07 Nov

Congratulations to Filament Labs, Winner of the Mobile Monday Austin App/Startup Showcase at TWS 2013

“With such convergence happening with technology and healthcare, especially right here in Austin, and especially with mobile technology, it is great to see a company like Filament Labs be recognized,” said C. Enrique Ortiz, organizer of Mobile Monday Austin.

At the recently completed Texas Wireless Summit (TWS), eight Austin-area startups presented and competed in the fourth annual Mobile Monday Austin Startup Showcase. The 2013 winner was Filament Labs, http://www.filamentlabs.co, which focuses on turnkey solutions for patient engagement. Filament is building a consumer engagement platform for the healthcare industry that helps health plans & hospitals promote healthy lifestyle changes across their member bases.

“We are so honored to win the Mobile Monday Startup Showcase, especially to be in the same category as the winners over the past three years,” said Jason Bornhorst, CEO, Filament Labs. “We are building a platform that makes mobile health easy with reusable modules that solve the complicated stuff of mHealth, like compliance, data exchange and patient engagement.”

In the Showcase, competing companies were judged on five factors: idea, market and industry potential/impact, team composition, revenue model and company stage. This year’s Showcase judges included Carlo Longino of Wireless Industry Partnership (WIP), Dai Truong of Austin Ventures and David Gill of Nielsen.

“With such convergence happening with technology and healthcare, especially right here in Austin, and especially with mobile technology, it is great to see a company like Filament Labs be recognized,” said C. Enrique Ortiz, organizer of Mobile Monday Austin.

The Showcase runner up was Fosbury, http://fosbury.co, which provides tools to drive store traffic and customer engagement using mobile wallet campaigns.

Other Showcase competing companies included:
* Beyonic – http://www.beyonic.com
* eyeQ – http://www.eyeqinsights.com
* Futureware Inc – http://www.futureware.com
* Gizmoquip LLC – http://www.Gizmoquip.com
* Kloc – http://www.kloc.me
* SnakeHead Software – http://SnakeHeadSoftware.com

The Mobile Monday Austin Startup Showcase has been an important part of the Texas Wireless Summit (TWS) for four years now. TWS is co-hosted each year by the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), in the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin (UT), and UT’s Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG). TWS brings together wireless industry leaders and entrepreneurs, engineers, academics and students, to discuss research, brainstorm innovation, and collectively work to move the wireless space forward in Texas and beyond.

“Austin remains at the nexus of wireless technology, both in research and commerce. TWS topped itself this year in terms of topic quality, engagement, and diversity of attendees”, stated event co-host and Director of ATI’s IT/Wireless portfolio, Kyle Cox. With a theme of Disrupting Wireless with Big Data Analytics, the 2013 TWS featured keynotes from Aster Teradata and Stanford’s GPS Laboratory, as well as other speakers from Stanford GPS Laboratory, Deutsche Bank, Huawei, Phunware, Verizon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Cambridge and UT.

About the Wireless Networking and Communications Group
The Wireless Networking & Communications Group (WNCG) is a world-leading center for research and education at the University of Texas at Austin. WNCG strives to be the most relevant academic wireless center, which is achieved in part through its vibrant industrial affiliates program. Many WNCG graduates now lead and contribute to R&D efforts at those companies as employees. WNCG is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Collaborative Research Center (I/UCRC) for Wireless Internet Communications and Advanced Technologies (WICAT). http://www.wncg.org
About the Austin Technology Incubator:

The Austin Technology Incubator harnesses business, government and academic resources to provide strategic counsel, operational guidance and infrastructural support for its member companies to help them transition into successful, high-growth technology businesses. The Austin Technology Incubator, in the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, has a 25-year history of successful new venture support with a focus on getting startups funded. ATI has helped more than 250 companies raise over $1 billion of investor capital. More than 85% of ATI’s 2012 graduating class received funding totaling more than $200 million. ATI has a dual mission: promote economic development in Central Texas through entrepreneurial wealth and job creation, and provide a “teaching laboratory” in applied entrepreneurship for UT-Austin students and faculty.

About Mobile Monday Austin
Since 2005, the Austin chapter of Mobile Monday has been connecting via monthly meet-ups, technology and business professionals, researchers and enthusiasts who share a common interest: mobile software and technologies. Today Mobile Monday Austin has over 495 members. For more information see http://MobileMondayAustin.com. Mobile Monday Austin is possible thanks to its sponsors and the Austin tech community.

See the press-release – http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11276133.htm.


04 Sep

App Showcase at Texas Wireless Summit 2013 (Oct 18)

The 11th annual Texas Wireless Summit (Oct 18, 2013) continues the tradition of providing a forum for industry leaders and academics to discuss emerging technologies and business models that will shape the industry over the upcoming two to three years.

As in previous years, we are running the Mobile Monday Austin App Showcase at the TX Wireless Summit, and we are inviting Austin (startup) companies to join us and showcase their mobile apps and solutions. You will be exposed to hundreds of attendees and investors.

If you would like to showcase your mobile app/solution, please complete this online form. If having trouble, please contact me at “enrique dot ortiz at gmail.com”.

Participation is limited.


22 Oct

Startup Showcase at Texas Wireless Summit 2012

This Friday October 26, 2012 is the Texas Wireless Summit. And as part of the event we are having the annual Mobile Monday Austin Startup Showcase.

(Also, don’t forget that on Oct 22 we are having our regular Mobile Monday Austin event at Capital Factory — topic: Mobile & Cloud.)

This year we are having a strong presence of Startups — 13 total showcasing their mobile apps and solutions; awesome:

1* Baytan Labshttp://baytanlabs.com
2* CanWeNetworkhttp://www.canwenetwork.com
3* Divert-Xhttp://divert-x.com
4* DrawMD / Visual Healthhttp://escalation-point.com
5* EMMOCOhttp://emmoco.com
6* News Blasthttp://sxtyscnds.com
7* Noomhttp://www.noom.me
8* Ringfulhttp://ringful.com
9* Toopherhttp://toopher.com
10* Vivogighttp://vivogig.com
11* VolunteerSpot — http://volunteerspot.com
12* Wheel InnovationZhttp://wheelinnovationz.com
13* Zellohttp://zello.com

Looking back at previous App Showcases at TWS, it is great to see companies that at the time were just starting, and that today are doing quite well, for example 1) MapMyFitness, 2) Game Salad, 3) Tabbedout.

As part of the showcase, judges that include the founder of Tabbedout, the CFO of Phunware, and yours truly, will judge the companies based on
(1) Originality, (2) Impact, (3) Maturity and (4) Business Plan/Model. The judges for this year are:

* Maria Ocampo — Head of Publisher Services at Collider Media
* Rick Orr — Founder Tabbedout
* Alan Kane — CFO Phunware
* Brian Grigsby — General Partner, Corsa Ventures
* D Keith Casey Jr — Evangelist at Twilio
* C. Enrique Ortiz — Head of Products at Shango

For more information about the Texas Wireless Summit and registration, visit TWS web site http://TWSUMMIT.COM.


31 May

VC: Silicon Valley vs. Austin (May 2012)

Christopher Calnan of the Austin Business Journal wrote a piece titled VC: Silicon Valley vs. Austin, on the opinions that came out from this month’s CEO Summit in Austin.

The following snippet from the article summarizes very well why Silicon Valley is (and will remain) ahead of Austin:

“Bay Area is more conducive to startups because the area’s large number of venture capital firms has resulted in a more aggressive, fast-moving environment fueled by an army of investors who are more tolerant of risk.”

There is money in Austin, but the “risk taking attitude” of the Austin VC community, while it has improved over the years (thanks to folks like Joshua Baer and other Angels and Incubators), is not there yet as compared to SV.

Over the years I have seen that the Austin VC community likes to invest more on “sure things” vs. cutting-edge unproven ideas and people. This is especially true in general with respect to my space, Mobility; Austin is still more B2B-focused (and chips) in general. An example of this you can see by looking at the portfolio page of Austin Ventures, the big VC in town.

So Silicon Valley wins, and New York City is doing very well.

Austin life-style and people and tech community is great though, which is why I am here.

I hope to continue seeing more local innovators, entrepreneurs, facilitators, investors, and risk takers in general, all here in town, fueling the local ecosystem.

As a side note, Kickstarter is a great alternative. Recently, Austin-based Replay Inc. raised over $600K via Kickstarter; congrats to Paul and team.

Update: After I finished writing this piece, I read the following at the Austin American Statesman: Austin chamber, tech guru team up to create startup center. Awesome. Led by Joshua Baer, the startup center, called Capital Factory, opens in 22,000 square feet of space on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre complex at 701 Brazos St. This is the kind of thing I was talking about. Congrats to Joshua are rest of the team.

Update-2: See The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Building a Company in Austin (pandodaily).


19 May

Austin Mobile Scene | May 2011

This month of May 2011 has been a great month with respect to the Austin mobile scene. Below is a summary of just the events that I help organize or contribute to somehow: Mobile Monday Austin, Android Dev Austin, Google IO Extended Austin, IEEE Austin Chapter. And there are other mobile-related events as well that are organized by others. And look for a cool story about the mobile scene in Austin that is coming out this Sunday May 22nd on the Austin American Statesman.

On May 19th (today!) Andrew Donoho and I will be debating native vs. web apps at the IEEE ComSoc/SP Austin Chapter.

The IEEE ComSoc/SP Chapter invites you for a talk on “Future of Mobile Debate”.

Talk Abstract:
The speakers have had plenty of discussions with colleagues and friends about native apps, written to run directly on the operating system, versus mobile web app, written to run in a mobile browser. There is no right answer — only questions and positions. This debate, in public and on stage, will refine your view of the choice. There will be many breaks in the debate for you, the judges, to ask refining questions of the participants. This will be fun.

RSVP: http://modeb.eventbrite.com/

AT&T Labs
9505 Arboretum Blvd, Austin, TX 78759

On May 23rd is our next Mobile Monday Austin social; no registration is required. See you on Monday!

Mobile Monday Austin will be holding an informal social this coming Monday, May 23, at 6pm at the Clive Bar downtown. This is an opportunity to mingle with your colleagues in the local mobile community to make connections and share experiences.

Please join the Mobile Monday team for a couple of drinks from 6pm on the outside patio at:

Start: 05/23/2011 – 6:00pm
End: 05/23/2011 – 9:00pm

The Clive Bar
609 Davis Street, 78701

On May 10-11 we had Google IO Extended Austin at the Google offices. It was a good event. I presented on Android 3.0 Honeycomb APIs for the Action Bar, Fragments and Drag-and-drop. I am planning on presenting this same presentation at an upcoming Android Dev Austin event.

Earlier this month on May 4th we had a great Android Dev Austin event. We had a great lineup of local Android developers talk about their applications and experiences. Many thanks to Ringtail Design for sponsoring the event. A summary of the event was posted by Ben Dyer at his blog.

In Summary awesome month for the Austin mobile scene


21 Dec

Help Map the Austin Mobile Scene

Steve Guengerich has been putting together a very nice idea, mapping the Austin mobile scene; excellent! Steve is managing director of BroadBrush Ventures and a member of the founding management team of Appconomy.

I met Steve the other day for the first time even though we both have been in Austin for a long time. And mobile is the topic that made the intro possible. We talked about this mind-map idea for Austin mobile scene and other, and it is great to see this happening.

It is so very exciting to continue see mobile (finally) happening, for real this time, locally and globally. And Austin is no exception; as a matter of fact, lots of mobile companies getting established and growing in Austin as we speak. Even investors in Austin, who traditionally have been very B2B or Enterprise’ish, are paying attention to mobile. Lots of companies making mobile their main focus, or understanding very well that mobile is an essential part, moving forward. The software and services and creativity getting created is just phenomenal.

Help us Map the Austin Mobile Scene (Austin Startup)…

See http://austinmobilescene.org/


23 Nov

Survey: Austin high on most-desirable list

Austin SRV
Photo: Statue of “Stevie” Ray Vaughan, Austin musician — Source UT

According to an article in the Austin Business Journal (that refers to a study co-sponsored by Monster.com), Austin Texas is the sixth most desirable city for relocation out of more than 30 cities examined in the United States.

“San Diego, San Francisco and New York were the top three most desirable cities for relocation, but the three least preferred cities also included New York at number one, along with Detroit and Los Angeles.”


31 Oct

Austin Is The Top Blogging City (in the U.S.)

According to a Scarborough Research report, Austin, TX (the city where I live) is the top blogging city (in the U.S.):

Austin, TX, Portland, OR, San Francisco and Seattle are the top markets for people who read or contributed to blogs.

“Not surprisingly, the cities that rank highly for bloggers are also prominent Internet-usage markets. Austin and San Francisco adults, for example, are more likely than the average to have a broadband connection at home,” said Gary Meo, senior vice president, print and digital media services. “Additionally, Austin, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle are markets with large high-tech economies.”

Demographically, bloggers are young and hail from middle class families. They are 66 percent more likely than the national average to be between the ages of 18 and 34. Fifty percent of bloggers are part of a household that has children under 17, as opposed to 41 percent of the total population. Bloggers are 20 percent more likely than the national average to have an annual household income between $50k and $100k per year.


(Via the Austin Startup Blog)

16 Oct

I’ve been nominated to the Texas Wireless Summit Wireless Industry Award

I’ve been nominated to the Texas Wireless Summit Wireless Industry Award — neat!

The email reads:

Congratulations! You have been nominated to receive the 2007 AWA Wireless Industry Leadership Award at this year’s Texas Wireless Summit. Due to this nomination, we are asking that you provide a 3-4 sentence overview of what you do and what you have done to help further the growth of the wireless industry in Austin?

My response back:

I am co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at eZee, inc., a mobile software solution provider where I am responsible for the company’s technology direction and product development, as well as R&D and industry standards compliance. I participate on various mobile standards bodies and am a recognized blogger and mobile technology writer.

One of my goals has been to help make Austin a leader in mobile and wireless technologies and applications. To accomplish this, I’ve spent many years creating awareness about Austin’s mobility landscape, the companies and individuals, as well as helping educate the local technology community on mobility. For example, I was a founding member of the AWA; founder of the Austin chapter of the MobileMonday global community, and AWA’s mobile application’s SIG. For a number of years I mentored UT computer science students in their senior year software engineering class.

I also am a founding member of the Carnival of the Mobilists global community of bloggers. In 2006, I helped organize and judge the Digital Convergence Initiative (DCI) of Central Texas Mobile Content Festival. I also am the leader of the Austin Bootstrap Network’s Mobile Subgroup, and also serve in SXSW Interactive Festival Advisory Board for 2008 on mobile content.

Today I continue pursuing the same goal of helping make Austin a leader in the mobile space.

In any case, win or not, what matters is that I’m hoping that Austin continues to grow in becoming a top region when it comes to mobility, and for that to happen, it takes many parts working together: the University, the local companies and individuals, the Chamber of Commerce, the entrepreneurs and the investors, and others, all working together.


13 Oct

SXSW Interactive Festival – Mobility, the votes are in…


This year I served in the advisory board for mobile content/sessions, for the 2008 SXSW Interactive Festival, where I helped in the selection of the sessions that will present at next year’s Interactive Festival (2008).

I will say that I am very pleased with the number of mobile sessions submitted by community, with more than 40. Awesome. A number of very good sessions, from known and new folks, covering the whole spectrum of mobility, from social responsibility, to mobile web, to new media, advertisement, and development, and other.

These combined with the rest of the submitted sessions covering other topics, it is going to be an awesome 2008 Interactive Festival next year. I can’t wait. You should try to attend…


09 Sep

Austin continues to attract companies

Good to see Austin continue to attract well-known companies…

The most recent one is Cray Inc.:

“Austin has a very strong high-tech community in both hardware and software and provides a deep pool of technology and engineering talent,” said Peg Williams, senior vice president of research and development at Cray. “We look forward to becoming part of the community and, at the same time, advancing Cray’s leading-edge technological strength and innovation in HPC.”

Also Google:

“Austin offers an incredible lifestyle merging Texas and technology and a rich and diverse talent pool,” spokeswoman Sunny Gettinger said in a statement. “People interested in applying should check out our listings.”

As well as PayPal:

“Austin is well-known for its strong pool of well-educated, talented professionals with the right level of expertise in technology and ecommerce,” said PayPal vice president of core technologies, Matthew Mengerink. “The area’s reputation as a great place to live and work makes it an ideal location for our center.”

And not that well-known yet, but an awesome place to work, eZee inc.:

“Austin is a great place to start your technology company; a great town to live and raise a family, it is beautiful with great outdoors, great cost-of-living, great university and schools, people are friendly, strong pool of technologist, oh and great music and food,” said eZee inc. CTO and co-founder C. Enrique Ortiz.

Heh, I just made up the above quote, but I’m not kidding, it is true. See Texas is the best place ($) for software developers. 😉