TechStars Austin Unveils First Class

Techstars, Techstars Austin, Capital Factory, Startups, Accelerator Back in May Techstars, announced the formation of their Austin Techstars program. The accelerator is being housed at the Capital Factory in downtown Austin. Jason Seats, who was the director of the Techstars Cloud program in Houston moved over to Austin to head up the program.

Techstars reported receiving 850 applications for this first cohort in Austin. The team at Techstars was tasked with cutting those applications down to ten.

Here are the ten startups announced last night at an event at the Capital Factory.

  • Filament Labs build patient tracking and compliance software around mobile health, behavior tracking, and behavior change. One of its consumer products, HealthSpark, was 1 of 30 hand-selected apps within Aetna’s CarePass initiative.
  • MarketVibe (founded by the Whoosh Traffic team at Capital Factory) uses customers web analytics and shopping cart data to teach companies how to get more traffic, leads and sales.
  • Fosbury is a cross-platform digital wallet solution for designing, managing and analyzing campaigns on Apple Passbook and Samsung Wallet. Fosbury ensures retailers and other that their customers always have loyalty cards and coupons with them and provides a new way to interact with customers.
  • Atlas Wristband takes a new approach to wearable technology in the fitness industry. Atlas combines top talent from Johns Hopkins University, Phillips Healthcare and Maxim Integrated Products.
  • AuManil helps Online Retailers identify, manage and grow their most valuable customers – and create more of them. It enables shopper-facing agents to engage high value customers based on behavioral profiles and predictive insights. These targeted, personalized engagements lead to increased revenues, high retention rates, and better customer satisfaction.
  • Ube: controls lights and appliances from a smart phone, inexpensively. The company’s Wi-Fi enabled Smart Dimmers, Smart Plugs and Smart Outlets are competitively priced, easy to install, and provide the convenience of controlling your lights from your smartphone from anywhere in the world.
  • ProductGram: allows online sellers to extend their store from one outlet to many. Currently in development for Etsy sellers, the mobile app will push an attractive listing, not just a third party link to drive more product views to increase sales via other channels, with checkouts happening wherever engagement happens.
  • Testlio: opens a network of mobile testers to developers needing every last bug uncovered. The company has created tools for software testing that use real time chat, integrate issue reports into their existing systems, and do daily/weekly testing based on the customers own release schedule.
  • Accountable: streamlines and simplifies HIPAA compliance by providing a suite of tools and resources for firms, from necessary agreements and policies to risk assessments and employee training. All required pieces are tracked for completeness and time-sensitive expiration, with monitoring and alerts maintaining compliance. Audits are as simple as printing out a report and all requested information.
  • ProtoExchange: is a cloud-based network of professional 3D printing services that allow businesses to source the production and material capabilities of the network in a scalable, cost-effective, and time-efficient manner.


Techstars Opens In Austin, Mashing The Best Of Texas’ Startup World

Techstars,Techstars Austin, CapitalFactory, StartupsSome may be surprised to find out that Techstars has no “official” presence in Austin. What??? That’s right, even though they throw one of the best parties at SXSW and you can find most of the Techstars team roaming about during the festival they’ve had no real presence.

Until now.

Techstars announced via their blog that they are going to take up residency in the already epically awesome Capital Factory (home to DreamIt Austin as well), and begin an official Techstars cohort in August.

That’s not all though. They are bringing over TechStars Cloud Director, Jason Seats, from San Antonio to run the program. Seats sold his company Slicehost to Rackspace and has since been involved with Techstars. He’s also part of the StartupGrind program.  Having a Techstars class in an environment like Capital Factory gives the young startups a huge advantage. Austinpreneurs are always hanging out at Capital Factory, in addition to the huge mentor network Techstars already has to offer.

David Cohen announced the new Techstars program this morning and also opened up the application process.

“Forbes and Bloomberg have been calling Austin the No. 1Boomtown 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. 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. We will run our first program starting this August and applications are open as of today!” Cohen said in the blog post.

Here’s the application for Techstars Austin

Speaking of Austin here’s over 40 startup stories from SXSW 2013.


Startups Immune To The Series A Crunch, Capital Factory Startup StormPulse [SXSW]

Stormpulse,Capital Factory,Startup,startup ptich,sxsw,sxswiOn Friday at SXSWi, Capital Factory hosted a pitch off featuring 6 startups that are “immune to the Series A crunch”. Despite the fact that all of the startups talked about raising a Series A round, the concept behind the pitch contest was that these 6 startups didn’t need a Series A to get to profitability.

Getting startups to profitability, rather than rolling the fundraising dice, is the backbone behind The Capital Factory, the biggest accelerator in Austin Texas and one of the driving forces behind the Austin startup community.

Capital Factory Managing Director, Joshua Baer, hosted and emceed the pitch contest, highlighting the fact that when startups can’t raise a series A they often times find themselves closing their doors.

While all accelerators would love to see their cohort startups raise additional funds, get to profitability and create jobs, Capital Factory hones in on what it will take to get them to profitability from the onset of the program.

Getting to profitability is actually a theme for Austin’s startup community, one that’s echoes from multiple points. In a panel earlier in the day, Austin angel Rick Timmons said “I ask each and every startup how they are going to get their first customer and get them to keep coming back”.

Storm Pulse was one of the six startups to pitch in this “Startups Immune To The Series A Crunch” pitch off. Their idea is great and could save companies hundreds of millions of dollars.

They take historical weather data, predictive weather data and a company’s supply chain data and put it all on a map. This shows their client companies the impact a natural disaster or other huge supply chain disruption, could have on their business and their bottom line.

Co-Founder and CEO Matt Wensing had some startling remaks in his presentation. One of those being, that 2012 was the worst year for natural disasters disrupting business since the 1970s.

Check out the pitch for this very interesting startup below and for more information visit

We’ve got a whole lot more SXSW 13 Coverage here. 

Chicago Startup Tackling Childhood Obesity Catches The First Lady’s Eye [SXSW]

Jungo,Jive Health,Chicago Startup,SXSW,SXSWi,Capital Factory,Interact Expo,Andreessen Horowitz, a16zChicago entrepreneur, investor, community leader and organizer of Startup Grind, Tom Denison, had his biz dev hat on at the Interact Expo at SXSWi on Friday. Denison is also the VP of Marketing and Development for Chicago based Jive Health.

Jive Health is the developer of the game Jungo which aims to help prevent childhood obesity.  According to the CDC approximately 12.5 million children are obese, and when there’s a problem, there’s a startup for that.

Jungo is a really cool interactive game where the child playing needs to make recipes in order to win. For instance, one of the recipes is peanut butter and apples. The game may already have virtual peanut butter, the child would then have to find an apple in their home and take a picture of it.

Jive Health’s founder, Dennis Ai, couldn’t make it to the IneractExpo at SXSW, despite the fact the event was co-sponsored by Andreessen Horowitz. He had an even more important audience on Friday, First Lady Michelle Obama. She is talking to technologists, entrepreneurs and founders who are tackling children’s health issues.

While they are attacking a nationwide problem of childhood obesity, Ai and Denison are also very active in the Chicago startup community. Denison is a startup community leader and the Chicago area organizer for Startup Grind.

In the video below we talk about Jungo, Jive Health, Chicago Startups and Startup Grind Chicago. Check out the video below and for more information on Jive Health click here and for Startup Grind Chicago click here.

No really we have a TON of SXSW 2013 coverage here


Interact Expo At Capital Factory: Crowdery Interview [video][sxsw]


It’s standing room only, for the second time in the last 12 hours, here at the capital factory in downtown Austin Texas. Last night The Capital Factory was one of the hosts for the ATX Startup Crawl. Today, they’ve teamed up with Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) to host the InteractExpo.

This event is showcasing the best of the best in early stage startups, really from across the country.

The first startup we caught up with is Crowdery.

Crowdery is a Dallas based startup that is big data disguised as what the cofounder Aditya Viswanathan calls “Hot or Not meets Groupon”.

His innovative platform allows ordinary customers of brands to engage with them by helping to select the next product. If the consumer votes for the product that actually gets released they get to purchase it at a discount.

The retailers and manufacturers get access to mountains of useful customer data that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in focus groups.

Check out the video interview with Viswanathan below and for more info visit

Chuck Gordon & Mario Feghali Storage Warriors With Austin Startup SpareFoot

Chuck Gordon (L) Has recently lost the Justin Bieber-esque mop top (photo:

When you think about tech startup and storage nine times out of ten you think about cloud storage, or flash storage, RAM, DDR and any number of things. Well Austin Texas startup SpareFoot is about real storage.

Think Uncle Fred’s Storage on the side of route 40 or Grandma’s Attic storage facility tucked away behind the rest stop. Those storage facilities, the ones featured on Storage Wars, are what SpareFoot is all about.

It’s understandable at this day and age you don’t have time to go up and down the highway trying to find the best deal for your extra things. That’s why SpareFoot allows you to go to one website, figure out where you want to store your stuff, how much stuff you want to store and how long you want to store it for. After you input a little data the magical SpareFoot platform comes to life and serves up suggestions for the best self storage facility and option for you.

Two UCLA implants into Austin; Chuck Gordon and Mario Freghali are the brain power behind this startup that is firmly entrenched in the $22 billion dollar storage industry.

SpareFoot is an alumnus of the Capital Factory accelerator and is funded to the beat of $4.5 million, not too shabby, or as Dave on Storage Wars would say “yuuupppppp”.  We got a chance to talk to the SpareFoot team in the interview below.

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