Finding Funding for Tech Startups in Austin

Photo of the funding panel courtesy of Austin Technology Council.

Photo of the funding panel courtesy of Austin Technology Council.

A familiar compliant in Austin from tech startup entrepreneurs is that there’s never enough money to fund their ideas.
Some say that good companies don’t have trouble raising money. But others disagree.
On Wednesday, a panel of VCs and Angel investors talked about the money available for deals locally at the Austin Technology Council’s CEO Summit.
John Thornton, managing partner with Austin Ventures, moderated the panel.
Capital Factory has provided seed stage funding for 15 companies during the last four years, said Joshua Baer, its co-founder.
Some startups can get profitable on $50,000, Baer said. And crowdfunding on sites like Kickstarter is making funds available to companies that might have gotten turned down by angels or venture capitalists, Baer said. He knows of founders who couldn’t get money locally and then raised a $1 million on Kickstarter.
Capital Factory focuses on companies that can get profitable on less than $1 million in startup funds. It also focuses on Software as a Service firms that serve the business to business market, Baer said.
Bill Wood, general partner with Silverton Partners, focuses on funding Austin-based companies.
Because it’s easy to startup a company and doesn’t take a lot of money, Silverton Partners sees more startups forming, Wood said. The teams are made up of founders who are dramatically younger. The majority of its founding teams are in their 20s, Wood said.
The good thing about young founders is that they don’t know what’s not possible, Wood said. They have drive, ambition and a willingness to sacrifice, he said.
Vista Equity Partners moved to Austin 18 months ago. It is exclusively focused on software, said Martin Taylor, principal with Vista.
“We think of ourselves as a software holding firm,” Taylor said. Vista has two investment funds. It has a $3.5 billion fund for investments in companies with greater than $150 million in revenue and a smaller $400 million fund for investments in companies with more than $15 million in revenue.

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