Tag: Sparefoot (Page 1 of 2)

SpareFoot is Seeking to Hire 30 More Employees

imgres-6SpareFoot, 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 has 75 call center employees. It wants to hire 30 more by April.

“As SpareFoot continues to reach more and more self-storage seekers, the ACE Team has to grow to be there to help people find the perfect storage unit for their situation. We’re projecting another huge year for SpareFoot, so we’re very excited to start adding more amazing people to our team,” Josh Lipton, leader of the ACE Team, said in a blog post on SpareFoot’s site.

To participate in the event, SpareFoot asks job candidates to apply online first by Feb. 3rd. SpareFoot plans to invite job candidates to the speed dating event by Feb. 5th. The event will be held Feb. 11th at SpareFoot’s headquarters.

To learn more about SpareFoot, visit the company’s blog.

SpareFoot Employees Provide Swag Bags for Foster Children

sparefoot-operation-swag-bagThe 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 Trashbag Kids” about the hardships foster children endure, according to John Egan, SpareFoot spokesman.

SpareFoot employees filled each “swag bag” with hats, mittens, fleece blankets, ear buds, pens, reusable water bottles, journals and sketch pads, Egan said. They delivered the bags on Monday to a program for foster teens operated by Austin’s LifeWorks Youth & Family Alliance.

“We were able to give back to the community–to the forgotten teens and maybe to future SpareFooters,” Vanessa West, one of SpareFoot employees who organized Operation Swag Bag, said in a statement.

SpareFoot Spearheads Startup Food Drive

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

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

SpareFoot, an innovative startup in the storage business, has launched a food drive to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin just in time for Thanksgiving.

The company has so far brought in more than 800 food items such as cans and other non-perishable goods, which is about four times as much as its goal from last year.

“There has been a major focus this year on monetary donations after speaking with the food bank and learning that for every $1.00 donated they could turn that into 3.5 pounds of food with their different partnerships,” said David Berns, one of the food drives organizers. “Our monetary donations are currently $3,125 which the Capital Area Food Bank will be able to turn into 10,937.5 pounds of food.”

So far, the most popular canned goods donated are corn and green beans.

“I think most people are choosing things they have at their Holiday dinners themselves,” Berns said.

This is the second year SpareFoot has been doing a food drive during the holidays.

In addition to SpareFoot, several other Austin startups joined the CANpaign and are collecting can goods for the Capital Area Food Bank. The other companies include Main Street Hub, The Zebra, BuildASign.com, Digital Union, UnLtd USA, WP Engine, Pingboard and Net Impact Austin.

The team at SpareFoot that raises the most donations gets to decide who at SpareFoot gets to wear a turkey costume for a day.

“With our mantra of work hard, play hard in mind we set to work thinking of some fun ways to make our food drive special this year and ended up with the idea of dividing the company into teams and letting the winning team pick a co-worker to wear a lovely Turkey costume for a day,” Berns said. On Friday at midnight when the final donations are taken, the company will decide who gets to wear the suit, he said.

SpareFoot Raises $10 Million More in Funding

imgresThe fun loving startup, SpareFoot that has created the nation’s largest online storage marketplace, has just raised $10 million in venture capital from Insight Venture Partners.
Austin-based SpareFoot has raised $26 million since its founding in 2008. New York-based Insight Venture Partners provided $22 million of those funds. Its other major investors include Capital Factory, Floodgate and Silverton Partners.
“SpareFoot will use this latest investment to double down on engineering and product development,” Chuck Gordon, co-founder and CEO, said in a news release. “We believe there is a big opportunity to expand our offerings in the market, and that’s what we’re going to do. Our goal is to make renting a storage unit easier than booking a hotel room, and this new investment will help us make that happen.”
SpareFoot has 120 employees at its downtown headquarters and plans to add more than 40 this year in the customer service, engineering and product development areas, according to the news release.
“SpareFoot has done a great job of bringing together a highly fragmented market of small self-storage operators and is doing an even better job helping them compete with the large players,” Richard Wells, managing director of Insight Venture Partners said in a news release.
SpareFoot operates a free marketplace that lets customers find and reserve storage units online. It has the largest inventory of storage units in the U.S. with more than 7,000 facilities in its network.

SpareFoot Takes Gold at Austin’s Third Annual Startup Olympics

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Joe Ross,president and cofounder CSID and Shawn Bose, vice president and general manager of UShip.

Joe Ross,president and cofounder CSID and Shawn Bose, vice president and general manager of UShip. Photo by Susan Lahey

“Eye of the Tiger” throbbed in the background, interrupted only by periodic swells of cheering as various teams won beer pong, foosball, darts and myriad other games at the third annual Startup Olympics in Austin Music Hall Saturday.
Sixteen startup teams competed but SpareFoot triumphed, winning more games than any other startup team and receiving a check for $23,000 to go to Kure It, an organization that funds cancer research. Uship took second place and Capital Factory won the third place trophy.
The top three teams win the biggest part of the pot, which this year was close to $60,000, according to Gillian Wilson, co-founder and president of the games and senior manager of human resources for UShip.
Gillian Wilson, co-founder and president of the games and senior manager of human resources for UShip. Photo by Susan Lahey

Gillian Wilson, co-founder and president of the games and senior manager of human resources for UShip. Photo by Susan Lahey

But every charity chosen by the various teams will receive some money.
Originally, the games started as a friendly challenge, said Shawn Bose, vice president and general manager of global business for UShip.
Several friends from different startups were “all out one night and it was like ‘We could beat you at beer pong….’” Bose said. Soon, the idea had ballooned to include eight startups and raising money for charity.
“You hear all these stories about cutthroat behavior in the valley and in New York,” he said, “here in Austin we have this great community, this culture of helping each other.”
Bose said he’d known of people who came to the event last year just to network and wound up working at one of the competing startups. He liked to imagine that there might be people hatching an idea for a new startup in the midst of the event, standing at the foosball table, or playing darts.
20140125_155400 (1)Last year, John Egan, now editor in chief at SpareFoot, was getting ready for his Monday job interview with the company when he attended the Startup Olympics.
“I think it’s a great event because it brings a lot of startups together that might not otherwise come together and it raises a lot of money for great charities.”
The founders have a rule that only startups can participate, meaning that a large company—like RetailMeNot—isn’t eligible to participate. But Bose said that didn’t stop the company from being one of the event’s biggest sponsors. Capital Factory had its own team of startups whose numbers were too small to form their own teams. Many teams wore costumes ranging from team t-shirts to togas and laurel wreaths, giant inflated body suits and hair-band attire.
20140125_165648Every year, there’s a mystery competition that is unveiled at the end of the day. The first year it was a bouncy castle, last year it was a mechanical bull, and this year it was a labyrinth the “athletes” had to navigate blindfolded.
The first year the event raised $3,000 for charity and has grown exponentially ever since. At some point, Bose and Wilson said, they’d like to see other cities adopt the event and possibly hold national or even global competition during SXSW.

SpareFoot Launches Battle of the Storage Bands Contest in Austin

BSOB_blog-550x250Music and technology go hand in hand like bananas and cheerios, coffee and biscotti and alligators and a swamp.
And the music and tech industry in Austin work together in such perfect harmony like Paul McCartney’s Ebony and Ivory lyrics.
“Ebony, Ivory Living In Perfect Harmony
Ebony, Ivory, Ooh”

So it just makes sense, so much sense, that SpareFoot, the irreverent and fun startup known for pinup calendars and a sketchy workplace hiring Mockumentary would hold its first Battle of the Storage Bands contest in the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World.”
That’s right and you don’t even have to work at a storage center to enter. But you do have to be a musical act from the Austin area that practices in local self storage units. (Who knew there was such a thing? Put down your hands SpareFoot people, I’m talking to other readers.)
Apparently you can be a one man or one woman band in a storage unit. (I might have to find my old squeeze box and spoons, rent a unit and begin practicing at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage.)
The talent search began on Jan. 13. Sparefoot requires contestants to submit a YouTube video of a performance of an original song. (Might I suggest: Ode to my locker, There’ll always be space for you in my storage unit, I love my stuff or Finding Treasures at Uncle Bob’s.) You can enter the contest here.
“SpareFoot’s Band Selection Committee then will consider the three musical acts that collect the most online votes by Feb. 21,” according to a news release. “Committee members will choose the one act that will play a 30-minute set to open The SpareFoot Party on March 7 at Austin’s Scoot Inn. Plus, the winner will receive VIP passes to the party, along with event transportation and one night’s lodging.”
SpareFoot, the nation’s largest online marketplace for self storage, has 102 employees in Austin. It was founded in 2008 and has raised $6.5 million in venture capital to date, according to its CrunchBase profile.

Sparefoot and Sputnik Creative Make Best Young Companies to Work for List

BYCTWF_2013_winner_badgeTurnstone, in partnership with Wharton management professor and human resource expert Peter Cappelli, has selected 15 Best Young Companies to Work for nationwide.
The list includes two companies in Austin: Sparefoot, an online marketplace for self-storage, and Sputnik Creative, a digital and branding studio.
Turnstone received more than 100 nominations in its inaugural contest.
Turnstone selected the companies based on positive culture, great leadership, business innovation, talent retention, community outreach and “an intentionally designed workspace,” according to a news release.
The companies had to be less than 10 years old with no more than 100 employees.
“These 15 companies have created environments which embrace the company’s personality by vividly representing their culture, fostering a tight community and exuding fun,” Kevin Kuske, general manager and chief anthropologist for turnstone said in a news release.
The other companies included: Chalkfly of Detroit, Cloudability of Portland, OR, Fanology of Los Angeles, Greatist of New York, Groove Commerce of Baltimore, MD, Hoopla.io of Kansas City, KS, Nexus IT group of Overland Park, KS, Parking Panda of Baltimore, MD, Privy of Boston, MA, SocialRada of Washington, D.C., Sparkhouse of Costa Mesa, CA, Sprout Social of Chicago, IL and Thanx Media of Glen Ellyn, IL.

SpareFoot Donates Storage Space to Colorado Flooding Victims

imgres-5Austin-based SpareFoot is donating a month of storage to businesses, families and individuals who need temporary space because of the massive flooding.
SpareFoot will pay up to $100 for the first month of self-storage rent for facilities within a 75 mile radius of Boulder, Co.
The offer is good until Oct. 16th.
“The images of the destruction in Colorado are heartbreaking. Our thoughts go out to the communities that have been hit hard by this disaster,” SpareFoot CEO Chuck Gordon said in a news release. “While human lives obviously are the most important consideration in a situation like this, we at SpareFoot hope our offer of free storage space can help people in Colorado recover from the floods.”

Austin Chamber’s New A-List of Startups to Watch

Stacy Zoern, CEO of Community Cars, Inc., runs a car manufacturing business out of Pflugerville.
But that’s not the most remarkable part. Zoern, who uses a wheelchair to get around, wanted to find a car that would provide independence to wheelchair users.
Online, she found the Kenguru, an electric smart car. Only problem was the company ran out of money and shut down operations. So she raised $1.4 million and partnered with the company and they moved the defunct car operations from Hungary to Texas and began manufacturing the bright yellow smart cars in 2010.
That innovative and entrepreneurial spirit earned Zoern’s Community Cars Inc. a spot on the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce’s A-List, which recognized this week 28 innovative technology startups.
Zoern’s is the only car company to make the list.
The list is meant to shine a spotlight on some of the region’s most innovative technology startups that are seeking funding. To compile the list, the chamber’s tech partnership sought input from investors.
“Austin is rich with innovative startups that are primed for growth and simply need exposure and, most importantly, capital, to transform potential into reality,” Susan Davenport, senior vice president of Global Technology Strategies for the Austin Chamber, said in a news release.
Silicon Hills News has done profiles of several companies on the list including InfoChimps, BlackLocus, Calxeda, MapMyFitness, MassRelevance and Gazzang.

This slideshare contains screen grabs of the homepages of the 28 companies that made the Austin Chamber’s list for 2012.

Sparefoot Spearheads Back to School Supply Drive

Will Tweet or Facebook post for school supplies.
That’s the idea behind a social charity program spearheaded by Austin tech startup Sparefoot, which puts consumers in touch with storage facilities.
Sparefoot will donate $3 worth of basic school supplies for every Facebook share and Tweet about what memento they’ve stored since grade school. The donations will go to a school supply drive for Communities In Schools of Central Texas, a nonprofit focused on dropout-prevention.
“We launched this company while I was still in school myself,” Chuck Gordon, Sparefoot Founder and CEO, said in a news release. “Our goal with Supply Memories is to give other students a similar opportunity to succeed, no matter their circumstances.
To participate, visit Sparefoot on Facebook or visit Supply Memories to learn more about the Twitter program.

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