Direct to Madison

Madison’s new direct flight to San Francisco opens up a world of Venture Capital to the Midwest Technology hub

This month, United Airlines officially endorsed Madison’s status as a burgeoning tech hub with the introduction of a non-stop flight to the capitol of all venture capital: San Francisco.

Madison’s thriving startup industry and endless flow of talented young graduates makes it an attractive city for tech companies looking to expand or relocate. However, many in the Bay area have been reluctant to spread their company across cities that are inconvenient to travel between.

A beacon of innovation in its own right, many are excited about West Coast investors tapping Madison’s supply of creative new ventures. Matt Howard, CEO of Madison’s beloved food delivery app, EatStreet, said the most exciting opportunity is that venture capitalists and employees can now “visit Madison to get a firsthand look at tech companies they may want to be a part of.”

For companies like Bunker who bet on Madison long ago, the connection is as symbolic as it is convenient. The trip will make life much easier for Bunker CEO, Chad Nitschke, who frequently flies between the cities, and more importantly it initiates Madison as a key player in the national tech community.

Under the leadership of Zach Brandon, the Madison Chamber of Commerce understood the value of the San Francisco connection and worked diligently to bring this flight to Madison.  Their efforts were celebrated after the inaugural flight at the Zendesk office in San Francisco. Bunker joined in the celebration by consecrating the union between the quintessential tech hub and its promising apprentice with 20 pounds of cheese curds delivered from The Old Fashioned, a staple of Madison community and culture.

 Bunker's Co-Founder & CEO, Chad Nitschke, serving cheese curds at the Direct to Madison celebration in San Francisco. Bunker’s Co-Founder & CEO, Chad Nitschke, serving cheese curds at the Direct to Madison celebration in San Francisco.

If you’re not familiar, cheese curds are a beloved byproduct of the cheese making process. When milk is pasteurized, it separates into curds and whey (ever wonder what Little Miss Muffet was eating all day?). The curds are cooked and pressed to reveal the fresh, flavorful favorite snack of Wisconsinites. Oh, and they squeak.

The hotbed of innovative technology quietly catalyzing in Madison is not unlike the beloved hidden treasure of the cheese making process. This flight will hopefully bring about the national recognition the city has been waiting for. President of the Wisconsin Technology Council, Tom Still, described it as a “coming of age factor,” which will not only boost the city’s reputation, but “helps to spread the word about Wisconsin” as well.

For Bunker and our fellow Madison start-ups, the United Airlines flight endorses a collaborative future between Madison and Silicon Valley, and validates the innovative companies who put Madison on the map. And with just a short flight separating the West Coast from America’s Dairyland, national appreciation for cheese curds can’t be far behind!



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