Weekly Roundup: 5 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 startups to watch in Austin will keep you in...
Want to stay up to date on the latest startup fundings, launches, and expansions in Austin? Startup Over Coffee’s weekly roundup of startups to watch in Austin will keep you in the loop on the latest Austin tech news.
Austin-based accelerator, DivInc announced a new social justice accelerator for startups. The new program will be 12 weeks long and provide the cohort with mentorship, access to capital, and public-private partnership opportunities. Austin Inno reports that DivInc hopes the accelerator will make steps towards eliminating racism in criminal justice systems, voting, housing, healthcare, and education.
The startups who were invited to be a part of DivInc’s initiative were selected from across the country. All startups are dedicated to supporting diversity or improving minority injustice. The eight companies selected include Lone Star Justice Alliance, Break The Box, Melanoid Exchange, Civic Links, Thawra Network, Amplify RJ, Say Lambda, and Vngle.
One of DivInc’s core beliefs is that diversity and inclusion drive innovation- which is why Divinc was motivated to create the social justice accelerator after the killing of George Floyd back in May and the global protests that followed. The accelerator is in collaboration with Capital Factory and Notley Ventures with extra support from AppSumo, Kendra Scott, adMixt, and Wild Basin Investments.
Icon, a company that uses 3D technology to build affordable housing for those in need, just closed a $35 million Series A funding round, bringing the startup’s total funding valuation to $44 million. The round was led by Modern Ventures according to Built In Austin.
Icon is responsible for building the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood located in Tabasco, Mexico. In addition, the non-profit built the country’s first 3D home here in Austin and went on to build a community for the local homeless population at Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ Community First! Village. Icon has also partnered with the Department of Defense and the United States Marine Corps to train marines in 3D technology so they can operate and build housing at Camp Pendleton.
Icon plans to use the new funding round to take 3D home development out of the R&D phase. They hope to provide their technology to other companies, revolutionizing the homebuilding industry. While the next step for Icon is to move into the mainstream housing market, it will continue to help build housing for those in need.
Cell-based meat is meat that will revolutionize the industry–at least according to BioBQ founder, Katie Kam. For the past year, Kam has been pulling together a team of scientists and entrepreneurs to create the first cell-based Texas barbeque meat products on the market.
Though not the first company to dream of cell-based meat, BioBQ technology differs by detaching the scaffold on which meat grows. Essentially, cells are taken from an animal, cultured and grown in a lab. As a result, less animals are subject to slaughter. BioBQ is currently working on beef jerky and beef brisket products.
Kam is working with UT assistant professor of cellular and biomolecular engineering, Janet Zoldan, who has worked on ways to regenerate human cardiac tissue. Austin Inno reports BioBQ has applied for funding from the National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research Program and hopes to secure a lab with the funding.
Literati, a children’s book delivery service, is launching a new line of celebrity book clubs according to Built In Austin. The book clubs feature curated selections hand-picked by a group of five thought influencers. Literati members will receive physical copies of the books, special packaging, a note, and access to Literati’s new app which allows users to engage with celebrities about the book choices. The new product line will launch October 1st this year and will be mailed to subscribers for $24.95 per month.
Each club has a different theme depending on the celebrity who created it. The five individuals who were selected are Malala Yousafzai, Richard Branson, NBA MVP Stephen Curry, best-selling author Susan Orlean and late American mythologist Joseph Campbell.
Houston Exponential, a nonprofit organized to accelerate growth of Houston’s innovation ecosystem, just launched the HTX Techlist. The HTX Techlist is a resource for in-depth information about Houston startups, investors, entrepreneurial hubs, and corporations. The HTX Techlist is a network-enabled program that will be able to provide users with data to give them crucial information about the ecosystem.
Anyone can join and make a profile on site. Startups, investors, entrepreneurial hubs, and corporations can launch profiles that will be vetted by Houston’s own HX. The platform is derived from an initiative that came out of Startup Nation Central in Israel and already has an active 700,000 users every month.
About Savannah Burns: Savannah is a marketing and communications intern for Swyft, which is a PR firm in Austin and Houston and a top digital marketing agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft recently opened a satellite office where it offers PR in San Francisco.