Microsoft Buys Austin-based XOXCO

Microsoft buys Austin-based XOXCO, a software product design and development studio known for its conversational artificial intelligence and bot development. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ben Brown and Katie Spence started XOXCO in 2008. The company raised $1.5 million in 2015 from “Bloomberg Beta, True Ventures, a small angel group called […]

Austin Loses its bid for Amazon’s HQ2

Austin lost its bid for Amazon’s HQ2 project. The Seattle-based company announced this week it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for its new headquarters. Amazon plans to invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs in the new locations. “The fundamentals that made Austin a top 20 finalist […]

Actress Reese Witherspoon Encourages Women to be Ambitious

Early on as an actress in Hollywood, when Reese Witherspoon attended meetings to discuss her movie characters and mentioned a character flaw she would like to accentuate, the male producers would almost always say yes, but that would make her unlikable. In those meetings, Witherspoon said she felt like she was always reminded she had […]

VC Joe Lonsdale Tells UT Austin Students Not to Start a Company

Don’t start a company, Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir Technologies and 8VC, told a couple hundred University of Texas at Austin students. “I think in general it is very rare students end up founding very big companies, there are some exceptions,” Lonsdale said in a response to a question about how to support student founders. […]

Texas Health Catalyst at UT Austin Showcases Early-Stage Projects at its Demo Day

The Texas Health Catalyst held its Demo Day Tuesday afternoon with 13 early-stage ventures showcasing their new projects. “These are really, really early innovations,” said Nishi Viswanathan, director, Texas Health Catalyst at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. They are still figuring out if they clinically viable projects, she said. The […]

Austin’s Booming Tech Scene is Going Global, so Should its Creative Agencies

By DAVE MANZER Swyft Communications Sponsored Post The only industry booming in Austin more than commercial real estate — nearly 10 buildings over 40 stories are either approved or in the planning phase for downtown — is the tech industry. According to Crunchbase, Austin startups raised $368 million across 39 deals in the first quarter […]

The Zebra’s Founder Adam Lyons Plans to Launch his Next Venture in Austin

Adam Lyons, the founder of The Zebra, an auto insurance marketplace, grew up in Pittsburgh and his father still lives three blocks from the Tree of Life Synagogue. Hugh Forrest, Chief of Programming at South by Southwest, interviewed Lyons Tuesday evening at WeWork Barton Springs at a PowerUp Austin event put on by the Greater […]

Billionaire Steve Ballmer Says Software is key to Solving Social Problems

Social Solutions has created technology tools that ultimately can provide for better outcomes for disadvantaged kids, said Steve Ballmer, philanthropist and the former CEO of Microsoft, and owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. “Every kid deserves a chance at the American dream,” Ballmer said. That is not a simple solution, he told a few hundred […]

Five Austin Startups Pitch at Sputnik ATX’s Demo Day

Sputnik ATX, an Austin-based accelerator, held its second Demo Day last week featuring presentations from the five startups in its latest cohort. The invite-only event for accredited investors was held at Sputnik ATX’s offices in downtown Austin. The companies gave 15-minute presentations followed by questions and answers. “They are all awesome,” said Oksana Malysheva, co-founder […]

CognitiveScale CTO Matt Sanchez Talks About AI on the Ideas to Invoices Podcast

Five years ago, Matt Sanchez founded CognitiveScale, a fast-growing artificial intelligence startup in Austin. Today, he serves as Chief Technology Officer of CognitiveScale, which has raised $50 million to date and has 150 employees with 90 in Austin. It also has offices in New York, London, and Hyderabad, India. This week, CognitiveScale held its Cognite2018 […]