Techstars Austin Debuts Second Class of Startups for 3-Month Program
A beer robot, an online portal to manage lawn care, and an app to deploy Ruby apps on any cloud. Yep, with startups like that, it has to be Austin.
Those companies, along with eight others, comprise the latest class of Techstars Austin. The startups aim to use software and mobile apps to innovate in a variety of sectors, including bespoke men’s fashion, tax preparation, and same-day grocery delivery.
“Austin is an eclectic city with an eclectic group of mentors,” says Aziz Gilani, a director at the Mercury Fund in Houston and a Techstars mentor. “You could do a vertically focused program in Austin like all-cloud or enterprise, but that would be ignoring a lot of core elements as to what Austin does well.”
Techstars says that more than 1,500 startups applied for this year’s class. The Boulder, CO-based startup accelerator launched its Austin branch last year. The program gives each startup $18,000 in seed funding, provides office space, and offers the companies a $100,000 convertible note. In return, the companies agree to give Techstars a 6 percent stake. One of those companies, Filament Labs, now based in Austin, raised $1 million in seed funding last month to develop its app, which creates digital patient self-care programs with task reminders and educational information and videos. (The round was led by Mercury Fund.)
The three-month program will culminate in a demo day Sept. 3. Here are the startups in this year’s program.
—Brewbot: A beer-brewing robot controlled and monitored by your smartphone.
—Burpy: A service to deliver same-day groceries and home essentials from a variety of local stores.
—Cloud 66: Software to deploy and manage Ruby apps on any cloud.
—Common Form: Software to do your taxes in five minutes from a personal computer or mobile device.
—Experiment Engine: Online platform to conduct A/B testing on different versions of a Web page with a marketplace of conversion experts.
—Fashion Metric: The site uses big data to enhance fit and sizing for men’s clothing.
—Free Textbooks: A website that allows students to buy, sell, and rent textbooks.
—LawnStarter: Order and manage lawn care services online.
—NMRKT: An e-commerce platform for blogs, online magazines, and content creators.
—Pivot Freight: A rate comparison engine and discount broker for freight shipping.
—Smart Host: Online service for short-term or vacation rentals.