Tag: TechStars Cloud

Techstars Cloud Selects 11 Companies to Participate in “Cloud 2016”

Blake Yeager, managing director of the Techstars Cloud in San Antonio. courtesy photo

Blake Yeager, managing director of the Techstars Cloud in San Antonio. courtesy photo

Techstars Cloud in San Antonio announced its latest class of 11 companies participating in its second program this year.

“We have a group of amazing founders from all over the world,” Blake Yeager, managing director of Techstars Cloud wrote in a blog post. In addition to the U.S., startups from Spain, Taiwan and Ireland are participating in the program.

This is the fourth Techstars Cloud class in San Antonio. It began on Monday with the companies working out of the newly-remodeled eighth floor of Geekdom. The program ends with a Demo Day on Feb. 11th.

imgresTwo of the companies are from San Antonio. Help Social, founded by Matt Wilbanks and Robert Collazo, former Rackspace employees, has received seed stage investment from Mark Cuban and the Geekdom Fund. Help Social, based at Geekdom, makes a social media platform for companies to do customer relations.

The other San Antonio startup is Slash Sensei, an online training platform aimed at teaching information technology skills to students. It is also based at Geekdom.

And the program includes three startups from Austin: Clyp, a platform to capture and share raw audio, HuBoard, a project management solutions for users of GitHub and GitHub Enterprise and Popily, a data storytelling site.

The foreign companies in the program include Imagenli, image centric app maker from Malaga, Spain, Jumble, email encryption startup from Dublin, Ireland and UXTesting, a toolkit for data visualization from Taipei City, Taiwan.

The other companies participating in the program include ilos, a video app from St. Paul, MN, Joicaster, a live streaming platform from Orlando, FL and Thalonet, a private network for better Internet performance from Atlanta, GA.

The Techstars Cloud Program Returns to San Antonio in 2015

Blake Yaeger

Blake Yaeger

The Techstars Cloud program launched in San Antonio in 2012 with 11 companies and the next year another 11 startups participated in the 2013 program.

But the program, launched by Graham Weston, CEO and Co-Founder of Rackspace at Geekdom, went on hiatus in 2013 when Jason Seats moved to Austin and launched the Techstars Austin program.

Now it’s back.

The Techstars Cloud program will return to San Antonio in 2015 and will be led by Blake Yeager, who served as a mentor to the first class when he worked for HP Cloud Services. He later quit to join ZeroVM, a 2013 Techstars Cloud company acquired by Rackspace.

“I am extremely excited to be taking over as the Managing Director for the Cloud program,” Yeager wrote in a blog post on the Techstars website.

“The roster of alumni from the first two Techstars Cloud programs includes some great companies and even better founders,” Yeager wrote. “I don’t want to name names, because I know I will leave someone out, but these companies have raised serious money and are doing amazing things. I am excited by the opportunity to continue to build on the legacy that Jason and these first two classes have pioneered.”

“The next Techstars Cloud program will be kicking off in San Antonio in early 2015 with applications opening up this Fall, according to Yeager.

Techstars Austin’s Jason Seats on Startup Grind San Antonio

Jason Seats, managing director of TechStars Austin

Jason Seats, managing director of Techstars Austin

Jason Seats loved playing with Lego blocks as a kid and even did college projects with Legos as a young adult.
His heroes were Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman growing up and the fictional Indiana Jones. At the age of eight, he thought he wanted to be an archaeologist.
But even as a little kid he dreamed of running his own business, which he would call Seats Enterprises.
He grew up in St. Louis. His older sister is a nurse and his younger brother is getting his Phd in physics at Stanford.
He graduated in 2001 from St. Louis University with two degrees.
In 2006, he co-founded Slicehost, an early cloud hosting company, with Matt Tanase, a college friend. Two years later, they sold it to Rackspace for millions.
Seats served as managing director of Techstars Cloud at Geekdom in San Antonio for two years. He moved to Austin earlier this year to head up the inaugural Techstars Austin class.

TechStars Expands to Austin

Techstars-logo-1TechStars, a Boulder, Co.-based technology accelerator, is expanding to Austin with a new program that will start in August.
“Forbes and Bloomberg have been calling Austin the No. 1 Boomtown and the best place for your startup for years now, and Google recently chose it as the second city to receive the fastest Internet on the planet,” David Cohen, founder of TechStars, wrote in this blog post. “TechStars exists to put the best mentors and the best entrepreneurs together in the best startup communities so Austin is a natural next stop for us.”
Applications open today and Jason Seats, who has served as managing director of the TechStars Cloud program for the past two years, is moving from San Antonio to Austin to run the new program. Seats co-founded Slicehost, a cloud computing business which Rackspace acquired in 2008. He is also an active angel investor. He has run two TechStars Cloud programs, graduating a total of 24 companies in San Antonio.
“I’ll be heavily involved in the future cloud programs but we are in the process of selecting someone else to manage the day to day operations,” Seats said. “This is great for TechStars because with a program running in Austin in the fall and the cloud program continuing to run in San Antonio in the spring, we’ll have basically year round activity for TechStars.”
Seats hopes and expects that the two programs will continue to strength the relationship and opportunities for collaboration in the technology industry between Austin and San Antonio.
The TechStars program will be housed at Capital Factory, a technology accelerator and incubator in downtown Austin. The TechStars Cloud program takes place every January at Geekdom, a technology accelerator and coworking site in downtown San Antonio.
“As I mentioned at the RISE panel, we think it’s a pretty natural progression when it’s not uncommon to hear the word “Geekdom” at Capital Factory in downtown Austin,” Seats said.
TechStars offers programs in Boston, Boulder, Chicago, New York City, Seattle, London and a specialized “Cloud TechStars” in San Antonio.
The TechStars program invests $118,000 in each company accepted into its program through $18,000 in seed funding and an optional $100,000 convertible debt note. More than 75 venture capital firms and angel investors back the program. The program last three months and provides mentorship and other perks and the chance to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end. Its companies average $1.6 million in additional financing upon leaving the program.
The deadline to apply for the TechStars Austin program is June 30th.
The TechStars Austin program kicks off August 5th and runs through November 1st.
“We have received enthusiastic support from the local tech groups in Austin and there are already many fantastic mentors and investors involved including Brett Hurt (Bazaarvoice), Tom Ball and Mike Dodd (Austin Ventures), Sam Decker (Mass Relevance), Jeff Dachis (Dachis Group), Kip McClanahan and Morgan Flager (Silverton), Josh Baer and Bill Boebel (Capital Factory), Ned Hill and Aziz Gilani (Mercury Fund), Rony Kahan (Indeed), Rob Taylor (Black Locus) Lori Knowlton (HomeAway), and many more,” according to Cohen.

Threat Stack Created a Security Platform for Businesses

138249-31813f6602a25a4bd607e4686a3f2ebb-thumb_jpgThreat Stack is an online security system for businesses that provides a firewall to prevent hackers from breaking in.
The company, based in Washington, D.C., has also created an incident response system that reacts immediately if it detects an intrusion.
The company provides its customers with a “lightweight agent that can be rapidly deployed to their internal or cloud infrastructure that detects active intrusions and actively records attacker activity and other changes made to the system.”
“At our core we are obsessed with cybersecurity,” said Jason Meller, one of the company’s founders. The other team members are Dustin Webber and Jen Andre.
The company is raising a $750,000 seed stage round and already has $300,000 committed. The company pitched Thursday at the TechStars Cloud Demo Day at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in downtown San Antonio.

Silicon Hills News Founder Laura Lorek recently interviewed the Threat Stack team.

Skit!’s App Lets You Create Animated Stories

BIJjfPzCcAE1NQMSkit!, based in Boston, has created an app that lets anyone take photos and drawings and create an animated story to share online.
Robin Johnson pitched the company Thursday at the TechStars Cloud Demo Day at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in downtown San Antonio. Several hundred people attended the event.
Skit! is a member of the 12 companies in the TechStars Cloud class of 2013. It’s the second class to graduate from the 13 week TechStars Cloud program which kicked off in January on the 10th floor of Geekdom in San Antonio.

Silicon Hills News Founder Laura Lorek recently interviewed the Skit! team of Johnson, Max Woon and April Johnson.

TechStars Cloud’s Drifty.co Plans to Double in Size

BIJb1RoCMAAM_O_Drifty.co already has 140,000 people using its web development tools.
Founded in 2012, the company, based in Madison, Wisc., makes cloud-based tools that let anyone easily create mobile apps and websites. Max Lynch and Ben Sperry have created two products: Codiqa for mobile sites and websites and Jetstrap for developers. Sperry said he expects up to 300,000 users on its platform by the end of the year.
Drifty.co was part of the TechStars Cloud class of 2013. The team participated in the TechStars Cloud Demo Day Thursday at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in downtown San Antonio.

Founder of Silicon Hills News Laura Lorek spoke with the founders of Drifty.co about their venture at the Silver Fox Studios at Geekdom.

ParLevel Systems Makes Vending Machines Smarter

BIJlRpHCIAE6xPM-2ParLevel Systems, founded by Walter Teele and Luis Pablo Gonzalez, created a monitoring system for vending machines.
San Antonio-based ParLevel installs wireless meters inside vending machines so that operators can generate real-time data on the machine’s inventory. ParLevel Systems gives vending machine operators more information about their customers and products.
ParLevel pitched before several hundred people at the Empire Theatre in downtown San Antonio Thursday during TechStars Cloud Demo Day.
The company was one of the 12 startups participating in the TechStar Cloud accelerator program for the 13 weeks on the 10th foor at Geekdom in the Weston Centre downtown.
All participants have spent that time perfecting their idea with mentors and others. Each team gets $18,000 in seed funding and an optional $100,000 in a debt note. Demo Day puts the startups in front of investors to further fund their initiative.

San Antonio-based TrueAbility Pitches at TechStar Cloud Demo Day

TrueAbility_logoTrueAbility’s CEO Luke Owen pitched the San Antonio-based company today at TechStars Cloud Demo Day.
The company also announced that it has successfully completed its beta program with Rackspace Hosting.
TrueAbility has created a cloud-based technical assessment platform that allows companies to assess the technical abilities of their job candidates.
Rackspace has been using TrueAbility’s platform to hire new employees and it reports that by using the testing platform it has improved its recruiting process which resulted in higher quality job candidates.
Rackspace used TrueAbility’s platform to hire 28 Linux professionals. Rackspace also used TrueAbility’s contest at SXSW Interactive to find and test more than 350 Linux professionals in five days.

Silicon Hills News Founder Laura Lorek sat down with Luke Owen and Dusty Jones, two of the four co-founders of TrueAbility, recently for an interview.

Ziptask Makes Managing Outsourced Projects Easier

images-1Ziptask seeks to make managing outsourced projects simpler.
The Anaheim, Calif.-based company launched its fully managed outsourcing platform on Wednesday.
The company provides a layer on top of services like Freelancer.com, Elance, 99Designs and others that makes managing outsourced projects easier.
Ziptask is a member of the TechStars Cloud Class of 2013. Its team will be presenting their company Thursday at the TechStars Cloud Demo Day at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in downtown San Antonio. The company has spent the past three and a half months participating in the TechStars Cloud accelerator.
Ziptask’s product is aimed at small to medium sized businesses.
Ziptask’s project managers act as liaisons to freelancers. Those project managers do all the hiring, communications and everything else involved in managing a project.
To cut down on fraud or low quality work, Ziptask’s project managers pre-screen, interview and hire the freelancers and then oversee all of the work until the project is delivered to the customer.
“This saves significant time and resources on any project, and ensures that every job is completed on time, to the customer’s expectations, and within a pre-approved budget,” according to Ziptask.
Common projects include WordPress, IT, Application and Software Development, eCommerce, and Graphic Design
“Ziptask created a platform for fully-managed outsourcing for the same reasons managed hosting was introduced to the server hosting business. High touch, customer-focused, satisfaction-oriented project work will be the next revolution in the outsourcing business,” said Jason Seats, Managing Director of TechStars Cloud.

About a week ago, Laura Lorek, founder of Silicon Hills News, interviewed Shawn Livermore, Stan Miroshnik and Matt Lee about Ziptask.

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