Austin’s A-List of Top Startups for 2015

At a special event at the Moody Theater Thursday night, officials with the Austin Chamber of Commerce announced its 2015 A-List of the top 12 most promising startups in Austin.

A panel of independent judges selected the companies from more than 275 nominations.

“Austin is rich with innovative startups that are primed for rapid growth. The A-List platform shines a spotlight and amplifies our diverse and rich talent, helping to maintain our lead as the most innovative, entrepreneurial region,” Michele Skelding, the Austin Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Global Technology and Innovation, said in a news release.

A-List companies are considered to be some of the most likely to attract investment capital and to get traction in their market. To date, A-List companies have received a combined $358,670,000 in funding, according to the Chamber.

Hugh Forrest, director of SXSW Interactive, co-hosted the event with Skelding. Speakers included Gene Austin, Chamber Chair and CEO and President of Bazaarvoice, Bob Metcalfe, professor of innovation at the University of Texas at Austin, Hank Seale, founder and Chairman of Q2 and Erik Qualman, bestselling author.

The Austin Chamber also gave a special “Rise Star” entrepreneur award to Mikaila Ulmer, the local 10-year-old founder and CEO of BeeSweet Lemonade, who had a successful appearance on ABC’s SharkTank.

The Austin A-List companies in the emerging or early stage category, meaning they’ve received funding less than $1 million or have less than $1 million in revenue include Everfest, a global events platform, Bitfusion.io, software that speeds up hardware, Green & Grow, microbe derived by products that increase crop yields, and ENTVantage Diagnostics, which provides a rapid diagnostic test for sinusitis.

In the growth or mid-stage category, with companies receiving funding between $1 million and $10 million or up to $20 million in revenue, the companies included CognitiveScale, which has created a cognitive cloud platform that can mine huge databases and understand natural language to present data in an easy to understand format, Neogenis Labs which makes patented nitric oxide nutraceuticals and nutritionals, Illumitex, creator of LED lighting, EPIC, which makes protein bars and SparkCognition, a cognitive security analytics company.

In the scale, or later stage category with companies receiving funding above $10 million or revenue of more than $20 million, the companies included SpareFoot, a self storage marketplace, Silvercar, a rental car company and Volusion, an ecommerce company.

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