Tonight, at a special graduation and alumni event, the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a not-for-profit part of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin (UT), will graduate 21 companies. Of those 21, seven companies were part of ATI’s Wireless portfolio, including Axelo, Famigo, GameSalad, Nitero, RFMicron, Unwired Nation and Wimax.com. These companies have collectively achieved impressive business successes, such as garnering $20 million in funding and collaborating on an international scale.
Over 20+ years, ATI has developed and refined industry specific capabilities, currently organized into Information Technology, Wireless, Clean Energy and Bioscience sectors. In each industry sector, ATI brings its portfolio companies deep domain expertise and market- and technology-specific networks of advisors and investors. Tonight’s graduation event showcases successes in all four sectors, including seven amazing companies in wireless.
ATI, in partnership with UT’s Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG) and the City of Austin, launched its Wireless program in 2006, ahead of the smart phone/iPhone/Android explosion. Now, as the world approaches 50 billion connected devices, ATI continues to build on the wireless expertise in Austin with its current companies and these seven successful graduates. ATI-Wireless and WNCG also co-host the Texas Wireless Summit and works with the Central Texas Angel Network to host the Wireless Seed-Stage Forum annually. In addition, ATI-Wireless has a special relationship with the Wi-Fi Alliance, the international wireless standards and certification organization, which moved to Austin in part due to support from ATI and was housed at ATI until it outgrew its facilities in 2010. ATI-Wireless also works closely with MobileMondayAustin, the second oldest chapter in North America of the global MobileMonday network. The seven Wireless graduates include:
Axelo is developing breakthrough hardware and firmware solutions for 3D motion-sensing products. Axelo, Inc. patented the first 3D motion-based PC controller, which led to a successful solution for spatial disorientation and motion sickness. Currently, Axelo is embedding its technology into sports headwear to provide a preventable solution for contact sports traumatic brain injuries. ‘Letters of Intent’ have been procured from two leading manufacturers of sports equipment.
Famigo makes mobile technology work for families. Famigo creates a better mobile experience for parents and kids by providing them will the tools to discover, manage and enjoy content & apps on smartphones and tablets. Famigo simplifies app discovery through our reviews and recommendations on Famigo.com and makes Android devices kid-safe with our free app, Famigo Sandbox. Famigo’s proprietary technology captures and crowdsources user behavior to provide the best reviews and recommendations available. Famigo’s products have received praise from outlets like Forbes.com, WSJ Online, Killer Startups, The Next Web, TechCrunch, Vator News, VentureBeat, Austin Chronicle, and Famigo Sandbox was rated CNET’s 2011 Best App of the Year for Parents.
GameSalad is an online community that empowers everyone to express and share their ideas through games. GameSalad provides a platform used by creators to rapidly design, publish and distribute original games that have been played by millions of people worldwide. It is currently the number one platform for iOS development and boasts 300,000 developers. 30,000 games have been built with the GameSalad Creator since its 2007 founding. Now at 60 employees and growing, all this was accomplished with just a little over $7 million funding since inception.
Nitero, a fabless semiconductor company with a design center in Melbourne, Australia and headquarters in Austin, Texas, has developed a standards-based, next-generation 60GHz Wi-Fi solution for smartphone, tablet, Ultrabook™ and gaming platforms, bringing multi-gigabit-per-second video and data transfer with extreme low power and latency. Nitero is a great success story demonstrating the power of collaboration between experienced Austin entrepreneurs and top Australian universities and research institutions, such as the University of Melbourne and National ICT Australia. In 2011, Nitero raised an additional $1.6 million after receiving a $1.4 million grant from Commercialisation Australia.
RFMicron is the first in the wireless tracking industry to offer a complementary hardware and software package, consisting of RFVlink, a web-based software platform and RFMicron’s own passive radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip, configured with RFMicron’s proprietary Chameleon technology; allowing any reader to read RFMicron tags from 30 feet on any material, and anywhere in the world. RFMicron joined ATI in 2007, and in 2010 garnered $1.5 million in funding and added three directors to its board. RFMicron was named one of the Most Promising IT and Web Companies at the 8th Annual Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship IT and Web Venture Forum in Houston in 2010.
Unwired Nation has evolved ahead of the wireless space since its founding in 2004. Today, Unwired’s platform helps B2B web application companies with unique customer branding requirements transition to native apps across all major mobile platforms. Unwired Nation’s ability to rapidly deploy mobile apps leveraging customer’s existing web applications and customer relationships has attracted companies like VoiceTech and Q2ebanking, leaders in pharmacy and financial services, respectively. It also attracted $6.5 million in funding, which closed at the end of 2011.
WiMax.com provides equipment, resources and tools that enable operators to deploy high-speed 4G wireless broadband networks. The company is technology agnostic and works with most fixed broadband wireless technologies. The company also provides news, analysis, expert opinions and case studies on the industry at www.wimax.com.
“These seven wireless companies continue the incredible legacy of wireless technology innovation in Austin and demonstrate that ATI-Wireless retains a prominent role in the next wave of technologies – whether hardware or software,” said Kyle Cox, Wireless Director. “ATI-Wireless has a great partnership with UT from its relationship with WNCG to its support of several courses and events for students. ATI-Wireless has also helped the Austin community to become a prominent source of innovation while the wireless industry has rapidly evolved in the last several years.”
Laura Beck for ATI