Tech and Biotech: Madison start-up Codiqa gets TechStars boost

2013-02-02T07:30:00Z Tech and Biotech: Madison start-up Codiqa gets TechStars boostJUDY NEWMAN | Wisconsin State Journal | | 608-252-6156

Another young Madison tech business is getting a running start through the TechStar accelerator.

Codiqa (CODE-ih-kuh) is part of the current class at TechStars Cloud in San Antonio, Texas.

Codiqa is a software tool that makes it easier for anyone to create a mobile app or mobile website.

Ben Sperry and Max Lynch started the company about a year ago. They had worked for Madison mobile game developer PerBlue and were playing around with the idea for Codiqa on the side.

It wasn’t their first collaboration. Sperry and Lynch, both 25, have been best friends since kindergarten, in the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood, and were roommates at the UW-Madison. Sperry also worked at Madison ad firm Planet Propaganda, building mobile websites for clients, when he started looking for an easier way to do it.

Initially aimed at professional web designers, “we were surprised to see Codiqa appealed to a much wider audience,” Sperry said. He and Lynch quit their day jobs and Codiqa, a cloud-based technology that charges a monthly subscription fee, was profitable from the start, he said.

TechStars Cloud runs from mid-January through mid-April, giving advice, mentorship, and access to investors. “We’re not just surrounded by awesome mentors and companies here with us in Texas but also connected with those outside of here,” Sperry said.

A second tool, Jetstrap, to help people create full websites more easily, is in the works and Sperry and Lynch are forming an umbrella company, Drifty, that will feature Codiqa and Jetstrap as its products.

Two other Madison companies, and Vidmaker, participated in TechStars programs in 2012. Spill, launched at the UW-Madison in 2009 but no longer based here, also is a TechStars grad.

Sperry said his company will stay in Madison after TechStars. "I think Madison is only just beginning its growth as a tech city and an entrepreneurial place to grow," he said.

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