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The Austin Technology Incubator’s Influence Continues to Permeate the Austin Startup Scene

For the last 3 years, Stacey Higginbotham, GigaOm, has wrote about the up and coming Austin startups to watch for during SXSW and the Austin Startup Crawl. Of the list of 30 companies compiled in 2010, 2011 and 2012, 8 companies, notably more than 25 percent, are currently or have been connected in some way to the Austin Technology Incubator, a not-for-profit unit of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin that harnesses business, government and academic resources to provide strategic counsel, operational guidance and infrastructure support to its member companies to help them transition from early stage ventures to successful technology businesses. Since its founding in 1989, ATI has worked with hundreds of companies, helping raise close to $1 Billion in investor capital.    

Here is the list of the ones to watch, a little background information and their connections to ATI:

Calxeda, a.k.a. Smooth-Stone, a successful ATI alumni company, offers a processor platform for hyperscale servers that will allow data centers to slash IT costs and energy consumption by as much as a factor of 10.  Calxeda, with its industry-disrupting ultra-low power processors powering servers and data centers, closed an impressive $48 million funding August 2010, and launch its first product with global impact via a partnership with Hewlett Packard November 2011.

GameSalad, a.k.a. Gendai Games, and successful alum of ATI, 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.

Ordoro participated in the SEAL program as UT Austin business students before joining ATI in 2010. Ordoro is a Web-based order and inventory manager. With just a login and a password, online retailers can use Ordoro to process orders, print shipping labels, drop-ship orders and track their real-time inventory at all times. Ordoro helps small and medium online retailers grow their business by spending less time processing orders, tracking inventory and dealing with confusing IT systems.

Ravel, an ATI member company, provides the tools to rapidly discover and integrate knowledge from disconnected data. Ravel’s KnowledgeStream and GoldenOrb products are used by company consultants and clients to acquire, transform, integrate, and utilize large data sets from enterprise databases and web sources.

Wheel InnovationZ, founded by serial entrepreneur Srini Gurrapu, CEO, and a new member of the Austin Technology Incubator, Wheel InnovationZ is privately funded, and still in stealth mode, with its 1.0 product in the hands of early adopter customers by summer 2012.  Wheel is building a Unified Application Store that helps enterprise manage the demands – and needs – of users accessing a variety of applications on a variety of devices.  Wheel will truly enable the ‘any app on any device’ vision with both local and cloud based access with a Unified Application Store enterprise management platform that reduces TCO, and improves security and productivity.

Hurricane Party, free mobile app that helps friends find, share, and create spontaneous parties; moving online experiences offline to make social networking more social, participated in ATI’s 3 Day Startup in 2010.

Macheen is a leading enabler of “Internet Included,” connected devices. Its multi-tenant cloud-based platform makes it easy to sell and market pre-connected devices that sustain profitable relationships with the consumers who buy them. Macheen enables new business models for device makers, retailers and network operators alike. Macheen CEO, Richard Schwartz, is on the Wireless Advisory Board formed in 2011, and was a featured speaker at ATI’s 2011 Texas Wireless Summit (TWS).

ATX Innovation, the company behind the TabbedOut app, participated in the ATI’s 2009 Wireless Seed Stage Forum (WSSF). The TabbedOut app is a secure and easy-to-use mobile payment solution that allows patrons to open, view and pay their tab with a smart phone, eliminating time waiting in line to close your tab and the need to even take your credit card out of your wallet, let alone give it to a stranger. TabbedOut is securely integrated directly into the merchant’s point of sale (POS) system.