need.
Xorbix provides IT consulting services, mobile application management and customer software development to its clients. If you’re an IT specialist in Wisconsin, this is a great company to check out if you want a well-rounded career, where you learn about the client’s needs from idea through execution.