Funded in Austin
Funded in Austin features Founder/CEO’s of three technology startups who have pursued and secured investment in their entrepreneurial ventures – one from crowdfunding, one from angel funding, and one from venture capital – totaling more than $302 million in funding. Together, we'll explore their in-the-trenches startup fundraising experiences. We'll share an in-depth and broad conversation around these three types of funding and the challenges and benefits of each from the Founder/CEO’s unique point of view. Funded in Austin is part of the SXSW Interactive Startup Village programming and the Startup Austin track, which highlights the robust startup, entrepreneur, and investor community that exists in Austin. Startup Austin allows current and future entrepreneurs to network with and learn from Austin's technology trailblazers and startups.
CEO & Founder
Cotter Cunningham is the founder, president and CEO of RetailMeNot, Inc., the world's largest online coupon and deals marketplace. Founded in 2009, RetailMeNot, Inc. has grown to over 400 employees with offices in five countries and headquartered in Austin, TX. In 2012, the company facilitated an estimated $2.5 billion in merchant sales. RetailMeNot's portfolio includes RetailMeNot.com and VoucherCodes.co.uk – the largest online coupon sites in the United States and United Kingdom, respectively. The company has raised over $700M from public and private investors including an IPO in August 2013(NASDAQ:SALE).
Prior to RetailMeNot, Cotter was the Senior Vice President and COO of Bankrate Inc. (NYSE: RATE) for seven years, taking the company public in 1999 and growing its revenues eight-fold over the next 7 years. Cotter was also a Vice President and General Manager with advertising agency VML and he also worked in the corporate development group at H&R Block, where he worked primarily with its CompuServe subsidiary. He wrote the book Your Financial Action Plan: 12 Simple Steps to Achieve Money Success. He has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Austin, Texas.
Josh is a mobile technology expert, serial entrepreneur and award winning speaker. He co-founded Zosh a suite of mobile apps for filling and signing documents which was acquired by YouSendIt. He launched the product at DEMO conference where he won a DEMOgod award for his presentation which included smashing a fax machine with a baseball bat. Prior to Zosh he was CEO of Ideal Science a software company he founded in early 1998 which developed scalable Bulletin Board software. Josh is a Capital Factory partner and Techstars mentor. He is also an angel investor. Josh has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.
Shari Wynne Ressler
Incubation Station & Mwr Legal
Shari Wynne Ressler is dedicated to connecting people to what they need to succeed. Shari is the Founder and Managing Director of Incubation Station, an accelerator of young consumer product brands dedicated to ignite and accelerate entrepreneur success. Shari is also the founder and Managing Partner of MWR Legal, a law firm representing and connecting entrepreneurs, investors, start-ups and emerging companies. Shari also focuses her practice on legal-related business growth and development matters, as well as connection to critical resources. She is an active member of the entrepreneurial eco-system, has served on numerous boards and committees helping companies achieve success and is past-president of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) Austin chapter.
CEO of Plum (formerly Ube), Utz is a foremost expert on IoT / Connected home technologies. Formerly he served as Chairman & CEO of CEDIA, the global trade organization representing the connected home industry.