At 23 years old, Camilo Nova started Axiacore, a software development firm in the South American country of Colombia.
But Nova taught himself to program in python at the early age of 14. He was lucky to have Internet access and a computer in a country where those resources were not readily available, he said.
“I grew up in the right neighborhood, in the right place,” Nova said.
He went on to study engineering and spent time at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He also worked in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Miami.
Through his travels, Nova realized that most small to medium-sized businesses do not have access to software development firms. That’s why he created Axiacore, founded in 2007. The company’s Austin office is based at Galvanize in the Second Street District downtown.
“Most companies fail because they are trying to put on someone else’s shoes,” Nova said. Axiacore is able to create custom-built technology solutions for small to medium-sized businesses, he said. So, businesses can get a custom-made pair of shoes, he said.
Most companies think that they can buy some software online or sign up for a subscription software service and they have solved all their technology needs, Nova said. But the one-size-fits-all solutions often don’t work, he said.
Axiacore consults, designs, and engineers digital products that solve a specific problem, Nova said. The firm even works with nonprofit organizations like the Saint Louise House, founded in Austin 21 years ago to help moms and children experiencing homelessness.
Axiacore created custom forms and online software in Spanish and English for Saint Louise House that allows staff to communicate in Spanish with its clients, said Robin Kamperman, director of operations at Saint Louise House.
“It gives our residents the ability to communicate easier,” Kamperman said.
Saint Louis House operates two apartment buildings and residents need to request maintenance for issues ranging from plumbing or clogged garbage disposal, she said. The online forms give them that ability, she said.
“The biggest asset to the software is its simplicity,” Kamperman said. “It is easy to use.”
Axiacore was able to design and build the software that helps Saint Louise give better service to the people they serve, Nova said.
“If you take the time and effort to understand the business you can build something just for them,” he said.
Companies that can’t afford to invest in technology have a much lower rate of growth, Nova said. The same is true of countries, he said. Colombia is known for its agricultural exports of bananas and coffee, sugarcane and cotton, Nova said. But it’s difficult to be competitive with just food exports, he said. That’s why he is focused on tapping Colombia’s knowledge workers to create software projects for companies, he said.
“Companies get better if they embrace diversity – not racial diversity but diversity in thinking,” Nova said.
Axiacore is a remote-first company with two employees in Austin and 30 more in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Honduras, and Costa Rica.
“Pretty much we are able to hire people from everywhere,” Nova said.
Steve Ward, an entrepreneur who runs two businesses in Austin including SailATX, a sailboat charter company, hired Axiacore to help with his businesses. Then he joined the staff as a chief business development officer.
“Axiacore has incredible depth and knowledge of software development,” Ward said.
“The biggest value I think I’ve gotten from Axiacore is really peace of mind. Sort of trust of who I’m working with.”
Axiacore also gets tangible benefits for its clients like saving time, improving efficiency, and making them more effective.
“It’s hard to put a dollar figure on that,” Ward said.