Tag: Tech Ranch Austin

Coworking Options for Yogis, Dog-Lovers and Everybody Else

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Photo licensed from iStock

Photo licensed from iStock

Picking a co-working space is like a cross between choosing a place to work and finding your favorite hangout. What’s important to you? Ergonomic chairs? Community? The vibe? The snacks? Or, as one Yelper explained, the fact that they “play the same tunes I have on my iPod?”
And considering that the people around you might become your friends, clients, business partners and tribe what do you want them to be like? Older professionals? Hackers? Hipsters? Artists? Do you want to bring your dog? Do you want to share a coffee machine with investors? Do you want a yoga class in the same space?
Austin has a great array of coworking places that offer all of the above and more. We’ve compiled a directory of some of the area’s hottest co-working spaces for you to find your spot.

Capital Factory

In many ways, Capital Factory is the hub of all things startup. On the 16th floor of the Omni building, this is where you can rub elbows with many of the area’s most promising new companies, and the investors and successful entrepreneurs who mentor them. You get access to giant pillows and snacks like candy, chips, fruit, and the occasional pizza. Co-workers don’t get all the designer ergonomic office systems. They share long tables in a common room. But they are at hand for many cool events and meetups that happen in Capital Factory space.
Membership Fee: $150 for 15 hours a month; $350 for unlimited access
Address: 701 Brazos St., 16th Floor, Austin
Website: capitalfactory.com/work/coworking


Conjunctured is a funky work space in an old house on the East Side. Started by a couple of geeks, Conjectured prides itself on the community its co-workers have created. Members not only work at the space during the day but also have happy hours, volleyball games, board games at one another’s homes and go tubing and group skydiving. Conjunctured plays music from its members’ iPods but also has a quiet room for people who need minimal distractions. And it’s dog friendly—if you call first.
Membership fee: $25 to $275 a month
Address: 1309 E. Seventh St., Austin
Website: conjunctured.com


Center61 in East Austin, is where you might want to be if the focus of your work is social good. Like, if what gets you up in morning is the environment or global justice or racial harmony and you’re looking for likeminded people to collaborate with, this would be the place to work.
Modern, airy and quiet, Center 61 is scientists, artists, business owners, technologists and more.
Membership fee: $10 to $200 a month
Address: 2921 E. 17th St. #4, Austin
Website: center61.com

GoLab Austin

In an old building on groovy East Sixth, the GoLab is a combination art gallery and coworking space. Founder Steve Golab offers lunch and learns and encourages the software and social platform developers to birth new ideas through collaboration and community.
Membership fee: $250 to $350 a month
Address: 621 E. Sixth St., Austin
Website: golabaustin.com

Link Coworking

Link Coworking is one of the best known and longest-lasting co-working spots in Austin. With a funky, modern space with ergonomic Turnstone furniture, Link has private, dedicated spaces as well as open working spaces. If offers a place for experts to come and give free consulting to members and the community and it holds and myriad events for networking and for fun.
Membership fee: $200 to $500 a month
Address: 2700 W. Anderson Lane, #205, Austin
Website: linkcoworking.com

Opportunity Space

Started by startup veteran Erica Douglass, Opportunity Space is specially designed for startups, rather than freelancers or solopreneurs. Operating out of a charming old house on Caesar Chavez, on the East Side Opportunity Space offers each startup a dedicated desk and, if they want, a dedicated room. And it has one thing few co-working spaces offer…a shower!
Membership fee: $500 a month for a dedicated desk
Address: 2125 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin
Website: opportunityspace.com

Perch Coworking

Perch coworking in East Austin offers ergonomic chairs, mail delivery and a community of what it calls “self-contained business people.” Perch has clean, modern space and focuses hard on the business aspect of getting work done and meeting with likeminded people who might also be good business contacts.
Membership fee: $175 a month; drop-ins are $25 a day
Address: 2235 E. Sixth St., Austin
Website: perchcoworking.com

Posh Coworking

Posh is the first Austin co-working space specifically for women. Elegant, if a little girlie, Posh not only provides co-working spaces but quiet meeting areas—named Elizabeth, Audrey and Marilyn–for members to meet with clients. Members rave about the warm feel, the writing lab, and the help of the owner, Blossom.
Membership fee: $125 to $400 a month
Address: 3027 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 202, Austin
Website: poshcoworking.com

Soma Vida

So what if your requirements go way beyond ergonomic chairs and snacks? Soma Vida is a wellness community described by several Yelpers as “Nirvana.” It’s a yoga collective, a wellness center, a veritable Vallhalla of work life balance in an old house in East Austin. And best of all, it’s way less expensive than most co-working spaces. And memberships come with free yoga classes and entrance to networking events. Namaste.
Membership fee: $25 to $65 a month
Address: 1210 Rosewood Ave., Austin
Website: somavida.net

Tech Ranch Austin

Tech Ranch is another major startup hub in Austin, north of downtown. It’s an incubator that helps businesses from seed to scale. In a quiet office park off 183, Tech Ranch offers a range from general co-working in a modern setting to a dedicated desk, chair and locking cabinet space. Another great place to rub elbows with entrepreneurs and investors who are making new things happen.
Membership fee: $150 to $300 a month
Address: 9111 Old Jollyville Road, Suite 100, Austin
Website: techranchaustin.com


The owners of Vuka envisioned the space as a co-working place, event venue and all around community gathering space. A giant, open warehouse with incredible tree light fixtures and funky furniture, Vuka is the perfect place for people who want to combine art with work. The venue has almost no parking, however, and some members report that all that combining of art, work and community can be a little distracting.
Membership fee: $150 to $300 a month; drop-ins are $15 a day ($5 on Fridays)
Address: 411 W. Monroe St., Austin
Website: vukaaustin.com

San Antonio Coworking Space


Geekdom is the place for San Antonio coworking. The local startup hub, Geekdom is steps away from the Riverwalk and offers month to month membership as well as dedicated desks and office spaces. Because it’s the hub of entrepreneurship, it’s also the place to encounter the up and coming companies and the investors and mentors who are helping them. The coworking space is moving into the historic Rand building downtown in late March and will have a specially designed space featuring showers, bike racks, kitchen, postboxes, phone booths and a special events center.
Membership fee: $50 to $200
112 East Pecan, 10th & 11th Floors
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Website: http://geekdom.com/san-antonio

Q &A with Claire England on Her New Role Promoting Startups at Tech Ranch Austin

Claire England earlier this year at RISE Austin, photo by Laura Lorek.

Claire England earlier this year at RISE Austin, photo by Laura Lorek.

Claire England, former executive director RISE Austin, has joined Tech Ranch Austin.
While England has resigned the full-time executive director role at RISE Austin, she will continue to work with the organization in an advisory role and is leading the planning of next year’s conference.
In her new role at Tech Ranch Austin, England will serve as managing director of global expansion and new initiatives. She will also be working with South by Southwest Interactive on engaging international startups for SXSW Interactive 2014.
In addition, England has also volunteered as the Austin Chair for Startup America, a position formerly held by the late Scott Robinson.
She will also volunteer to join the advisory board for the new Austin Global Shapers Hub, a program of the World Economic Forum. James Bilodeau is the founding curator.
“I’m VERY excited about all of this and looking forward to having an even bigger impact on our entrepreneur ecosystem!,” England wrote in an email announcing her new roles.
Upon hearing the news, Silicon Hills News jotted down a few questions to ask England via email about the Austin entrepreneurial ecosystem which she has had an active role in promoting.

Q. Why did you decide to join Tech Ranch Austin?

A. Every organization experiences growth and internal strengthening; Tech Ranch is poised for significant growth and has been strengthening and expanding its core programs to serve entrepreneurs and startups at every level. Now we are developing strong relationships with startup communities in Asia and South America, resulting in new impact on Austin’s startup community. Founder Kevin Koym created a great vision for the future of entrepreneurial activities at Tech Ranch, and he has complemented his skills by adding Managing Partner Sandeep Kumar earlier this year. Sandeep’s strengths as a serial entrepreneur with a focus on strategy and execution are helping accelerate Tech Ranch, as great co-founders and co-leaders do. I joined Tech Ranch because I see the huge potential for what the organization can help startups accomplish, and I bring another set of skills to the organization that complements the existing leadership.

Q. What are Austin’s greatest strengths when it comes to entrepreneurship?

A. I strongly believe our greatest strength with regards to entrepreneurship is our collaborative community. Further, the focus in Austin is not on valuation but on value. The pressure is a little different here than in more “go-go” markets, which means entrepreneurs have more time to explore ideas and market viability fully. Nevertheless, once a company is formed, speed of plan implementation and customer acceptance remain crucial. Austin and Central Texas offer all the core resources that a new company needs, from talented people to test markets for prototypes, products, services, etc; to affordable work space options; to programs that support their work.

Q. What problems do you see that need to be fixed?

A. Investment needs to be expanded — early and later stage options — both in terms of sheer numbers, but also helping investors become more comfortable investing in a wider variety of markets, so that significant investments aren’t focused on just a few sectors. And this isn’t limited to growing our community’s investment capacity; it’s also important that we position Austin’s startups as attractive for outside investment.
Our startups continue to need top developer talent and opportunities for partnership. The more our business and civic communities can do to support startups, the better it is for Austin as a whole. Startups and small business are driving the new economy, and they need our help.
Conversely, our startups should get involved in helping make Austin great, as much as they can. From helping solve our transportation challenges to initiating creative solutions for our wicked world problems by investing time and energy in social innovation and our nonprofit community, there is plenty to be done.

Q. How is Austin viewed in the global economy?

A. Austin is predominantly defined internationally by music and SXSW (and increasingly Formula 1), which means it’s seen as a creative, talented, and fun city. Of course, Austin consistently ranks high on most national and international top 10 lists, but we cannot rest on our laurels. For Austin to be truly great and to really compete in the global economy, we have to take our business community and our infrastructure to the next level. That will require a great deal of collaboration and hard work, but it will absolutely be worth it.
For example, Tech Ranch already has partnerships in Singapore and in Chile, and SXSW brings in startups from all over the world. Both organizations have the opportunity to create significant impact in Austin through their international relationships, and I’m thrilled to be working in this arena. Austin is also poised to be a technology gateway to Latin America, and startup partnerships are beginning to emerge between the two regions.

Q. Anything else you would like to add or make a point of that we haven’t asked you about?

A. My predecessor with Startup Texas/Startup America, Scott Robinson, had a huge vision for Austin, as big as his heart and his strength of personality. He was a dear friend to me and many in the startup and tech communities and is sorely missed. We have a lot of work to do to carry on his vision. My personal goal in all of my work and volunteer commitments is to help make Austin both the best city and the best entrepreneur ecosystem in the world. We need everyone in our community contributing and collaborating to help make that possible.

Itography Creates Geocaching App for Treasure Hunting

Melissa Conley Tyree, chief item officer at Itography

The quest for lost treasures is part of our culture going back to ancient times.
And in modern day times, the quest continues but with a high-tech component.
Hundreds of geocaching apps exist today that allow people with smart mobile phones equipped with GPS to find hidden treasures in parks, on city streets and other places.
Geocaching involves a real world treasure hunt for hidden containers, called geocaches. Some of the containers hold trinkets or other treasures. People sign their name on a piece of paper placed in the container showing that they’ve found the geocache. They can also share their experiences online.
Melissa Conley Tyree and her husband Jeremy Tyree have created a mobile phone app, Itography, that makes a game out of finding and placing items at real world locations.
The Tyrees lives in Dripping Springs with their two daughters. We recently met up at Thyme & Dough bakery downtown to talk about Itography. Melissa attended Venture 14, a startup accelerator program at Tech Ranch Austin, to get help with marketing and advertising and other business fundamentals.
Itography, which is financed by its founders via the startup bootstrapping method, plans to make money by doing mobile marketing campaigns for brands.
Tyree is a civil engineer who grew up around computers. Her dad was a programmer and her grandfather was a programmer.
Itography is applying to Tech Crunch Disrupt and Demo.
“My husband and I have been working on this idea for a year,” she said.
Their app is called Itography, a combination of items and geography, and it’s available for free for Android and iPhone mobile phones.
Itography is a social game that allows people to collect and move virtual items in the real world. They released the mobile phone app last fall.
“Itography is virtual geocaching at places you visit everyday,” Tyree said.
People who play the game drop items and pick up items at a variety of places. Picking up and dropping off items can earn rewards.
The items belong to collections which include plants, food, gems and seasonal.
With each pickup and drop an item gains history such as total distance traveled.
“We’ve got an item that has travelled 10,000 miles,” Tyree said.

Tech Ranch Austin helps move startups forward

Every Tuesday, Arthur Chong drives 144 miles from the Houston suburb of Katy to Tech Ranch Austin.
He’s part of Venture Forth 12, an 8-week $495 class at Tech Ranch Austin that covers everything from creating a three-year financial forecast to putting together a pitch deck, a set of 10 slides to pitch a company to investors. Each Venture Forth program has 10 to 15 entrepreneurs. The weekly sessions require the entrepreneurs to do homework, upload documents to a class website and present them in class. They also get feedback from a network of mentors during a “meet the mentor” night.
“The Venture Forth class has certainly helped me plan my next step,” said Chong, founder of Alpha Cares, a web-based childcare management system. He’s currently deciding whether to seek venture financing or continue to bootstrap his company. He found out about Tech Ranch Austin while attending a Bootstrap Austin event.
Tech Ranch Austin is an incubator, accelerator and co-working space for early stage entrepreneurs, which offers special programs to help entrepreneurs.
“There is certainly nothing in the Houston area that speaks to seed level ventures,” Chong said.

At the end of the party at Tech Ranch Austin

Kevin Koym, who has founded several ventures and worked for several companies including NeXT, which is now part of Apple, founded Tech Ranch Austin three years ago with Jonas Lamis. About a year ago, Lamis left to join one of the Venture Forth companies: Piryx, a fundraising platform for nonprofits, political campaigns and personal causes. It’s now known as Rally.
The idea for Tech Ranch Austin first surfaced in 2003 when a close friend committed suicide, Koym said. Tech Ranch Austin honors their friend’s memory, he said.
So far, 300 entrepreneurs have gone through Venture Forth and hundreds more have attended Tech Ranch Austin’s “campfires,” which it holds twice a month on Friday afternoons. The informal sessions invite entrepreneurs to gather to discuss a wide range of topics.
TechRanch also rents office space to startup companies. Teamtopia, a Capital Factory 2011 winner, rents space there. Tech Ranch Austin’s staff also rents out office space for other events and offers consulting services.
“The thing that is making this place work is community,” Koym said.
Tech Ranch Austin held a “ranch warming” party Thursday night that attracted around 300 people to its headquarters at 9111 Jollyville Road. The crowd included many past Venture Forth participants.
Breanne Hull, with the Venture Forth 10 class, credits Tech Ranch Austin with helping the former schoolteacher learn business fundamentals. She launched Educlone, an online training site, last May.
“I didn’t know what a sales funnel was before Tech Ranch,” she said.
The collegial environmental and interaction with the other entrepreneurs also helped her refine her business ideas.
“It gave me a great forum where I could throw out a crazy idea and say what do you guys think,” she said. “They are really forward thinking people who are really supportive. Even now, I’ll e-mail someone from my cohort and ask their advice.”
Vivian Wied, president of Sagepoint Solutions, graduated from Venture Forth 11. Her company provides fundraising tools, signup sheets and scheduling tools to parents and volunteer groups. The tools are all free and supported through advertising. Wied launched her venture in September of 2009.
“Tech Ranch is a very supportive environment,” she said. Her classmates helped her refine and change her business plan.
Joe Gilson, founder of AnalyzIt.com, a fleet data analysis company, attended Venture Forth 9 and he credits the experience with focusing his business.
“It helped me to pivot from where I thought my product had traction to a point where my product had traction and customers.”
Other people in his class had transportation knowledge and experience and could help him with his venture.
“Now I have a viable business,” he said. “Tech Ranch helped take my venture from hey I’ve got this product to hey I’ve got this product people want to buy.”

Tech Ranch Austin’s 3rd anniversary in three words

Tech Ranch Austin, an early stage accelerator and incubator for entrepreneurs and their ventures, celebrated its third anniversary Thursday night at its new headquarters in North Austin at 9111 Jollyville Road. About 300 people turned out for the event which featured live music, a short speech by Kevin Koym, founder of Tech Ranch Austin, and lots of food, wine, beer and socializing.
During the event, which lasted from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., we pulled people aside to find out their thoughts on Tech Ranch Austin in three words and recorded them with the trusty Flip camera. We’ll post a story later on along with a slideshow from the party. (Full disclosure: I’m in Tech Ranch Austin’s Venture Forth program, which helps early stage entrepreneurs.)

Hoover’s “Art of Enterprise” at Tech Ranch

Tech Ranch Austin is working with serial entrepreneur Gary Hoover to deliver his “Art of Enterprise” course
It’s the fourth time he has delivered the course with TechRanch.
The first class is free. He’s offering it at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11 or Saturday, Jan. 14th at 1 p.m. at Tech Ranch’s offices at 9111 Jollyville Road. You can RSVP for the first class at Eventbrite.
Hoover has run four startups and a is a former entrepreneur in residence at University of Texas McCombs School of Business.
During the 11-week course, Hoover covers all kinds of skills needed to run your own business.

Austin-San Antonio tech start-up incubators, accelerators and other programs

So many central Texas start-ups have taken off recently and some of them may need a boost to get to the next level.
This list of Austin and San Antonio incubators and accelerators help companies with a leg up in the marketplace.
Some of them have rigorous application and screening processes. Check them out to find the one that’s right for your venture.

Tech Ranch is a for-profit incubator founded in 2008 by Kevin Koym and Jonas Lamis. It offers co-working space for start-ups, consulting services and specialized programs to help entrepreneurs launch their ventures. Its flagship programs are Camp Fires, which are informal gatherings on Friday, Venture Forth, an 8-week program, and Pioneer Program, a weekly meeting coupled with monthly rent for office space.

Capital Factory, founded in 2009 by Joshua Baer and Bryan Menell, is a seed-stage technology accelerator for startups. It runs a 10 week program that begins in May and runs through August. It ends with a Demo Day in September in which the companies pitch to potential investors, media and others.

TechStars Cloud is the newest accelerator for high-tech startups in the Silicon Hills area. It’s based at the Geekdom in downtown San Antonio. The inaugural class of TechStar Cloud companies kicks off in January. Each company receives $18,000 and access to another $100,000 loan. The 12-week program ends with a Demo Day.

Austin Technology Incubator, founded in 1989, has helped more than 200 companies. It’s part of the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas.

Texas Venture Labs at the University of Texas helps accelerate startup companies in central Texas.

SXSW Accelerator 2012 – this is the fourth year for this competition which features 48 start-up companies pitching to an audience of investors and experienced entrepreneurs. The judges then choose 18 finalists who give a final pitch and then the winners are chosen.

One Semester Start-up at the University of Texas debuted this fall. The companies will pitch to investors and others on Thursday. Professor of Innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise Bob Metcalfe, Joshua Baer of Capital Factory and John Butler, Director of H.K. Entrepreneurship Center at the University of Texas head up the program.

This Friday, Ash Maurya, founder of Spark59 and author of Running Lean, is putting on a one-day workshop at Tech Ranch Austin. The program, which costs $249, starts at 9 a.m.

Other programs designed to spur innovation among the entrepreneurial mindset include:

3 Day Startup

RISE Austin

Austin Startup Bazaar fosters entrepreneurship

Dave Michaels with Tech Ranch Austin promotes the Austin Startup Bazaar during Austin Startup Week.
The day-long event Thursday at Austin City Hall downtwon featured speed-mentoring sessions, pitch sessions, city hall tours, company demonstrations and a marketing talk.

At the Austin Startup Bazaar, Mark Philip, founder of Are You Watching This, talks about his sports startup aimed at fans who don’t want to miss any important plays.

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