fbpx

A Partnership Between

About Austin Fast Start

For the last decade, the Austin Young Chamber has worked to create connections and foster the spirit of innovation within Austin. The Austin Fast Start pitch competition is a partnership with the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department with support from 3 Day Startup. Every quarter, we will hear from a new industry and award an unrestricted cash prize and other opportunities to identify and support local entrepreneurs as the future business leaders in our community.


The next Strategic Priority is…

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Join us for the STEM Virtual Pitch Event

Monday, September 28
5:30-7:00pm
Free for all to attend



The Austin Fast Start is a partnership between the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department and the Austin Young Chamber. Austin Fast Start is a reoccurring pitch competition focused on various economic development priorities including: CPG (January 2020), Internet of Things (June 2020), and STEM (September 2020).

QUALIFICATIONS
This cycle’s applications are open to Austin based startups whose work fits the scope of STEM. Businesses must be: (1) headquartered within Austin city limits, (2) in the pre-seed/early revenue stage, and (3) less than two years old.

ABOUT STEM
STEM is often recognized as the key to innovation and job creation in the United States. The acronym STEM refers to the academic and professional disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM businesses are those that are leading innovation using one or more of these disciplines, and changing the landscape of how we solve problems and stay competitive in the global economy.

DEADLINE
Applications for STEM will close at 11:59pm on Monday, August 24, 2020.

SCORING
All applications will be scored by judges from across the community with diverse backgrounds and skills related to startups, business, investments, and STEM.

FINALIST NOTIFICATION
The top four scored applications will be selected as Finalists and invited to participate on pitch day. Finalists will be notified no later than September 8, 2020.

PITCH DAY
The four Finalists will virtually pitch their business on September 28, 2020 from 5:30 – 7:30pm.

PRESENTATION
Each Finalist will have five minutes to pitch the audience on the value of their product or service by either presenting a slide show presentation or giving a live demonstration of the product. Five to eight minutes of questions and answers from the judges and audience will follow.

WINNER
The winner of the Austin Fast Start will be chosen by a combination of judges scores and audience vote.

PRIZE
Winners will receive an on the spot cash prize of $2,500 plus $7,000+ in additional in-kind prizes including:

– Automatic entry to the NSF I-Corp 3-Week Program from Texas State University
– Opportunity for $3,000 NSF I-Corp Business Grant from Texas State University*
– One Year Corporate Membership to the Austin Young Chamber
– Three months free rent at Capital Factory
– One ticket to the 2020 Global RoundUp Conference by 3 Day Startup
– Marketing Startup Package from Honeycomb ( includes Brand audit, 1 hr consultation, personalized recommendations)

* To be eligible, business must be a STEM Startup, have at least two members of the team go through the I-Corp 3-Week Program and complete 25+ interviews, and opt in to receive an I-Corp Mentor that is a member (faculty, staff, or student) of Texas State.


Thank You to Our Sponsors

With Support From


And Your Finalists Are…

Click on each Finalists name to learn more.

  • Clocr Inc.


    Clocr provides an all-in-one legacy planning platform with three product lines: self-service will tool for digital assets, digital vault to store and share information, and a time-vault feature.

  • Codubee

    Codubee creates remote mock internships for CS undergrads by mentoring them in creating a web based project.

  • FlexDesk

    FlexDesk is a marketplace platform to list and rent short-term workspace. You can think of it as Airbnb for workspace.

  • Koncept Garage

    Koncept Garage translates your ideas into achievable koncepts that connect you to your passions, hobbies and pursuits. Leveraging interior design principles and industrial engineering methods, your Koncept Garage is designed to function.



STEM Judges

Barbra Boeta
Executive Director
Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI)

Barbra Boeta has delighted in working with entrepreneurs to start or grow their business for over 13 years, and since 2011 at EGBI. Prior to being named the executive director of EGBI in 2017, Barbra spear-headed EGBI’s small business one-on-one consulting services, entrepreneur training programs, and programs to connect industry experts to our clients.

She has helped nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs throughout Central Texas realize their dream of opening a business in a variety of industries such as beauty shops, lawn care services, food production, restaurants, and many other areas. She is a master of QuickBooks, Salesforce, and Excel.

Barbra sits on several area boards and committees, including the FDIC’s Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI), the City of Austin’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) and Small Business Advisory Committee. Barbra chaired AEI’s inaugural Small Business Forum. She is an active member of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Austin Leadership (HAL) Alumni. In 2016, in recognition of her community involvement, Barbra received the Hispanic Austin Leadership – Distinguished Alumni Award.

Prior to joining EGBI, Barbra worked for PeopleFund as a small business lender to entrepreneurs. Barbra graduated with honors from St. Edward’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

 

Dr. Jana Roberta Minifie
Professor, Management
Texas State University

Throughout her career, Jana has continued her passion for entrepreneurship by: owning several businesses, mentoring individuals as they prepare their 90-second and longer pitches, assisting with business plan development, reviewing of financial cash flow, balance sheet, and income statements (She is a Profit Master certified instructor), and is an angel investor. She, along with Dr. Jennifer Irvin, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) grant in October 2018. Under this grant, Jana takes teams of researchers and graduate students through a market validation / customer development I-Corps program to increase the success of university developed IP.

She is also a business consultant for businesses that are in the startup to growth stage. She has worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) clients to assist in various aspects of their businesses. Her passion is working with entrepreneurial-minded individuals.

 

Paul O’Brien
Chief Executive Officer
MediaTech Ventures

Long time Silicon Valley technology and startup veteran, Paul O’Brien is known as SEO’Brien for his extensive past in the search industry. Now Texan, O’Brien works in Venture Capital Economic Development, serving the investment and venture capital economies directly, through thought leadership, consulting, and startup development. He’s the founder of MediaTech Ventures, a founder and managing director of Funded House, and Director in Founder Institute.

Notably, O’Brien is a seasoned marketer with an early career at Yahoo! and HP. From there he led the early growth of startups such as Outright.com (Acquired by GoDaddy), Zvents (Acquired by eBay’s Stubhub), and MicroVentures (Venture Capital). With technical expertise, O’Brien has consulted with various web properties, designed and developed sites, online communities, e-commerce stores, and web services. Paul was featured in the book, Online Marketing Heroes, and continues to blog at seobrien.com.

 

Ezinne Udezue
Vice President, Product Management
Procore Technologies

Ezinne is a multi-disciplined business leader and general manager with a unique balance of creative, technical and management experience. She also has extensive, hands-on experience in new product development for consumer and platform products.

She’s created and supported amazing entrepreneurial/intrapraneurial ventures and built/mentored great teams along the way. Industries she’s built for/created value in: e-commerce, media, advertising, telecom, and messaging – including B2B, B2C and B2B2C solutions.


Previous Fast Start Events



Congratulations the Austin Fast Start:
Internet of Things Pitch Winner

Parasanti

Parasanti is a veteran and farmer led AI/ML company based out of Austin dedicated to placing advanced analytical tools into the hands of those who traditionally have not had access to them. Their flagship product pulls data from any targeted location on the farm and processes it at the edge without the need for a cloud or even bandwidth availability. Insights are then delivered to a user friendly interface that can be accessed on any type of device and provides alerts and notifications as well.


Watch the IoT Event Recording Here

How did we define Internet of Things?

Internet of Things offers solutions that transform the way we live and work by leveraging the interconnection between everyday objects and internet connectivity. Internet of Things businesses use increased connectivity, data, algorithms, and/or automation to improve services and enable things like smart cities, smart homes, and more. These ground-breaking businesses work to solve real problems that impact people.

Internet of Things Finalists

  • Anka Labs


    Anka Labs’ mission is to develop and bring to market a new software stack destined to operate in EAC class devices, to provide the functions of the old DDC, combined with an unparalleled analytics capability onboard and in the cloud, and a mechanism for extensibility through the creation of an App Store. We call this software stack AnkaDOS (Anka Device Operating System).

  • JOYKEEPER


    JOYKEEPER is an anti-theft device specifically designed for musical instruments. It can be quickly and easily installed into most musical instruments, without damaging the instrument. Leveraging a cutting-edge network called Helium, JOYKEEPER is more reliable and efficient than traditional GPS or cellular-based asset tracking solutions and requires little maintenance and no monthly fees.

  • Parasanti


    Parasanti is a veteran and farmer led AI/ML company based out of Austin dedicated to placing advanced analytical tools into the hands of those who traditionally have not had access to them. Their flagship product pulls data from any targeted location on the farm and processes it at the edge without the need for a cloud or even bandwidth availability. Insights are then delivered to a user friendly interface that can be accessed on any type of device and provides alerts and notifications as well.

  • Winter Haven Capital


    Winter Haven Capital is an innovative, dynamic startup. Forged out of the University of Texas by David Love, QuanTiles Analytics combines machine learning automation, with trading & analytics algorithms to walk the retail investor through quantitative trading. This a the first automated tool managing rail risk for the retail investor.

Internet of Things Judges

 

NickChaginNick Chagin
Program Manager
3DS

Nick has developed hundreds of entrepreneurs through his work as a Program Manager and Facilitator with 3 Day Startup, an Austin-based nonprofit that runs immersive entrepreneurship programs for students and community members at 150 institutions in 35 countries. His founder experience spans from HydroDontist–a medtech venture that graduated from the nationally-ranked The Brandery accelerator–to music video production and digital strategy companies. He holds a BA from Miami University of Ohio.

Chelsea Collier
Founder
Digi.City

As the Founder of Digi.City, Chelsea Collier is focused on the development of smarter, more equitable, more connected communities. She is a University of Manchester (UK) Simon Industrial & Professional Fellow (2019), a Marshall Memorial Fellow (2018) and an Eisenhower Fellow (2016). She serves as the Editor-At-Large for Smart Cities Connect. Her work has also been featured in Inc.com, Venture Beat, Governing Magazine, the Chicago Tribune and dozens of other publications. Her previous experience – state government (economic development), social enterprise, tech startup, small business – informs her cross sector approach. She lives in Austin, Texas and is active in the local tech and social impact communities. Her masters and bachelor degrees are from the University of Texas at Austin.

Will Griffin
Chief Ethics Officer
Hypergiant

Will is Chief Ethics Officer at Hypergiant Industries – the industry leading AI company. At Hypergiant, he developed and evangelizes the companies Ethics in AI Framework and Use Case vetting model.

Will is an entrepreneur and proven thought leader with a track record of bringing culture-shifting content and technology solutions to new platforms. His ventures include launching the first original content slate on the Sony PlayStation Network with Endemol North America. He launched the first original VOD channel, Hip Hop OnDemand, on Comcast Cable systems nationwide and extended the venerable Forbes publishing-brand to television.

His work has earned the coveted IAB/Brandweek Silver Medal for Innovation, and the culturally significant, NAACP Image Award. Will is a long-time board member of the Uniworld/WPP Ad agency and was an in-house strategist at News Corporation/ Fox Entertainment Group.

He was an Associate at McKinsey & Co. in the Entertainment and Media practice (Los Angeles) where we worked on operations and post-merger integration for the world’s largest media companies including Time Warner and Disney. He began his professional career in the Asset-Backed Securities Group at Goldman Sachs in New York.

Will is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Dartmouth College and he completed the Entrepreneurship Curriculum at Harvard Business School.

 

Paul O’Brien
Chief Executive Officer
MediaTech Ventures

Long time Silicon Valley technology and startup veteran, Paul O’Brien is known as SEO’Brien for his extensive past in the search industry. Now Texan, O’Brien works in Venture Capital Economic Development, serving the investment and venture capital economies directly, through thought leadership, consulting, and startup development. He’s the founder of MediaTech Ventures, a founder and managing director of Funded House, and Director in Founder Institute.

Notably, O’Brien is a seasoned marketer with an early career at Yahoo! and HP. From there he led the early growth of startups such as Outright.com (Acquired by GoDaddy), Zvents (Acquired by eBay’s Stubhub), and MicroVentures (Venture Capital). With technical expertise, O’Brien has consulted with various web properties, designed and developed sites, online communities, e-commerce stores, and web services. Paul was featured in the book, Online Marketing Heroes, and continues to blog at seobrien.com.

Internet of Things Emcee

Sylvia Butanda
Deputy Executive Director
Latinitas

Sylvia Butanda is the deputy executive director for Latinitas where she manages year round digital media and technology enrichment programs for girls, development and operations. She takes strong pride in her culture and storytelling roots that led her to Latinitas and, since then, has enjoyed the opportunities to positively impact her community.

She started as a program assistant in 2014 where she was introduced to nonprofit management and worked simultaneously with students as a program leader before becoming Latinitas’ program coordinator. She was promoted to program director in 2016 and during that time, expanded Latinitas programs and partnerships to reach the Rio Grande Valley and San Francisco, CA.

She is originally from Brownsville, TX and graduated from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Since her UT Journalism days, she has written for publications in the Austin area and holds experience in communications, sales, marketing and digital media production.

She was awarded the 2018 Out of School Time Champion Award from Learn all the Time Network (LATT) for her work in empowering girls and young women in Central Texas with media and technology training.

She is a Class of 2019 graduate of the Greater Hispanic Chamber of Austin’s Hispanic Austin Leadership program and will serve as a board member for the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce and the Young Hispanic Professional Association of Austin in 2020.

Prizes

Winners will receive an on the spot cash prize of $2,500 plus $4,000+ in additional in-kind prizes including:
– One Year Corporate Membership to the Austin Young Chamber
– Three months free rent at Capital Factory
– One ticket to the 2020 Global RoundUp Conference by 3 Day Startup
– Marketing Startup Package from Honeycomb Creative Co. ( includes Brand audit, 1 hr consultation, personalized recommendations)
– Three-series business classes from the City of Austin Small Business Program
– Admission to Camp Entrepreneur (Oct. 2020 in Spicewood, TX)
– 1 hr consultation & 50% off web related services from Magic Mirror Developers

With Support From



Congratulations the Austin Fast Start:
Consumer Packaged Goods Pitch Winner

Steamm Espresso

Steamm Espresso is the world’s first ready to drink bottled espresso. Steeped in cacao for a smooth chocolate finish and loaded with antioxidants, Steamm Espresso is crafted to provide energy and focus while honoring your coffee ritual.


Watch ATXN’s City View with the Pitch Event Recap

How did we define Consumer Packaged Goods?

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) are items used daily by consumers that require routine replacement or replenishment. Products may be food, beverage, apparel, jewelry, toys, tools, or anything you could imagine being sold at your favorite brick-and-mortar or online retailer.

Consumer Packaged Goods Finalists

  • Manna Muffins by Enliven Foods


    Manna Muffins by Enliven Foods
    The mission of Enliven Foods is to make the transition to healthier eating more pleasurable by providing indulgent yet guilt-free products and education content. Their vision is to help people eat more whole plant foods. Manna Muffins can be used as a complete meal or snack, and are made from ancient grains or almond flower (gluten free version), beans, seeds, dates, spices, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Remane


    Remane
    Remane is a company helping naturals reframe the conversations that they are having around their hair by providing naturals with the essential tools needed for washing, styling, or maintaining their hair. Users are provided with “toolkits” as well as the knowledge needed to properly care for their hair.

  • Steamm Espresso


    Steamm Espresso
    Steamm Espresso is the world’s first ready to drink bottled espresso. Steeped in cacao for a smooth chocolate finish and loaded with antioxidants, Steamm Espresso is crafted to provide energy and focus while honoring your coffee ritual.

  • Tynie Nail Polish


    Tynie Nail Polish
    Tynie Polish is a maker of small-batch designer nail polish offering unique colors and finishes that are non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free. Tynie create luxurious, environmentally-friendly nail polish in trend-making shades while taking as much waste out of the nail polish manufacturing process as possible.

Consumer Packaged Goods Judges

Rakhi Agrawal
Rakhi has lived past lives in many worlds, including but not limited to edtech, public health (including sexual assault awareness and mental health services), and perhaps most notably, in education, as a secondary math teacher here in Austin. In all of her roles and experiences, her passion for equity, justice, and service have informed her work. Since leaving the classroom, Rakhi has built a career in nonprofit fundraising, with over five years of experience in the sector. She currently is the Partnership Manager at 3 Day Startup, a nonprofit whose mission is to make entrepreneurship education accessible to all.

Rakhi is an experienced social justice advocate who is passionate about working with youth, adults, and families to address community issues in an anti-racist way, centering the voices and experiences of marginalized folks.

Rakhi received her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and philosophy from Barnard College of Columbia University, where she also served as the president and/or leader of over ten campus organizations centered around issues related to health and wellness, activism, the environment, and community support.

In Austin, Rakhi is a member of the Leadership Austin Emerge Class of 2020, serves on the board of local nonprofit Truth Be Told, and is involved with The New Philanthropists, Measure Austin, and The Junior League. To unwind, Rakhi leads and coaches with New Horizons Lacrosse, a local organization dedicated to growing the sport of lacrosse among underserved communities. She is most filled by developing and deepening friendships with new people she meets in Austin. Please don’t be a stranger–say hi and allow her to befriend you!

 

Genevieve Gilbreath
Genevieve Gilbreath has been an active entrepreneur in the consumer goods space since 2002. From her experience launching and growing two import/export supplement companies and through her consulting practice she has deep expertise in FDA regulations, co-packing, branding, packaging, import/export, distribution & sales – retail and wholesale. Most recently, from 2016 through 2018, she served as the Managing Director of SKU, the first and leading consumer products accelerator in the U.S. While at SKU, Genevieve evaluated hundreds of early-stage consumer product companies, re-designed and ran an entrepreneurship program designed specifically for CPG and Natural Products Industry start-ups. Genevieve lead the sourcing and deal process for accepted companies. Genevieve was recently recognized in Austin Inno’s 50 on Fire in 2018 for her leadership. She has also developed cross-cultural educational curriculums for Princeton University and served as an adjunct professor at Baylor University. Genevieve earned an undergraduate degree in fine arts from Pacific University (1995), a Master of Science from Baylor University (1998) and certification from the Kaufmann FastTrac Entrepreneurship program (1998).

 

Peg Richmond
Following a career in high-tech business development and marketing, Peg joined the Texas State Small Business Development Center more than eight years ago and now advises innovation start-ups and scaling business owners. She has created and holds regular classes designed to help early-stage food entrepreneurs reach and retain the retail shelf. Peg also mentors and teaches via a number of other curricula focused in technology commercialization, food and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturing, applied entrepreneurship, and financial management. Peg is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Adult, Professional, and Community Education and holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and both a Master of Arts in Advertising and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas.

 

Elsa Underwood
As a true food professional, Elsa Underwood has been involved in the food industry for over 25 years. You could say that she has touched it all, having worked for food manufacturers, brokers, foodservice marketers and of course, in retail at H-E-B. She has sold food, consulted for small manufacturers, managed brands, purchased food and now spends her time sourcing for new companies. In her current role as Sourcing Manager at H-E-B, she has traveled the backroads of Texas as well as across the globe in search of new culinary delights for consumers to enjoy. While helping businesses grow in sales and profits is critical, mentoring and building relationships across the food world is the most important and enjoyable aspect of her work.

In her spare time, Elsa enjoys traveling with her husband of 29 years (mostly for the food), cooking, hosting large and small parties and since she is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University, she, of course, loves watching college football.

Prizes

Winners will receive an on the spot cash prize of $2,500 plus $4,000+ in additional in-kind prizes including:

– One Year Corporate Membership to the Austin Young Chamber
– Three months free rent at Capital Factory
– Marketing Startup Package from HoneyComb Creative ( includes Brand audit, 1 hr consultation, personalized recommendations)
– Three-series business classes from the City of Austin Small Business Program
– Global Round Up Ticket from 3 Day Startup
– Automatic Inclusion in Naturally Austin Expo Hall – March 26

With Support From



Congratulations the Austin Fast Start:
Mobility Innovation Pitch Winner

ElecTrip

ElecTrip is a no-compromise travel solution that offers door to door transportation between major cities located less than 4 hours apart in private, professionally driven Teslas with Wi-Fi and laptop charging on board. Using EVs allows us to reduce our operational costs to offer a superior service at a highly cost-competitive price. We have a fleet of 2 private Teslas and 17+ Teslas that we can borrow through our network. We currently have 6 drivers that are fully trained and doing consistent rides every week and 100 on our waitlist.


Mobility Innovation Pitch Event Video


Watch ATXN’s City View with the Pitch Event Recap

How did we define Mobility Innovation?

Mobility Innovation includes solutions and products that use data, technology and design to increase efficiency, expand quality, promote safety and improve the traveler experience for the public right of way and transportation networks. Examples of mobility innovation include software that makes it easier to plan trips, services that allow you to rent/hail shared mobility devices, new modes for transportation like autonomous vehicles with connected hardware, and connected infrastructure systems for intelligent right of way management.

Mobility Innovation Finalists

  • Bndl LLC


    Bundle is a peer to peer mobile application that creates storage and space solutions. Our mobile application will leverage people’s houses, garages, closets, guest rooms, sheds, storage facilities, parking space and even vacant lots, converting them into on-demand storage available to users on the mobile app. This will create an ecosystem where users can save money and find storage solutions that are tailored to them, and hosts can create passive income form untouched empty space.

  • ElecTrip


    ElecTrip is a no-compromise travel solution that offers door to door transportation between major cities located less than 4 hours apart in private, professionally driven Teslas with Wi-Fi and laptop charging on board. Using EVs allows us to reduce our operational costs to offer a superior service at a highly cost-competitive price. We have a fleet of 2 private Teslas and 17+ Teslas that we can borrow through our network. We currently have 6 drivers that are fully trained and doing consistent rides every week and 100 on our waitlist.

  • Saddle


    Saddle is a one-stop shop for multimodal Austin transportation, aimed at reducing congestion and keeping transportation spending local by making multimodal trip planning of Austin’s hometown mobility companies as convenient as getting driving directions.

  • THruck


    THruck is a long-distance rideshare solution using the empty seat on commercial trucks. We are starting by connecting students who are seeking to travel out of town with truckers who have an empty seat on their freight vehicle and are going to or through the student’s destination city or town.

Thank you to our Austin Fast Start: Mobility Innovation Judges!

 

Nick Chagin

NickChaginNick has developed hundreds of entrepreneurs through his work as a Program Manager and Facilitator with 3 Day Startup, an Austin-based nonprofit that runs immersive entrepreneurship programs for students and community members at 150 institutions in 35 countries. His founder experience spans from HydroDontist–a medtech venture that graduated from the nationally-ranked The Brandery accelerator–to music video production and digital strategy companies. He holds a BA from Miami University of Ohio.

 

OJ Gilder

OJGilderO.J. Gilder is the Chief Information Officer/Chief Marketing Officer at A+ Federal Credit Union (A+FCU), a $1.6 billion financial institution headquartered in Austin, Texas. In his over 20 years of experience, Gilder has risen from a part-time teller to CIO/CMO. In this role, he oversees the programming, networking, marketing, business development, community education, contact center, member experience, and data analytics for the credit union.

Gilder holds a BBA, Management Information Systems, from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Texas State University in San Marcos. He recently completed the Cardwell 306/2 Symposium leadership program in which he was hand-selected to participate. Additionally, he serves on multiple advisory councils and groups within the credit union and financial services industry.

 

Jason JonMichael

JasonJonMichaelJason JonMichael, a transportation technology expert with specialized experience in connected, automated, and electric vehicle research, deployment and program development, has joined the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) as Assistant Director, Smart Mobility.

Before joining ATD, JonMichael worked as National Technology Leader, ITS & Systems for HNTB Corporation, focused on emerging technology program management and deployment in transportation, a key challenge for transportation agencies to unlock the value of connected and autonomous vehicles. JonMichael leads a cross-functional team of mobility, technology, policy, data, and user experience specialists to deliver outcomes that improve mobility, safety and access to Austin residents. He will also manage public-private-partnerships and the evolution of the Parking Enterprise division in its future role of transportation.

JonMichael’s subject matter expertise includes complex systems (artificial intelligence), transportation technology, systems engineering, communications and systems integration. He has operated in management roles with several federal, state and municipal advanced transportation research projects and programs, including the U.S. DOT Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment in Tampa, Florida.

Over the last 25 years, he has performed and managed systems integration services on projects spanning from traditional advanced traffic management systems to state-of-the-art, emerging smart mobility solutions involving connected, autonomous, shared, and electric technologies. JonMichael regularly provides insights and advice to industry-related non-profit boards, councils, committees and other organizations. For the past 10 years, JonMichael was an executive board member and past Chair of the OmniAir® Consortium, helping guide the creation of OmniAir’s certification services — the connected and automated vehicle equivalent to UL® or WiFi®. JonMichael contributed his expertise, along with numerous city departments and agencies, to Austin’s original U.S. DOT $50 million Smart City grant application, helping Austin become a finalist. He will build upon the City of Austin and Capital Metro’s new Smart Mobility Roadmap, which lays out a proactive and deliberate approach to new mobility capabilities to ensure a future that is equitable, affordable, prosperous and data-driven.

 

Mia Zmud

MiaZmudAs the Mobility Innovation Manager at Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Mia Zmud provides leadership and strategy focused on leveraging emerging transportation technologies and mobility solutions with research to deliver smarter and more efficient transportation systems. Her expertise in travel behavior research, helps inform mobility management decisions that address urban congestion, optimize operations and improve the customer experience. Mia’s background includes four years in an executive role at Metropia, a Tucson-based startup working to revolutionize commuting behaviors through an incentive-based mobile platform. She also served as a senior advisor to Carma, a mobile application that incentivizes carpooling in urban areas. In 2016, Mia was awarded the Women in Transportation “Innovator of the Year” award for overseeing the deployment of the Metropia platform in Austin, Texas.

Prizes

Winners will receive an on the spot cash prize of $2,500 plus $5,000+ in additional in-kind prizes including:

– One Year Elite Membership to the Austin Young Chamber
– Three months of free rent at Capital Factory
– Global Conference Roundup Ticket from 3 Day Startup
– LLC Formation from The Haney Law Firm
– Business Coaching Session from the Economic Growth Business Incubator
– Three-series business classes from the City of Austin Small Business Program.



Congratulations the Austin Fast Start:
Fashion Pitch Winner

Mary Claret

Mary Claret is a contemporary women’s apparel brand based in Austin, Texas. They design apparel products that flatter a variety of body types through the use of generous silhouettes and flattering fabrics. They design a range of apparel products that fit women’s daily needs from career to casual lifestyles. Their product line includes luxury sleepwear, adjustable wrap skirts, blouses, and small accessory items.


Fashion Pitch Event Video

How did we define Fashion?

Fashion is broadly defined to include apparel, accessories, or a service or store in the fashion industry.

Fashion Finalists

  • Green Hug

    Green Hug is a 100% sustainable e-commerce clothing company that uses 100% recycled and organic materials and we plants 7 trees for each item sold. In their first year, they offered garments made of organic cotton, Tencel®, bamboo, post-consumer recycled polyester, and post-consumer organic cotton.


  • Joey Ro

    Joey Ro is a new line of “instagrammable” mix and match accessories for pets and their people. The Joey Ro collar is the centerpiece of the product line, much like a Pandora bracelet. Its patent-pending design allows accessories including bow ties and bandanas (+ more in the future) to attach directly to the inside of the collar, ensuring they stay in place and do not irritate the pup (like many velcro-style bow ties often will). Each of the pet accessories have matching human counterparts in the same print patterns, including headbands, scarves, human bow ties, keychains, and Apple watch bands – with more to come!


  • Mary Claret

    Mary Claret is a contemporary women’s apparel brand based in Austin, Texas. They design apparel products that flatter a variety of body types through the use of generous silhouettes and flattering fabrics. They design a range of apparel products that fit women’s daily needs from career to casual lifestyles. Their product line includes luxury sleepwear, adjustable wrap skirts, blouses, and small accessory items.


  • Swayy

    Swayy is a clothing aggregator that creates curated shopping experiences. It’s never been easier to buy clothes online and have them delivered straight to your doorstep. However, because there are so many options, finding the right thing has never been more overwhelming. Many women shop by occasion – not by garment type – and retailers don’t reflect this. Swayy offers much-needed curation with a website that aggregates clothing from across the web and sorts items by the occasion you’re shopping for. Customers can also save money by renting clothes instead of buying them, allowing women to refresh their wardrobe while decreasing their environmental footprint that is an inherent consequence of fast fashion.

Thank you to our Austin Fast Start: Fashion Judges!

 

Samuel Alexander

SamuelAlexanderSamuel Alexander is the founder and CEO of Concept 2 Consumption (C2C), an Austin, TX-based business providing its clients with access to a revolutionary B2B2C fashion ecosystem. Alexander’s experience spans more than three decades—and brings together expertise in both the fashion and technology industries. Samuel is an expert in product design/development; global sourcing/production; strategic branding/marketing; and technology integration. He was instrumental in promoting the growth and development of numerous major labels including Levi Strauss, Votre Nom Paris, Gloria Vanderbilt, Jones of New York, Shelli Segal, David Dart, Laundry, Icon Aura, Lois, Peter Golding, and Sue Wong—among many others. Alexander specializes in Smart Fashion, including Nano and Bio-Tech integration.

Through his newest venture, C2C, Samuel is revolutionizing the fashion industry by bringing his expertise to bear in the creation of two online platforms: Order Register and C2C Virtual Shop. The Order Register platform (B2B) connects the production and fulfillment processes for the wholesale business into one software program. C2C Virtual Shop (B2C) utilizes virtual and augmented reality to provide customers a personalized avatar life model allowing shoppers to virtually “try on” an article of clothing. The C2C Virtual Shop platform also integrates with other retail and social platforms thus providing new and interactive features.

 

Nick Chagin

NickChaginNick has developed hundreds of entrepreneurs through his work as a Program Manager and Facilitator with 3 Day Startup, an Austin-based nonprofit that runs immersive entrepreneurship programs for students and community members at 150 institutions in 35 countries. His founder experience spans from HydroDontist–a medtech venture that graduated from the nationally-ranked The Brandery accelerator–to music video production and digital strategy companies. He holds a BA from Miami University of Ohio.

 

Rosa Rios Valdez

RosaRiosValdezA graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Rosa is certified in development finance by the National Development Council of New York. She has 30 years experience in business development and commercial real estate lending. She is currently the CEO of Business & Community Lenders of Texas and has been leading the organization since 1997, growing the company’s total assets over 30 fold. Rosa manages a statewide $25,000,000 commercial real estate loan portfolio and is Asset Manager for a $4.5 million real estate portfolio. In 2012, she led the formation of the health-focused social enterprise Salud es Vida Corporation.

Prior to joining BCL of Texas, Rios Valdez served as manager of business finance in the Texas Governor’s Office of Economic Development where she focused on business and manufacturing expansions throughout the state. She also worked regionally in central and southeast Texas as a former Director of Economic Development for the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Rios Valdez serves on the Economic Development Board of the Capital Area Planning Council of Government. She is a past president of the National Association of Economic Developers and former chair of the Travis County Housing Authority, a position she held for 10 years. She also serves on the Board of the NeighborWorks America Community Capital Corporation, and sits on their Loan Committee. She recently completed an Executive Management program at the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government and completed an appointment the Travis County Bond Advisory Board in August of 2013.

 

Vicky Sepulveda

VickySepulvedaVicky Hernandez Sepulveda, CEO at Crossing Bridges Consulting is one of 9 Google Digital Coaches in the United States. As a Google Digital Coach, Vicky facilitates workshops for small businesses. These small businesses receive guidance on how to improve their web presence and learn to reach new customers
and grow online using Google’s online advertising platform, GoogleAds. SMB’s learn how to also use the free Google My Business listing, Google Analytics and an overview of GSuite and Google Supplier Diversity program and Grow with Google.

Prior to joining the Google Digital Coaches Program at Google Vicky was the Sr.Director of Small Business and International Events at the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Vicky was responsible for the development, delivery, and execution of all Small Business and International Initiatives including two of GAHCC Signature Events: Capital of Texas Awards and CELEBRANDO Austin. Vicky was also The GAHCC liaison for The Multi-Ethnic Chamber Alliance working with the GAHCC, Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, The Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce, and The Austin LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. As the liaison for the GAHCC Vicky Collaborated with the other chamber leadership to bring Austin’s diverse business community quality events and educational topics for Small Business Owners.

Thank you to our Austin Fast Start: Fashion Emcee!

Nina Means

NenaMeansNina Means is an alumnus of the International Fashion Design program at FIT and has designed for Rebecca Taylor, American Eagle Outfitters, and H by Halston for QVC. In 2016, Nina started her namesake label sold in specialty stores and online. As Director of the Austin Community College Fashion Incubator, she is developing a real-to-industry experience that provides students and fashion startups with the necessary educational experience and technology exposure to work efficiently in the fashion industry. The program also provides emerging fashion businesses the product development support to go-to-market in a profitable manner. As a fashion design and fashion marketing instructor, Nina has taught product development, production, introduction to manufacturing, technical design and computer illustrative media. She also speaks and serves as moderator for panels on fashion business and technology.

Prizes

Winners received an on the spot cash prize of $2,500 plus $7,400+ in additional in-kind prizes including: One Year Elite Membership to the Austin Young Chamber, Three months Residency at the ACC Fashion Incubator, Three months free rent at Capital Factory for up to three team members, Global Conference Roundup Ticket from 3 Day Startup, LLC Formation from The Haney Law Firm, Business Coaching Session from the Economic Growth Business Incubator, and a Three-Class Package from the City of Austin, Small Business Program


Congratulations the Austin Fast Start:
FinTech Pitch Winner

Jump Credit

Jump Credit is an alternative credit technology that will accurately predict risk on student loans in developing countries by using academic data, psychometrics, and machine learning.

FinTech Pitch Event Video

What is FinTech?

FinTech companies are businesses that leverage new technology to create new and improved financial services for both consumers and businesses. It includes companies of all kinds that may operate in personal financial management, insurance, payment, asset management, etc.

FinTech Finalists
  • Jump Credit

    Jump Credit is an alternative credit technology that will accurately predict risk on student loans in developing countries by using academic data, psychometrics, and machine learning.


  • Rocket Dollar

    Rocket Dollar allows individuals to open and maintain self-directed retirement accounts. We enable account holders to access alternative investments beyond stocks and bonds. Customers can invest in real estate, startups, crowdfunding platforms, or any opportunity allowed by the IRS while keeping the tax benefits of a retirement account.

    Rocket Dollar provides ongoing compliance support for customers to ensure their accounts are always in good standing, as well as giving customers the ability to track their investments, all within the Rocket Dollar platform.


  • Tixpire

    Tixpire is an alternative to high ticket prices for live entertainment events. Our company offers extended layaway options for any ticketed event in the world.

Prizes

Winners received an on the spot cash prize of $2,500 plus $5,000+ in additional in-kind prizes including: One Year Elite Membership to the Austin Young Chamber, Three months free rent at Capital Factory for up to three team members, Global Conference Roundup Ticket from 3 Day Startup, LLC Formation from The Haney Law Firm, Business Coaching Session from the Economic Growth Business Incubator, and a Three-Class Package from the City of Austin, Small Business Program

Congratulations the Austin Fast Start:
Sustainable Business Pitch Winner

Sun Co.

The solar energy industry is growing rapidly, and 90% of that added solar capacity is installed with tracking capabilities. The team at Sun Co. is developing passive solar trackers that drastically reduce cost through the use of shape memory alloys. These alloys work as both sensors and actuators. They contract when heated which allows us to track the sun without any additional electricity or expensive sensor equipment which help homeowners and small businesses find a cheap solution for increasing their energy efficiency.

 

Sustainable Business Pitch Event Video

What is a Sustainable Business?

A sustainable or “green” business is a business that operates in a way that protects the environment, enhances the community, and maintains a healthy workplace.

About the Austin Central Library

The Austin Central Library was recently awarded LEED® Platinum status under the international green building rating system. It is now the second Platinum certified public library in Texas. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED Platinum is the highest level of recognition awarded and indicates a score of 80 or better on the 110 point rating system.

The Central Library is the first City of Austin building to achieve the prestigious designation. Six commercial buildings in Austin have been awarded LEED Platinum. There are about 20 LEED Platinum certified libraries in the U.S.

Sustainable Business Finalists
  • GrubTubs

    At GrubTubs we found a solution that transforms food waste into animal feed. Our process is fast, capital efficient, easy to permit, decentralized and profitable for restaurants and farmers. Our patent pending GrubReactor uses insect larvae to quickly eat food waste. They can be placed on any farm nationwide without a waste permit, saving our farmers up to a $1,000/mo per 1,000 chickens they have to feed.


  • Shower Stream

    At Shower Stream, we understand that water and energy waste is an enormous problem across the globe. It is not only an environmental problem, but also a huge economic and social problem. We are transforming the water, energy and IoT industries by solving unique waste problems that are currently completely unattended.


  • Sun Co.

    The solar energy industry is growing rapidly, and 90% of that added solar capacity is installed with tracking capabilities. The team at Sun Co. is developing passive solar trackers that drastically reduce cost through the use of shape memory alloys. These alloys work as both sensors and actuators. They contract when heated which allows us to track the sun without any additional electricity or expensive sensor equipment which help homeowners and small businesses find a cheap solution for increasing their energy efficiency.


  • Z-Bikez

    Z-Bikez is Austin’s own brand of personal electric vehicles. We make and sell a complete line of electric bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles. In light of our experiences and new market trends, we’re in the process of pivoting to a new model that hits the sweet spot between current docking bicycle programs and dockless scooter share programs. We have full scale manufacturing capacity for our future growth, R&D products, and infrastructure developments.

Prizes

Winners will receive an on the spot cash prize of $2,000 plus $5,000+ in additional in-kind prizes including:

  • One Year Elite Membership to the Austin Young Chamber
  • Three months free rent at Capital Factory
  • Global Conference Roundup Ticket from 3 Day Startup
  • LLC Formation from The Haney Law Firm
  • Business Coaching Session from the Economic Growth Business Incubator
  • One Un.Inc Life journal from Un.Inc

Presented By

In Partnership With

And Support From

Thank You to Our Event Sponsor

Every great idea deserves great protection. Insureon has helped more than 200,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs find affordable insurance online from top U.S. carriers. Find out why we’re recognized as a trusted leader in Texas at Insureon or give us a call 512.501.5542.

Austin Fast Start Voting provided by

Finalist Pitch Prep provided by