Bob Metcalfe Wants to Create a Better Silicon Valley in Austin

Bob Metcalfe, Professor of Innovation at the University of Texas at Austin, photo by John Davidson

By Laura Lorek Reporter with Silicon Hills News At 24 Diner in downtown Austin, Bob Metcalfe orders a large bowl of fruit with extra strawberries and coffee for breakfast. Metcalfe, 68, is training to walk his first marathon. And it’s not an ordinary marathon either. He’s doing the Boston Marathon in April. His wife, Robyn, […]

Vast is Creating Better Search Tools to Find Homes and Autos

The team at Vast, photo courtesy of the company.

By Laura Lorek Reporter with Silicon Hills News Vast, which makes search and analytics tools for homes and autos, started out in Silicon Valley in 2005. Naval Ravikant, now CEO of AngelList, founded the company to create a better search site to help people find and discover items online. He wanted people to use technology […]

Collab/Space Austin Workshop in April to Focus on Data

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Data is the new gold for companies, big and small, to mine in the online world. Sifting through data for important insights can provide a competitive edge in any industry. In fact, at SXSW Interactive 2015, Bill Gurley, venture capitalist with Benchmark, said he looks for startups that have a data scientist, for potential investments. […]

Oslo’s Kahoot! Becomes First Capital Factory International Company

Åsmund Furuseth, VP Business Development of Kahoot! and Johan Brand, CEO and Co-Founder
with Fred Schmidt, director of international affairs. Photo courtesy of Kahoot!

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News “Play is our original language; then when we get to school, they remove the play,” said Johan Brand, CEO and co-founder of Kahoot!, a platform that lets students play a high-energy, high interaction quiz game in the classroom using their mobile devices. Kahoot!, from Oslo, is the […]

Techstars Austin Announces New Class


The Techstars program in Austin has announced its new class of startups featuring 10 technology companies from around the country. This is Techstars third class in Austin. It officially kicked off the program Monday and it runs for three months with Demo Day on June 17th at the Austin Music Hall. Jason Seats, cofounder of […]

Austin MedTech Showcased at SXSW

Jean Anne Booth, CEO of UnaliWeat at the Austin HealthTech Pavillion at SXSW

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News The medical technology industry in Austin is booming. For evidence, look no further than the 18 startups that exhibited in the Austin Health Pavilion Monday and Tuesday at the inaugural South by Southwest Interactive MedTech Expo. “The goal of the Austin Health Pavilion at the MedTech Expo […]

Capital Factory Partners with Dublin Incubator at SXSW

Signing on behalf of Gravity was Cian O’Cuilleanain, Co-Founder, and on behalf of Capital Factory was Fred Schmidt, Director of International. The signing was witnessed by Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland, and Gavin O’Flaherty, Partner at Mason Hayes & Curran, a Dublin law firm. Photo courtesy of Fred Schmidt

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Cian O’Cuilleanain, co-founder of Gravity Centres in Dublin, fell in love with SXSW three years ago when he first attended Interactive. “Everybody was so welcoming, there were all these opportunities opening, there was the energy of the town. I went back home and started pitching Austin all […]

UT Austin Showcases Innovative Technology at SXSW

The UT Austin HARMONY Robotic Exoskeleton

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News At South by Southwest, the University of Texas at Austin showed off some of its technological innovations this year. On Sunday, the UT Village featured a series of panel sessions on topics such as 3D printing, connected vehicles and big data. During a reception in the evening, […]

Honest Dollar Wins ATI SXSW Pitch Competition

The Honest Dollar team

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Honest Dollar, the company that’s been sweeping the 2015 SXSW pitch scene like Adele at the Grammy’s in 2013, won the Austin Technology Incubator pitch competition Monday morning. There was no cash prize but, as CEO Whurley explained, Honest Dollar just closed out a $3 million round, […]

The Robot Petting Zoo at SXSW

Jodi Mixon with Ozobot

For the first year, South by Southwest Interactive featured a “Robot Petting Zoo” at its festival. A room at the JW Marriott Hotel downtown housed a variety of robots including drones, tiny programmable bug-like Ozobots, an autonomous six-legged social robot known as DAR-1, the Double Robotics telepresence robot and Bujold, one of the most heavily […]

The Second Annual SXSW Print Edition of Silicon Hills News

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If you are in Austin, we hope you are having a fantastic time at South by Southwest Interactive. It’s one of the most thought-provoking tech conferences in the world and it continues to draw fascinating speakers and attendees. Having so many creative people in one place leads to a great time and lots of ideas […]

Silicon Valley VC Bill Gurley Says Enjoy the Upside While it Lasts


By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News A few unicorns will die this year, said Bill Gurley, a prominent venture capitalist with Benchmark in Silicon Valley. Unicorns are giant technology startups, backed by venture capital, that hope to turn into multi-billion dollar companies and are currently valued at $1 billion or more. Gurley didn’t […]

Irish Prime Minister Meets with VCs at SXSW

Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny, photo from Wikipedia.

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News As Hugh Forrest tweeted recently, “It’s not your mother’s SXSW any more” when the sitting head of a nation comes to SXSW as Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny spent time with venture capitalists at SXSW and spoke briefly with reporters Sunday, the day Ireland officially opening the […]

PayPal Shows Off Mobile Payment Technology at SXSW

John Lunn, Senior Director with

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News No matter what kind of wallet a customer wants to use, PayPal plans to support it. “It’s exciting there are different people entering the industry,” said John Lunn, Senior Director, PayPal and Braintree Developer Relations. He spoke to Silicon Hills News at the PayPal Social Media Lounge […]

Trilogy and the Extraordinary Power of a Great Network

Global digital mesh network, vector illustration

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News No one ever really knew what Trilogy did, as Chris Taylor, CEO of Square Root and a former Trilogy employee pointed out on a SXSW panel Sunday morning. What they knew about was how Trilogy recruited, which was precisely the way a cult recruits. On a panel […]

Dell and Activist Adrian Grenier Building a Legacy of Good


By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Dell is working on numerous social good and environmental sustainability initiatives including making packaging out of wheat straw and recycling the components of its discarded computers, according to a SXSW panel at the Dell Lounge 1101 E. 5th Saturday. The company has also connected with actor, director […]

Capital Factory Showcases 12 Startups at SXSW

Joe Troyen and Miguel Vazquez with PenPal Schools

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News This year, Capital Factory didn’t host a move your startup to Austin competition at South By Southwest Interactive. Instead, the downtown technology accelerator and co-working site showed off 12 of its startups during two separate pitch events Friday afternoon. Capital Factory is home to more than 400 […]

Startup Tips from Four Successful Serial Entrepreneurs in Austin

Unicorn Bluff

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News Being an entrepreneur is an irrational act, said Jason Cohen, founder of five startups. In the corporate world, employees can make steady six-figure salaries as executives. But entrepreneurs don’t. An entrepreneur often forgoes a salary for years and drains his or her bank account, Cohen said. And […]

Austin: The New Gateway for International Startups


By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News The thing that makes Austin a great town for an international startup, according to Jean Belanger of Pruf Technologies who moved his Montreal company to Austin in 1994, is the character of the place. “The geography here is not spectacular,” he said. “Montreal is a more beautiful […]

Honest Dollar Launched, Wins ReleaseIt at SXSW


By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Honest Dollar had a huge day Friday at SXSW, launching at pitch competition ReleaseIt at SXSW, winning that competition, then celebrating with a launch party at the W Hotel. The competition, in its second year, featured three minute pitches by 10 companies who are either launching at […]

Whurley’s New Venture, Honest Dollar, Unveiled

Henry Yoshida and William Hurley, known as Whurley, Photo by John Davidson

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Signing up for a 401K or other retirement plan through a broker can feel like joining a religion: You’re trusting your future to a system you don’t entirely understand, managed by gatekeepers you’re giving money to but who aren’t always accessible, but you’ve decided to have faith […]

Nine Tech Startups to Meet at SXSW

Photo: Clarify Team:  Ivo Rothschild, Paul Murphy, Keith Casey
Graham Christensen and BalaKrishna Kolluru, Photo by John Davidson

Looking for a taste of the Texas tech startup scene during South by Southwest Interactive? Check out these nine innovative tech startups that call Austin home. Able Lending – Launched last year, this startup offers low-cost loans to entrepreneurs. It requires its applicants to raise 25 percent of the loan amount themselves and then it […]

Austin Police Ban Chaotic Moon Studios’ Drone From Flying at SXSW

Chaotic Moon's Drone Tyrone outfitted with spray paint cans, photo courtesy of Chaotic Moon

No drones can fly the skies at South by Southwest Interactive this year. “SXSW has a strict no drones policy due to the safety risks drones present to the public,” according to a blog post on the official SXSW website. The Austin Police Department ban the use of drones with the city limits for public […]

OutboundEngine Moves to New Digs in Downtown Austin


OutboundEngine Thursday announced it has moved into larger office space in downtown Austin. The Austin-based startup, which launched its email, social media and content marketing platform in 2012, late last year closed on $11 million in venture capital. When OutboundEngine closed its funding round, company officials said the company would use the money to support […]

SpareFoot Lands $33 Million More in Venture Capital

SpareFoot CEO and Co-Founder Chuck Gordon, photo courtesy of SpareFoot

SpareFoot, one of the most successful startups to spin out of the Capital Factory accelerator, has landed another $33 million to propel its growth in the marketplace for finding self-storage. The Austin-based startup received its latest round of funding from new investor Revolution Growth which led the round with participation from existing investor Insight Venture […]

The Dell ATC Policy Labs at SXSW Interactive


The Austin Technology Council announced Tuesday that is has teamed up with Dell to create the Dell ATC Policy Labs at South by Southwest Interactive. The Dell ATC Policy Labs is new initiative to educate and engage the Central Texas technology community on important federal issues. The SXSW Dell ATC Policy Labs event will feature […]

OwnLocal Buys Austin-based Sidengo


OwnLocal announced Tuesday it has acquired another Austin-based startup, Sidengo. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. OwnLocal, founded in 2009, creates digital ads for media companies. The addition of Sidengo “will strengthen OwnLocal’s ability to offer easy to use, inexpensive digital advertising solutions to small business customers through their media partners,” according to […]

People Pattern Digs Marketing Data Out of Social Media

Photo licensed from iStockphotos

By TIM GREEN Reporter with Silicon Hills News Twitter emerged with a splash at South by Southwest in 2007, unleashing an ever-growing barrage of tweets, posts, photos, and other social media interactions. People Pattern, an Austin startup, is fittingly staging its coming out party at this year’s SXSW. The company is developing software that mines […]

Austin Hackney United Official Program Launches

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By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Texas Representative Tan Parker wants to make Austin the most competitive and easy place for any company in Britain to set up shop, according to UK Consul General Andrew Millar, speaking to a group of about 40 at the official launch of Austin Hackney United, a sister-cities […]

Rackspace’s Videographer Launches Kickstarter for Short Film

Photo courtesy of Dave Sims

Dave Sims, filmmaker and storyteller at Rackspace, has launched a Kickstarter to produce a 15 to 20 minute short film set in the Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. “The film tells the story of a woman who while hiking in the remote desert stumbles upon an unconscious man, prompting a haunting story of […]

Perks Help to Attract and Retain High Tech Talent

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By Laura Lorek Reporter with Silicon Hills News Back in the highflying dot com days, the perks at high tech companies flowed as freely as the beer from onsite kegs on Fridays. Today, the competitive landscape for tech workers has meant another resurgence of perks to lure employees and keep them happy. And whiskey Fridays […]

Ways to Get Startup Bucks in Silicon Hills

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By Laura Lorek Reporter with Silicon Hills News The funding landscape for startups in Central Texas has changed dramatically in the last five years. New firms have launched like LiveOak Venture Partners in Austin and the Geekdom Fund in San Antonio. And old firms have faded away like Austin Ventures, the big daddy of Austin’s […]

Seven Women Run Tech Startups in San Antonio to Watch

Magaly Chocano, founder of Sweb Development, photo by Gary Hartman.

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News San Antonio is the nation’s seventh largest city, yet it doesn’t have a lot of tech startups run by women and backed by venture capital. But San Antonio’s booming life sciences industry holds a lot of promise for women-led ventures. Two women, both biotech industry veterans, lead […]

Robert Langer Takes Innovations from the Lab to the Marketplace

Bob Metcalfe, professor of innovation at the University of Texas at Austin with Dr. Robert Langer, Koch Institute Professor at MIT.

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News Known as a modern-day Thomas Edison of biotechnology, Dr. Robert Langer visited the University of Texas at Austin on Friday to inspire others who wish to emulate his success. Langer gave UT students, faculty and guests advice on how he has started 18 companies, has written nearly […]

Six Women Run Tech Startups to Watch in Austin

Laura Bosworth, co-founder of TeVido Biodevices, photo by John Davidson.

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News The stats don’t bode well for women-run tech startups nationwide. Less than 3 percent of venture-backed startups have a woman as a CEO. But things are changing. Groups like Women@Austin, Women Who Code and Women in Technology are shining a spotlight on female tech entrepreneurs locally. And […]

The Open Cloud Institute Launches at UTSA


The University of Texas at San Antonio on Thursday announced the creation of the Open Cloud Institute with $9 million in backing. The Open Cloud Institute will focus on creating degree programs in cloud computing and big data. It will also work closely with companies in the cloud computing industry. The 80/20 Foundation has pledged […]

Sprinklr Acquires Austin-based Pluck


Sprinklr announced Thursday its acquisition of Pluck, an Austin-based social media company. This is Sprinklr’s second acquisition of an Austin company. A year ago, New York-based Sprinklr acquired the Dachis Group in Austin, a social media and brand analytics company. Financial terms of the deal were not announced. “First party and third party social experiences […]

HackerRank Event Explores Latest STEM Recruiting Strategies

Whole Foods’ Global Talent Recruiter Andres Traslavina

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News About 30 recruiters gathered on the 17th floor of the Hyatt Tuesday evening for the HackerRank second annual Re-engineer event focusing on improving tech recruiting outcomes. HackerRank representatives talked about their platform that replaces job fairs with hackathons and code sprints. And Whole Foods’ Global Talent Recruiter […]

HomeAway Reports Increase in Revenue and Slight Profit for Latest Quarter

One of the print ads for HomeAway's new marketing campaign

HomeAway, the world’s largest online marketplace for vacation rentals, Tuesday reported revenue for the fourth quarter increased nearly 22 percent to $109.7 million compared to the same quarter a year ago. The Austin-based company reported a profit of $162,000 or less than a cent a share for the fourth quarter compared to a loss of […]

Crowds Gather in Austin to Play Ingress, a Mobile Game Aimed at World Domination

Amanda Saunders flew in from Houston to participate in the Ingress Shonin Anomaly

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News Dressed in blue, the color of the Resistance, Amanda Saunders flew in from Houston to do battle against the Enlightened in Austin on Saturday. Saunders joined more than 1,200 people who gathered Saturday at the historic American Legion Charles Johnson home for the Shonin XM Anomaly, a […]

EvoSure Solves an Ancient Insurance Problem

EvoSure Team, photo by Susan Lahey

By SUSAN LAHEY Reporter with Silicon Hills News Talk to the founders of EvoSure for 30 minutes and even if you thought insurance was the province of wary gray men in gray suits, you’ll come away convinced that it’s an exciting, complex maze of chance and judgment, fraught with risk in every direction, from human […]

Austin-based CoinTerra Files for Bankruptcy

Ravi Iyengar
Founder & CEO of Cointerra

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News CoinTerra, once recognized as one of Austin’s fastest growing startups, has filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy. The Austin-based bitcoin machine manufacturer filed for bankruptcy in Austin on Jan. 24, listing between $10 million and $50 million in assets and liabilities. “The move comes soon after CoinTerra […]

Ten Acre Organics Wins the Food Challenge Prize at UT

Robyn Metcalfe, founder and director of the Food Lab at UT

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News A crowd turned out last Saturday to cheer on food industry innovators at the Norman Hackerman Building at the University of Texas. The top 20 finalists in the first Food Challenge Prize, put on by the Food Lab at UT, displayed their wares throughout the room. It […]

Mass Venture of San Antonio Approved as Texas’ First Equity-Based Crowdfunding Portal


By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News Mass Venture is the first equity-based crowdfunding portal to receive certification from the Texas State Securities Board under its new intrastate crowdfunding rules. The San Antonio-based crowdfunding portal will focus on raising money for real estate ventures, but it is open to all types of equity-based crowdfunding […]

Ben Dyer Joins Austin-based Enola Labs’ Advisory Board

Enola Labs President and CTO Marcus Turner with Ben Dyer, a member of its advisory board.

Ben Dyer, a serial technology entrepreneur and entrepreneur in residence at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, has joined the advisory board of Enola Labs. The Austin-based mobile and web development company is run by Marcus Turner, its president and chief technology officer. It is also in the process […]

Dan Graham Launches Owen’s Garage to Nurture Startups

Dan Graham, the co-founder of, has launched a new venture to nurture Austin’s startup community. Graham has officially opened Owen’s Garage, a coworking and incubator in housed in a former auto shop in East Austin. The space contains Austin startups which Graham has invested in. Owen’s Garage provides a place for “startups to work […]

Instacart Teams Up with Austin’s Tomlinson’s Pets for Deliveries


It’s a real drag when the giant bag of dog food in the pantry is empty and the dogs are hungry and there’s no time to run to the store. Never fear, there’s a solution to this nagging problem. The dogs have got to eat. And Instacart and Tomlinson’s Pets in Austin will make sure […]

Pipeline Fellowship Launches in Austin to Invest in Women-Led Startups

Pipeline Fellowship Launches in Austin, courtesy photo.

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News Pipeline Fellowship Founder and CEO Natalia Oberti Noguera spoke recently at a Women 2.0 conference in San Francisco. She talked about her experience as a LGBT Latina entrepreneur and afterwards a black woman approached her tearfully and thanked her for sharing her experience. It turns out the […]

PWP Growth Equity Invests in

imgres-10, a bootstrapped online sign printer which also sells home decor items, Tuesday announced it has received an investment from PWP Growth Equity. The Austin-based private company did not disclose financial details of the investment. Founded in 2005, has been on a steady growth track. (Silicon Hills News did this story in 2012 on […]

San Antonio-based SeatSmart Launches Online Ticket Marketplace


A new online broker to fan ticket marketplace, SeatSmart has launched. The San Antonio-based startup has raised $750,000 of its $1 million seed round funding led by angel investors Lew Moorman and Pat Matthews, both former Rackspace executives. Additional investors include ten large brokers nationwide. SeatSmart plans to use the money to hire additional employees, […]

Four Austin Startups Chosen to Advance in the 1776 Challenge Cup


Four Austin startups will go on to compete in the 1776 Challenge Cup Competition. The winners include PenPal Schools in the education category, Lucelo Technology in the energy & sustainability category, Keet Software in health category and StormPins in the transportation and cities category. Several Austin startups competed at the Capital Factory Thursday night in […]

Ireland House, the First Irish Consulate in Texas, Opens in Austin

Sean Storan, vice president, Patrick M. Howlin, executive vice president and director of North America and Gerard Hayes, vice president, with IDA Ireland.

By LAURA LOREK Reporter with Silicon Hills News Austin’s booming tech sector is prompting Ireland to open a consulate and trade office in Austin, its first in Texas and only the seventh in the U.S. The office, dubbed Ireland House, will be housed in the Bank of America building on Congress Ave. It will contain […]

Upland Software Names Tim Mattox as its New President

Upland Software Logo

Upland Software, a cloud-based software maker, Wednesday announced the promotion of Tim Mattox to president. Mattox previously served as the company’s chief operating officer. He will retain that role along with assuming the duties of the president focused on customer experience strategy and vision. “With his in depth corporate strategy and operations expertise, Tim has […]

Volusion Gets $55 Million in Venture Capital

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Volusion, which makes e-commerce software, has received $55 million in venture capital led by Main Street Capital Corp. The Austin-based company plans to use the money to further develop its enterprise platform, Mozu, and its small to medium sized business platform, Volusion. “Supporting Volusion’s vision as they generate significant growth with the Mozu platform is […]

Silicon Labs Buys Bluegiga in Finland for $61 Million


Silicon Labs announced Wednesday its acquisition of Bluegiga Technologies Oy, based in Finland, for $61 million in cash. The Austin-based company reported the acquisition expands its wireless hardware and software solutions for the Internet of Things marketplace. Bluegiga makes wireless products such as ultra-low power Bluetooth Smart, Bluetooth Classic and Wi-Fi modules as well as […]

Civitas Learning Lands $16 Million in Venture Capital


Civitas Learning, a three year old education technology startup, announced Tuesday it has secured $16 million in funding. Rethink Education led the investment with additional funding from existing investors Austin Ventures and Emergence Capital. To date, the company has raised $32 million in four rounds from seven investors, according to its Crunchbase profile. Civitas, which […]

A New Program Launches in Austin for Black and Latino Tech Entrepreneurs


CODE2040 has partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs to launch an Entrepreneur in Residence program aimed at fostering diversity with local tech startups. The program is aimed at “boosting the pipeline of Black and Latino/a entrepreneurial talent and creating diverse tech ecosystems in select locations around the country,” according to a news release. THe program called […]

How Texas Startups Are Spurring Innovation in the Most Entrenched Industries

Keith Cole, photo courtesy of Water Lens

By KEITH H. COLE Founder and CEO of Water Lens in Austin Special Editorial Contribution to Silicon Hills News Being a startup isn’t easy to begin with, but working in a highly-regulated industry like oil and gas can be even harder, especially when it’s also slow to adopt new technologies. We all know the challenges—navigating […]

Austin to Encourage Space Entrepreneurship


By Susan Lahey Reporter with Silicon Hills news One of Austin’s tactics for keeping the city’s economy growing is to build on space technology, said Gene Austin, President and CEO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and CEO of Bazaarvoice. Speaking at the organization’s annual meeting, Austin said that Opportunity Austin, the chamber’s five-county economic […]

Xenex Lands $25 Million in Venture Capital

Mark Stibich, PhD, founder of Xenex and Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex. Photo by Gary Hartman

Xenex Disinfection Services, a startup that created germ-zapping robots for hospitals, has landed $25 million in venture capital. The San Antonio-based company has raised $54.3 million so far, according to a post in the Wall Street Journal. The investment came from Brandon Point Industries Limited and existing investors Battery Ventures, Targeted Technology Fund II and […]

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

“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

Photo licensed from

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 […]