Tag: Venture Forth

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.

Round-up of recent tech news in Silicon Hills

Are you wonder struck over the amount of money, deals and companies flowing into the Austin area?
It’s exciting times in the Silicon Hills, the high-tech region of Austin and San Antonio.
Not only is Austin, which is known for its start-up culture and high-technology ventures, taking off like a shotgun blast, but San Antonio’s tech entrepreneurial scene has begun to bubble up to the surface like Texas crude.
So much has happened in just the past week that it’s difficult to keep on top of all the activity. So we’ve rounded up the best deals below and if we’ve left anything off, please add to it in the comments section.
San Antonio-based Rackspace Hosting Inc. has opened up satellite offices in Silicon Valley. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote a nice story about their new offices. The official opening is Dec. 1, but already employees, including Uber-blogger Robert Scobel, who runs Building 43, a technology site that specializes in video interviews with technology entrepreneurs, have moved in.
Meanwhile, Geekdom, a new collaborative workspace at the Weston Centre in downtown San Antonio, continues to host events including 3 Day Startup San Antonio and Start-up Ignite’s Hack-a-thon.
In Austin, Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin flew in to open the company’s first U.S. satellite office in the Bridgepoint Parkway Office Complex. It’s hiring a bunch of people for the Austin operations too.
Speaking of moving to town, the Austin American Statesman reported that SceneTap, a social media app for bar patrons, announced plans to relocate its operations from Chicago to Austin.
And BlackLocus, an e-commerce pricing analysis company, announced Austin as the headquarters of its company, which recently graduated from the LaunchPad program at the Austin Technology Incubator.
Meanwhile, Rapid 7, an online security firm, just landed $50 million in funding and will use the proceeds, in part, to expand its Austin operations
And ServiceMesh, a Santa Monica-based cloud platform maker, has raised $15 million and plans to expand its Austin operations, according to this story by Lori Hawkins of the Austin American Statesman.
Capital Factory graduate, WPEngine closed $1.2 million in series A financing, according to this post from Bryan Mennel at Austin Startup.
Last, but not least, SXSW continues to release a bunch of news about next year’s Interactive conference. The deadline for entering your start-up into its SXSW Accelerator is today. It was actually Friday, but SXSW, which often extends deadlines at the last minute, pushed it until today. So if you’re a totally procrastinator, get your application in now.
Tech Ranch Austin’s next Venture Forth program begins Nov. 29, and full disclosure SiliconHillsNews is going to be participating in the program. Tech Ranch still has a few openings left, but it’s limited to 15 entrepreneurs.

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