AUSTIN, Texas – November 15, 2018 — The deadline for entrepreneurs to apply to an Austin Fast Start pitch competition has been extended to Dec. 6, 2018.
The competition – set for Jan. 15, 2019, at the Capital Factory in Austin – aims to empower new startups with funding, business coaching, and industry resources to jump-start growth. As a partnership between the City of Austin Small Business Program within the Economic Development Department and the Austin Young Chamber, this recurring program is a 90-minute fast pitch competition designed for early stage start-up businesses that are less than two years old. The public is invited to attend this fun way to engage with and support emerging small businesses.
Austin-based entrepreneurs are now encouraged to apply to compete in the next Austin Fast Start: FinTech (Financial Technology) competition. FinTech companies are businesses that leverage new technology to create new and improved financial services for both consumers and businesses. This includes companies that may operate in personal financial management, insurance, payment, asset management, etc.
“Austin Fast Start is a dynamic partnership,” said Vicky Valdez, Manager of the City of Austin Small Business Program. “We’re proud to be able to reach a wide range of entrepreneurs in diverse industries to help provide resources for business growth.”
The first year of the Austin Fast Start pitch competition showcased the innovation and excellence of Austin’s startup community. The four competitions included applicants in the business categories of Consumer Packaged Goods, EdTech, Bio/Med Tech, and Sustainable Business.
“The Austin Fast Start fosters connection, builds awareness, and provides funding to help these businesses get to the next level,” said Alyssia Palacios-Woods, Executive Director of the Austin Young Chamber. “Each event featured four finalists pitching for the audience vote. Over the four events, more than 250 people came to hear from these startups and cast their vote for their favorite. The winners received a $2,000 cash prize, plus prizes valued at $5,000.”
Austin Fast Start: Bio/Med Tech winner and JellyMedical Founder Meghan Fitzpatrick shared, “Austin Fast Start was an awesome validation of JellyBra and the mission we’re on. The prize money helped significantly toward our first production run, and several of the people we met at the pitch have become advocates, supporters, and advisors on our journey.”
FinTech applications are open now through December 6. To apply and learn more, visit www.AustinYC.org/Austin-Fast-Start/
Upcoming Austin Fast Start Competition Industries:
January 15, 2019 – FinTech
June 2019 – Fashion
September 2019 – Mobility Innovation
Previous 2018 Austin Fast Start Winners and Finalists:
Consumer Packaged Goods Winner: Curcuma
Curcuma Golden Paste was developed to use in Golden Mylk, the signature drink at Curcuma– a plant-based, Ayurvedic inspired food trailer in East Austin. Austin Fast Start gave Curcuma the resources to invest in product development to reach the goals of extending shelf life and expanding distribution. The insight and questions from the panel gave critical information for launching a sustainable CPG product with online sales beginning in early 2019.
Finalists: Curcuma, Elite Sweets, O’Joy, Rogue Pet Feed
EdTech Winner: Audassey
Audassey is an edutainment company focused specifically on engineering and computer science skills applied to space exploration and travel. Austin Fast Start helped validate the idea for Audassey, who used the prize money to hire a local Austin company to help create some early work. Since winning in October 2017, they are currently completing a prototype as well as starting to grow a community to leverage as early adopters and user feedback.
Finalists: 11trees, Audassey, College Choice Today, EdVentuRe Virtual Reality Education
Bio/Med Tech Winner: JellyMedical
JellyMedical Labs is creating a silicone-lined, compression scar therapy bra, the JellyBra, for the million women a year who undergo one of the five major breast surgeries. Since winning Austin Fast Start in June 2018, JellyMedical has gathered a beta group comprised of women who have undergone a breast surgery to use and test their prototype, and are nearing the final iteration of the prototyping process with manufacturers able to deliver a final product by the end of the year.
Finalists: Clairvoyant Networks, Enzyme Health, JellyMedical, Think and Zoom
Sustainable Business Winner: Sun Company
The team at Sun Company is developing energy efficient, passive solar trackers that drastically reduce cost through the use of shape memory alloys. Since winning in September 2018, Austin Fast Start helped Sun Company accelerate their growth by securing their LLC formation, focusing on product development, and having ongoing connections to and conversations with experienced entrepreneurs.
Finalists: Abstract Engineering, GrubTubs, Sun Company, Z-Bikez
About the City of Austin Small Business Program
The Small Business Program, a division of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, offers one-on-one business coaching in addition to entrepreneur training and resources to help small businesses prosper in a competitive business environment. For more information visit www.SmallBizAustin.org and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
About Austin Young Chamber
The Austin Young Chamber promotes the general economic interests of the Central Texas business community through initiatives and efforts designed to build and strengthen our young professional workforce. Connect with the Austin Young Chamber on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, or check out upcoming programs at austinyc.org.