With its low cost of living, high quality of life, growing cultural scene and plethora of university educated talent, Austin continues to shine as a startup destination. The home of the SXSW festival now has a higher density of startups than Silicon Valley, according to research by the Munday School of Business at St. Edward’s University.
Not only has the city been rated as the best in which to start a business in the U.S. by the likes of CNBC, but its startups are also some of the fastest growing in the country. With growth rates of 81.2 percent this year’s Kauffman Growth Entrepreneurship Index puts Austin as the second fastest growing city in America, as well as the best place to start a small business.
Here’s a look at some of the innovative Austin-based startups you may be hearing a lot more about in the next few months.
Sports media company, FloSports, streams live coverage of sporting events directly to consumers alongside original sports shows and news. The subscription based service specializes in less well covered sports, such as wrestling and gymnastics, and features hundreds of live events monthly. The recently funded company will be expanding into new sports and increasing its existing coverage to volleyball, tennis and combat.
Virtuix produces a virtual reality platform that allows users to walk, run and jump in 360 degrees. The omnidirectional treadmill allows users to walk freely throughout virtual worlds. Initially designed for games such as Fallout 4, and compatible with VR systems such as Oculus Rift, the technology also has potential uses for military and other applications.
Vyze allows customers to finance their purchases when purchasing from a retail or e-commerce business. The company’s platforms allow retailers to provide the latest financing options all from one simple checkout process. Vyze’s marketplace gives companies access to a range of different lending options.
Student Loan Genius is a tool companies can use to help employees pay off their student loans quicker and easier. The platform allows employees to find the best repayment option and pay loans directly from their payroll, while their employers can either directly match payments or use employee’s student loan payment to trigger 401k contributions into any retirement plan. The startup already boasts Intel, Boeing and Kellogg’s among its client list.
Spredfast offers an enterprise social media marketing platform that helps markets monitor their brand engagement and audience experience. Using one dashboard, marketing directors can track, manage and focus on real-time communications across the social media spectrum. A recent $50 million round will be used to help the startup to expand its product suite and bolster their customer experience and support.
WigWag connects smart devices together to work as a manageable, secure and automatic personalized system. The platform allows its users to easily manage, monitor and control all of the automated devices in their home or office, even mixing and matching different brands and protocols.
ePatientFinder help physicians connect their patients with experimental treatments and clinical trials. The platform has a network of primary care and specialty physicians who use the service to find out about new treatment options. When they indicate they may have a patient, ePatientFinder uses analytics to determine if they would eligible for treatment.
UnaliWear creates wearables for seniors, physically disabled and other vulnerable individuals. Their first product is the discreet and stylish voice controlled Kanega watch that allows its users to call for emergency assistance from anywhere. The watch can also guide people to a specific destination or back home.
Vast uses big data and analytics to offer decision making tools that help customers when purchasing homes, cars and vacations. The startup’s flagship product, CarStory, uses a database and insights to provide in depth information on over 3.5 millions vehicles. The information helps both dealers and consumers to speed up car purchases.
Aunt Bertha helps people to find and apply to government and charitable social service programs. These programs cover charitable food, health, housing and job training. By offering a centralized place where these programs are listed for people to sift through and review, the aim is to reduce the cost of administering programs and provide a place where applications can be made.
TheWaveVR is a platform for music lovers that allows users to view, host or talk about shows throughout the world using virtual reality. A new way to connect musicians and fans while replicating the feeling of a life concert, the recently funded startup will be launching in beta later this year.
Datical produces automation software for IT systems management. The startup’s biggest product is Datical DB, a commercial version of Liquibase for managing changes to a database during application updates. Having closed a Series B at the beginning of 2016, Datical will be increasing its international sales, marketing and support services.
Business process management company BP3 uses data and insights derived to help companies innovate their business process. From helping Carlsberg deliver beer faster to working with various Fortune 500 companies, a recent funding round will help the startup to further develop its flagship Brazos IBM BPM UI toolkit.
The Zebra offers an online auto insurance comparison site. Users anonymously compare different insurance companies to find the best quote, while only having to give a minimal amount of personal information. With real time results the licensed insurer agent gives the best available rates. Following a huge cash injection this year, the startup will be ramping up its offering and expanding.