Weekly Roundups: 4 Austin Startups to Watch
Want to stay up to date on the latest startup fundings, launches, and expansions in Austin? Startup Over Coffee’s weekly roundup of Austin startups to watch will keep you in the...
Want to stay up to date on the latest startup fundings, launches, and expansions in Austin? Startup Over Coffee’s weekly roundup of Austin startups to watch will keep you in the loop on the latest Austin tech news. Catch up on previous weekly roundups here.
According to Austin Inno, startup 8VC, which moved its headquarters from the San Francisco Bay Area to Austin, is now raising money for a new fund. The 8VC Opportunities Fund II LP will help contribute to the investments of other startups and local companies. Co-founder Joe Lonsdale plans on raising an $880 million venture capital fund.
Founded in 2015, 8VC’s mission is to help other founders grow their technology platforms and provide their companies with economical and societal benefits. Although there haven’t been any announcements on the behalf of 8VC and venture firms on what the startup will exactly do with the funding, this amount of money will be enough to help new local entrepreneurs in the Austin startup scene grow.
As venture capital continues to flourish in Austin, this funding is projected to be one of the largest Austin has seen yet, not including the funding of the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. 8VC has worked with other startup fundings and contributions, such as the LiveOak Venture and Next Coast $4 million seed round, the DocStation, an Austin health tech startup, $3.1 million seed round, the Waabi $83.5 million series A round, and has invested in Elon Musk’s The Boring Company. 8VC is already making a name for itself in Austin and the impact this startup is predicted to have will only continue to bring more benefits for not only itself but other startups in Austin as well.
Hyliion is an Austin startup producing electrified powertrain systems. Their goal is to replace conventional diesel and natural gas-fueled powertrains with electric ones, to help with the reduction of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Hyliion plans on expanding their Cedar Park headquarters location, announced in Built in Austin.
Currently, their headquarters takes up 82,000 square feet. With new renovations being added, Hyliion’s square footage will increase to 124,000. In hopes of increasing square footage to assist in their commercialization process, the expansion will help increase their employment from 136 to 500. Founder and CEO Thomas Healy states that Hyliion’s people and products are at the center of their expansion. As this startup plans on releasing its new hybrid model later this year, renovations are directly related to the growth of its powertrain solution.
According to Built in Austin, Austin Urban Technology Movement, or AUTM, has announced a new partnership with Workforce Solutions Capital Area in hopes of increasing Black and Hispanic employment in the Austin tech scene. Founded in 2016, AUTM is a non-profit association providing job opportunities in the tech industry. With only about 20 percent of Black and Hispanic employees in the Silicon Hills workforce, their goal is to help improve the impact and contributions the Black and Hispanic community have on Austin’s tech sector.
Both organizations will work with thousands of Austinites in poverty to train and provide them with the skills necessary to work in the tech industry. As opportunities in the tech world are booming in Austin, supplying these Austinites with valuable information needed for any quality tech employee will open many doors for them. In return, educating the poverty community brings a solution for decreasing the homeless population in Austin. Currently, president and CEO of AUTM Michael Ward Jr., is looking at expanding its offices in New York and Dallas.
Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory is expected to be finished later this year. That being said, new hiring is currently in process. Their partnership with Austin Community College provides a 14-week manufacturing program for students picked for Tesla’s START Manufacturing program, free of cost. According to Built in Austin, Tesla plans on hiring 5,000 new employees to work at their new factory, starting with salary pay of $35,000. This program is anticipated to start in August. Students will learn how to build and maintain machines through advanced technology.
With Tesla relocating and expanding in Austin, it’s important to educate future workforce employees on advanced technology and manufacturing, as Tesla is opening up hundreds of jobs so rapidly. Tesla is actively hiring over 250 employees in positions such as program manager, accountants, technicians, and engineers.
About Michelle Vernaza: Michelle is a Business Development Associate Intern for Swyft, which is a tech PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing and PR agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft recently opened a satellite office where it offers tech PR in San Francisco. Swyft was also listed as one of the top tech PR agencies in Texas by the B2B services review site, Clutch.co.