The Austin Tech Incubator Landscape
In the 1980s, several seeds were planted that led to the entrepreneurial environment Greater Austin enjoys today. Among these seeds were the State’s winning bid for the MCC, the founding of Austin Ventures, and the founding of Tivoli Systems. These seeds and many more grew the need for today’s incubator, accelerator, and other hybrid programs. Some programs are comprehensive with office space, mentorship, and year-round access to resources. Others are more virtual and episodic, but no less critical to company founders. With the growth in the pool of entrepreneurs, the diversity of programs has grown, for sports, packaged goods, university students, and more. Who are the people behind these programs? What kinds of companies are being developed via the incubators & accelerators? What does the future hold? Speakers include Bryan Menell of Capital Factory, Mellie Price of Source Spring, Isaac Barchas of ATI, & Mark Pannes of RaptorAccelerator, and Steve Guengerich of BroadBrush Ventures.
Bryan is the Director of the Collaboratory at Dachis Group, and a co-founder of Capital Factory. Actively involved in Austin's technology scene, he is the Managing Editor at www.austinstartup.com, and started the popular Austin Tech Happy Hour.
He has founded several technology-related companies such as Exact Systems (1991), Perficient (1997, NASDAQ: PFRT), and Fusion Learning Systems (2001). He is an investor and advisor to a select group of Austin technology companies.
Isaac runs the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), part of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin. Founded in 1989, ATI has worked with over 200 startups, helping them raise close to $1 billion in investment capital. He serves on the boards of several startup support and educational organizations, including 3 Day Startup, the Austin Technology Council, the Pecan Street Project, and the CleanTX Foundation.
Mark Pannes is Co-Managing director of Raptor Accelerator. He heads the Southwest Office of Accelerator located in Austin. Raptor Accelerator works with Raptor Group Holdings' direct private investments, helping those portfolio companies establish commercial operations / revenue generation for their business.
Prior to this, Mark has spent over 20 years working in the sports, media, entertainment, and consumer tech fields. He has been CMO of an NBA club (NY Knicks), run a global practice at a major international bank (HSBC), and is an attorny. Mark is also currently surving as CEO of AS Roma, a historic Italian football club (a Raptor investment).
Mellie started her entrepreneurial journey in 1993 when, in lieu of going for a Ph.D in aquatic biology, she started Monsterbit - one of the first commercial web development companies in the world. Ironically, Monsterbit built the very first several SXSW websites (circa 1995) and provided internet broadcast content from SXSW to Mark Cuban’s then nascent streaming company, AudioNet. Price sold Monsterbit to Austin Ventures backed Human Code in 1997 which was acquired by Sapient Corporation (NASDAQ: SAPE) in 2000. She served as a senior executive in a variety of roles during those years.
Mellie is an active entrepreneur with several start-ups under her belt. She is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Source Spring – a seed stage investment group that provides fellow entrepreneurs with a combination of seed capital, hands-on mentorship, and technology support ranging from application development to actual technical co-founders. Prior to launching Source Spring Ms. Price was the Founder and CEO of Front Gate Tickets– the largest independently owned ticketing software provider in the US. Mellie is also founding mentor and investor in Capital Factory.
Steve is managing director of BroadBrush Ventures and VP and co-founder of Appconomy, Inc. Steve is an award-winning writer, with his ninth book "Think Lobal > Act Glocal" available on Amazon.com at http://bit.ly/awKABU. Steve writes "The BroadBrush Update" at http://www.Guengerich.com on tech innovation and society, and is a guest blogger and writer for many publications. He has spoken previously at SXSW and numerous business, non-profit, and technology conferences for 20 years. Steve is a Dewey Winburne community service award finalist and, in 2011, was recognized by the greater Austin chapter of the Association of IT Professionals with its Community Leadership Award for his work on behalf of IT professionals in greater Austin.