SpareFoot Wins Austin Startup Games Again


SpareFoot won the Austin Startup Games for the third year in a row. The Austin-based startup, which bills itself as the nation’s largest marketplace for finding and booking self-storage, had a ringer this year. The company recruited Icelandic strongman “Thor” Bjornsson to join the company as its senior vice president of Icelandic business. Bjornsson, known […]

XOR Data Exchange Lands $1.8 Million in Funding


XOR Data Exchange, a permission-based data exchange in Austin, announced this week it has closed on $1.8 million in funding. Chicago Ventures and KBC Capital led the round. In addition, Norm Willox, who previously founded and built the risk management and fraud analytic business for Lexis Nexis and now serves as founder and CEO of […]

Hack Reactor Buys MakerSquare in Austin


Hack Reactor, a computer programming bootcamp, announced this week it has bought MakerSquare, a two-year old coding school with campuses in Austin and San Francisco. Hack Reactor, based in San Francisco, did not release the terms of the deal. It’s the two-year-old company’s first acquisition. Hack Reactor plans to continue to operate MakerSquare independently and […]

SpareFoot is Seeking to Hire 30 More Employees


SpareFoot, one of the most successful startups to spin out of Capital Factory, is hiring 30 employees for its “Amazing Customer Experience” call center team. The Austin-based startup plans to host a “speed dating” event at its corporate headquarters to find the new employees to answer calls from prospective customers looking for self-storage. SpareFoot already […]

SXSW Interactive 2015 to Feature More on Startups and a Robot Petting Zoo

Hugh Forrest, director of SXSW Interactive

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News What startup launched at South by Southwest Interactive in 2009? One lucky woman attending the SXSW community meetup in San Antonio knew the answer: Uber, the ridesharing alternative to taxi cabs. That bit of trivia earned her a free badge to attend what has become the country’s […]

Driver Ed and Defensive Driving go Mobile with Aceable’s Phone App


By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News When Gretchen Deveaux needed to find a driver’s program for her 17-year-old son, she signed up for Aceable. “I needed something that was flexible,” she said. “My son is a football player and he is always at practice. I couldn’t take him back and forth to a […]

Fashion Metric Lands $1 Million in Funding


Fashion Metric, a company that acts as a virtual tailor online, closed on its $1 million seed round. Tahoma Ventures in Boulder led the round with participation from Corsa Ventures in Austin, Elementum Ventures in Menlo Park, Geekdom Fund in San Antonio and multiple angel investors. So far, the company has raised a total of […]

Why Are People Moving to Austin?

LawnStarter has created a great infographic to explain why people are moving to Austin. This infographic is brought to you by Lawnstarter Austin Lawn Care

“Innovation in the IoT Era” at UT


The Internet of Things means everyday objects will contain tiny microchip-enabled sensors that will gather information that software will analyze and process resulting in greater efficiency and understanding. It’s shaping up to be a transformative mega-trend which Goldman Sachs has dubbed the third wave in the development of the Internet. “The 1990s’ fixed Internet wave […]

New Web Developers Debut at Codeup’s Demo Day

Liz Cole, John Staudt and Jason Birdwell, graduates of Codeup.

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News For three months Josee Farmer drove daily from North Austin to San Antonio to learn how to become a web developer at Codeup. “It was totally worth it,” Farmer said. She recently relocated from North Carolina to Texas and she wanted to get into the technology industry. […]

The New $3 Million Geekdom Fund Invests in Tech Startups


The Geekdom Fund has successfully raised $2.96 million to invest in tech startups. “We raised money locally to put into tech startups here and around the country,” said Michael Girdley, who is one of the partners heading up the new Geekdom Fund. The other Geekdom Fund partners are Don Douglas, Cole Wollak and Mike Troy. […]

Time to Apply to the Seed Sumo Accelerator


Seed Sumo, a startup accelerator in College Station, is now accepting applications for its 2015 program. The program provides $50,000 in funding, up from $30,000 during its first program last year. Seed Sumo will take up to ten startups. Last year, 750 teams applied for eight spots. Those startups have received more than $4 million […]

UT Austin Team Wins IBM Watson University Competition


A team of students from the University of Texas at Austin took first place in the inaugural IBM Watson University Competition in New York last week. The winning team of 12 received $100,000 in seed financing from IBM Watson Group and the Entrepreneur’s Fund to launch its application, CallScout, which gives people access to social […]

LawnStarter Raises $1 Million in Seed Financing

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LawnStarter announced Wednesday that it has landed $1 million in seed round financing. The Austin-based online lawn care company raised the money to expand into new markets. The funds came from several angel investors including Rob Taylor, Cotter Cunningham, Pat Matthews as well as venture fund Vayner RSE, headed up by Gary Vaynerchuk. LawnStarter, founded […]

Dropoff Expands to Houston


Austin-based Dropoff is now available in Houston. The startup provides same-day delivery for a variety of businesses. It originally launched in Austin last November. Houston businesses will be able to use Dropoff’s online platform to easily order same-day deliveries and to track them. Dropoff provides “accurate ETAs for pickups and deliveries, email confirmations and driver […]

Buzz Points Hires Dwayne Spradlin as CEO

Buzz Points CEO Dwayne Spradlin

Buzz Points named Dwayne Spradlin, a technology industry veteran, as its new Chief Executive Officer. The Austin-based company, which creates loyalty programs for banks and local businesses, appointed Spradlin to replace Jay Valanju, the company’s founder. Valanju will become senior vice president of business development and strategic partnerships. “This is a return for me to […]

The New Techstars Cloud Class Kicked Off in San Antonio

The team behind Fantasmo Studios includes xxx, Jameson Detweiler,

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News The Techstars Cloud program for 2015 kicked off Monday at Geekdom in San Antonio with a pizza and beer reception in the evening. The program features ten companies including one from San Antonio, Nebulab, a cloud-based storage, organization and collaboration web app for researchers and one from […]

Payment Data Systems Processed Nearly $3 Billion in Transactions in 2014


Payment Data Systems, an online bill paying company, reported a record fourth quarter for 2014 in which it processed more than $833 million in payments. The record breaks the previous record which the company reached in the prior quarter of $796 million. The San Antonio-based company reported its electronic check processing volumes were up four […]

A Spectrum Event on How to Win an SBIR Grant


The U.S. government invests more than $2 billion every year in promising new startups with creative innovations. In Austin, startups including Tevido Biodevices, Spot on Sciences and Lynx Labs have received Small Business Innovation Research grants. So how does a startup go about getting one of the SBIR grants? That’s the subject of a meeting […]

MyTime Launches and Finds Austin Less “Bougie” than Dallas and Houston

MyTime Founder Ethan Anderson, courtesy photo

MyTime allows people to book appointments online without any hassle. The app launched last November in Austin and lists more than 18,000 local businesses. It lets people book everything from haircuts to dog groomings to massages easily online. “We’ve all experienced the frustration of booking appointments by phone,” said Ethan Anderson, founder of MyTime. “You’re […]

The End of an Era for

Bryan Menell, photo courtesy of We Are Austin Tech, the blog created by serial tech entrepreneur Bryan Menell, has ceased to publish. Menell wrote a post to his readers just before the holidays informing them of his plans to shutter his blog, but to keep up a tech entrepreneurial resource page listing accelerators, venture investors, groups, co-working sites, angel organizations and publications. Menell […]

SHIFT Communications Opens Austin Office


SHIFT Communications, a public relations firm based in Boston, has opened an Austin office focused on social media, marketing technology and communications. “Increasingly we are seeing strategic clients with ties to the Austin area and we only expect this trend to grow,” CEO Todd Defren said in a news release. “With a combination of great […]

Saxena Joins the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank’s San Antonio Branch

FinalManoj Saxena

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. appointed Manoj Saxena to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ San Antonio Branch board of directors Saxena will serve a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2017. He has served on the San Antonio Branch board as a Dallas Fed appointment since 2012. “In his role as […]

The 2015 Austin Startup Games Kicks Off Jan. 24th


A lot has changed since the Austin Startup Games first launched in 2012. For one thing, it’s no longer called the Startup Olympics. And it’s bigger. The first games had seven teams competing. Sixteen teams competed in the last event and 14 are signed up for this year’s event. uShip won the first games. Since […]

SXSW Interactive Names Girlstart’s Tamara Hudgins to its Hall of Fame


South by Southwest has named Girlstart Executive Director Tamara Hudgins to its Interactive Hall of Fame for 2015. SXSW is honoring Hudgins for her work in expanding and developing the Austin-based nonprofit organization since 2009. Girlstart, founded in 1997, runs programs to empower girls in the fields of Science Technology Engineering and Math, known as […]

CTAN Hires Claire England as New Executive Director


The Central Texas Angel Network, one of the country’s most active angel investing groups, named Claire England as its new executive director. An Austin native, England, who previously served as director of global expansion for Tech Ranch, has a long history of supporting local startups. She also previously served as executive director of RISE Austin […]

Pivot Freight Lands $2 Million in Financing and New CEO

The Pivot Freight team participating in the Techstars Austin program

Pivot Freight, which relocated from Arizona to Austin last year, announced Monday that is has received $2 million in seed round financing. Rob Taylor also joined Pivot Freight as its CEO. He previously served on the founding leadership teams of both TrueCar and BlackLocus. He met the Pivot Freight team when he served as a […]

Handsome Helps Tech Startups with Branding and Product Design

Handsome Founders: John Roescher, Adam Deutsch and Brandon Termini , photo by Eric Doggett

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News Today, people expect a website design to be beautiful but they also want functionality. That’s where John Roescher and the team behind Handsome saw an opportunity. They launched Handsome, a web app and mobile design studio, in late 2011 in Austin. “All you are is what your […]

Parking Panda Launches in Austin


Finding a parking spot in downtown Austin can be a challenge especially during major events. Now Parking Panda, a free app that lets drivers find, reserve and redeem parking in advance, seeks to make that task a lot easier. It has launched in Austin. The service is now available statewide with service in Dallas, Houston, […]

Seven Tech Trends to Watch in Silicon Hills in 2015

Image licensed from iStockphoto

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News The central Texas region is thriving and technology is driving a lot of that growth. This is a list of seven tech trends to watch in 2015 particularly tailored to the Austin and San Antonio area. 3D Printing – The roots of this industry can be traced, […]

Top 10 Most Popular Stories on Silicon Hills News in 2014


These are the top ten stories with the most views on Silicon Hills News in 2014. 1. Dropbox to Expand in Austin and Hire 170 employees 2. Zach Dell’s Startup Thread is a Dating Site Just for College Students 3. Billionaire Mark Cuban “Likes to Party Like a Rockstar” and Invest in Startups (this story […]

FlightCar Launches into Austin’s Hipsterdom


FlightCar, the peer-to-peer car sharing service, launched in Austin on Dec. 16th. The San Francisco-based company also launched in Oakland, Calif. In a post on Tumblr, FlightCar calls both cities havens for hipsters. “Ranking high on every “Most Hipster City” list, Austin and Oakland are both well known for their vibrant millennial communities who squeeze […] Launches as a Platform for all Religions

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By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News During the holidays, some people look for a deeper religious meaning to the season. And now they’ve got a place to go to seek out answers. Shawn Bose and Justin Halloran recently launched, an online community focused on religion. It’s not aimed at a single religion […]

SpareFoot Employees Provide Swag Bags for Foster Children


The employees at SpareFoot are a generous bunch. During Thanksgiving, they launched a food drive to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank. And during this holiday season, the SpareFoot employees collected nearly $1,000 to buy items for its first-ever “Operation Swag Bag initiative.” They came up with the idea after reading an article titled “The […]

BigCommerce Spreading Joy During the Holiday Season

BigCommerce's Hearts in Carts program helps out 1,000 foster children in Central Texas.

In the Silicon Hills this time of year, tech companies go to great lengths to help out others in need. Among them, BigCommerce has been working with Partnerships for Children, which works with Central Texas foster children. This is the third year BigCommerce has partnered with the organization to provide toys to kids in foster […]

Weeva is Building a Business Out of Memories

Kim Gorsuch, CEO and Founder of Weeva

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Eric Gould Bear didn’t think Weeva would work for him. He loved the idea—a company that lets people upload stories and photos about a person or an event onto a website, push a button, and out comes a beautiful coffee table book. Cool. Great for regular people, […]

Payment Data Systems Buys Akimbo of San Antonio for $3 million

Louis Hoch and Houston Frost. Payment Data Systems just bought Frost's company, Akimbo Financial.

Payment Data Systems, an online payments company, announced Tuesday it has acquired Akimbo Financial for $3 million. Payment Data Systems is buying the company with common stock in two tranches with up to $300,000 in cash if any liabilities are assumed. Akimbo, founded in 2010, has raised $850,000 in investment. The company, based at Geekdom, […]

BidPrime Opens New Headquarters in Austin

Bidprime Logo 120114 (1)

BidPrime announced it has opened its new company headquarters in Austin. The company, which has 16 employees in Austin, moved to 1301 S I-35 Suite #101. It also has offices in Seattle and Dallas. The company has grown significantly in the past two years and needed more space, according to company officials. It manages operational […]

Wisegate Lands $4 Million in Venture Capital

Sara Gates, CEO and Founder of WiseGate, photo courtesy of the company

Wisegate, a platform for information technology professionals to network, announced Tuesday it has closed on $4 million in venture capital. The Austin-based startup reported that Arcus Capital Partners led the Series B round with participation from Series A investors including Central Texas Angel Network, Atlanta Technology Angels, Golden Seeds and Cowtown Angels. To date, the […]

General Assembly to Open a Campus in Austin


General Assembly, an educational instruction company focused on technology, business and design, has announced plans to open a new campus in Austin. The company plans to begin offering students in Austin classes and workshop this month. And in early 2015, it plans to offer full-time immersive programs and part-time courses in topics such as web […]

Ridesharing Under Heavy Regulation in San Antonio


Ridesharing is in the hotseat in San Antonio. Last Thursday, the San Antonio City Council passed changes to its code to allow services like Lyft and Uber to operate legally in the city. But Uber and Lyft call the city’s regulations too costly and cumbersome. Uber reported it might leave the city altogether if the […]

Kingdom Games Buys 4Soils


Kingdom Games has acquired 4Soils, a children’s Bible app producer. The terms of the deal were disclosed. Austin-based Kingdom Games reports the acquisition “strengthens its mission to provide ethical and moral games to upcoming generations of all ages.” “We are thrilled to have 4Soils join the Kingdom Games family,” James Parkman, Studio Head of Kingdom […]

Epicor Software Buys ShopVisible


Austin-based Epicor Software has bought ShopVisible, which makes cloud-based retail order management software, based in Atlanta. Epicor Software makes software for retail, manufacturing and distribution businesses. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The company has more than 20,000 customers in 150 countries. “We are excited about this acquisition, as ShopVisible has spent several […]

Periscope Holdings Buys BidSync


Austin-based Periscope Holdings has acquired BidSync, a cloud-based procurement and bid notification service for the public sector. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Parthenon Capital Partners, Periscope’s private equity partner, assisted in the acquisition. Our acquisition of BidSync is incredibly exciting and we are thrilled to bring these two public procurement industry leaders […]

OutboundEngine Lands $11 Million in Venture Capital


OutboundEngine, an email, social media and content marketing platform, has closed an $11 million Series B funding round led by Silverton Partners. Other participating in the round were Noro-Moseley Partners, Harmony Partners, Altos Ventures and Capital Factory. The Austin-based startup plans to use the money on office expansion, product development and new vertical markets. “The […]

Michael Dell Talks About Taking Risks as a Private Company


By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News The Aspen institute, an educational and policies studies organization based in Washington, D.C., launched Aspen Across America, a series of talks with extraordinary individuals Wednesday night. The series kicked off at the Blanton Art Museum with a talk between Journalist and world-renowned biography Walter Isaacson and one […]

Texas Venture Labs Fall Expo Showcases New Startups


By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News The Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs at the Univerity of Texas at Austin showcased 12 Austin startups and three Alumni companies at its Fall 2014 Expo last Friday. The companies presented in three different categories with the consumer products and services startups kicking off the event at […]

The Bunker Austin Launches to Help Veteran Led Startups


The Bunker Austin, a program geared to help veterans become entrepreneurs, has launched at the University of Texas at Austin. Joseph Kopser, founder and CEO of RideScout, and Craig Cummings, co-founder, donated $70,000 to provide a Student Veteran Entrepreneurship Endowment. The seed fund is earmarked for students with veteran status at the University of Texas […]

TeVido BioDevices Launches IndieGoGo Crowdfunding Campaign


TeVido BioDevices, which prints 3D nipples crafted from human cells, has launched a crowdfunding IndieGoGo campaign to raise $35,000. The Austin-based company recently received a Small Business Innovative Research grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Health and a grant from the National Science Foundation for total funding worth $900,000. It […]

Austin-based Revionics Raises $30 Million from Goldman Sachs


Revionics, a retail software maker, has announced it raised $30 million in venture capital from Goldman Sachs. The Austin-based company plans to use the funds to expand its global market share and for research and development on its software products. As part of the deal, Hillel Moerman, co-head of the Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing […]

Austin-based Boundless Network Acquired by Zazzle


Boundless Network, founded in 2005 in Austin, just got acquired by Zazzle, an online promotional products company, according to Promo Marketing Magazine. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Austin Ventures has backed Boundless Network, which makes custom-printed promotional items for companies. It has raised an estimated $17 million since its inception, according to […]

Building an Innovation Zone in Austin

Dr. Clay Johnston, inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School at the Austin Chamber's Innovation Summit, photo by Susan Lahey

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Austin is poised to become a global center of innovation, especially in the field of life sciences and medical research, but there are some big hurdles to overcome and potential threats that could knock the city off its trajectory, if it’s not careful. That was the bottom […]

More Venture Capital Needed for Life Science Startups


By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News Building a regional life science ecosystem requires venture capital. And San Antonio has a shortage of venture capital, said John Kerr with Texas Next Capital. “The critical factor, I don’t care whether you’re in San Antonio or Timbuktu, for all of these companies, is access to capital,” […] Helps Companies Collect Customer Feedback

The team behind, courtesy photo from the company

By Laura Lorek Reporter with Silicon Hills News How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague? That’s the key question behind San Antonio-based, founded by Chad Keck and Ricardo Reyna. “Our core goal is to help other companies consistently drive new profitable growth,” Keck said., a customer analytics […]

The World Stem Cell Summit Kicks Off in San Antonio Tuesday


Researchers have used Stem Cells, known as the body’s master cells, to treat a variety of illnesses. The cells, taken from adults or embryos, “offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases including macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis,” according […]

It’s Time to Sign Up for Google Fiber in Austin


Google Fiber sign ups have gone live in South and Southeast Austin. Residents in those areas can now sign up for Internet that’s 100 times faster than today’s basic speeds. “This is just the beginning,” Mark Strama, head of Google Fiber Austin wrote in a blog post Monday. “We’ll be opening new areas of the […]