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Elon Musk says Texas is on the short list of places he hopes will soon have a Hyperloop transit system.

If it can go DC to NYC in 29 minutes (that’s about 230 miles), it should be able to connect Austin to Dallas, Houston and San Antonio even quicker. Who wants to meet me for happy hour at The Friendly Spot in San Antonio… we’ll be home by sundown (in like 5-10 years)?

Brent: The coding bootcamp industry has been on shaky ground for more than a year. But it wasn’t until recently that the impacts of an over-saturated market and increasing skepticism proved too much for some of the industries best-known brands.

Today, The Iron Yard announced on its web pages that it is shutting down after its current round of students graduate and get post-grad career assistance. In March, the coding school announced it would shut down in San Antonio, Columbia, South Carolina; Cincinnati; and Minneapolis-St. Paul. 

And, just last week, Dev Bootcamp announced it is closing down — also after current students complete their curriculum and get career help.

But before anyone declares the death of vocational tech education, consider the wild growth of the industry in recent years. A study by Course Report says coding schools are a $266M industry. GeekWire also reported on a 2017 Coding Bootcamp Market Size Study that coding school grads are poised to reach 22.8K this year. In 2016, it was 15K. And that’s 10X the number of students graduating in 2012.

And several coding schools remain in Austin, including Galvanize, General Assembly and Hack Reactor. Austin’s tech scene remains hungry to hire people with unique skills. So, whatever the future may hold for coding schools, it’s likely the strongest programs in the industry will continue to evolve, not fade away.

eRelevance Corporation, an Austin-based marketing automation startup, has appointed Andy Acaru as vice president of field sales and John Nippler as vice president of business development. Acaru has worked in various leading sales roles, including director of North American sales, at Cynosure. Nippler was previously national director of portfolio sales at Merz North America.

– Experian Consumer Services, the company that acquired Austin’s CSID last year, hired Austin tech veteran Anand Srinivasan as COO of its Experian Partner Solutions business. Srinivasan has previously held several high-profile roles, including chief of staff to the CEO at HomeAway and roles at Dell.

Episode Six, an Austin-born payments software company, is opening a new office in Tokyo. It also has offices in Austin and Hong Kong. 

Jana Partners LLC has sold off its shares of Whole Foods and made roughly $300M. As you may recall, Jana Partners earlier this year disclosed an 8 percent stake in the Austin-based grocer and pressured the company to make big changes and consider a sale. The day after Whole Foods announced it would be acquired by Amazon, Jana Partners started selling shares. Federal filings show Jana Partners sold share in a series of moves for a combined $1.09B. The hedge fund is reported to have paid about $794.5M for its 8% stake in the Austin-based organic grocer. 

– The so-called “bathroom bills” will get their first hearings at the state Capitol Friday morning at 9. The bills, SB 3 and SB 91, are being opposed by the Austin Tech Alliance and hundreds of tech executives and tech company employees. The ATA has a post about how you can engage in the political process — or just watch online.

– Tonight is Austin Tech Happy Hour at The Dogwood. (Details)

A two-headed dog might be a frightening sight. Unless it’s made of cake. That’s the case for Sideserf Cake Studio in Austin, which made a two-headed dog cake for an Austin musician’s 70th birthday, austin360 reported. As you might be guessing, the musician has a song called “Two-Headed Dog.”

Turns out this cake studio has made a few crazy-looking cakes. Check out that lineup on their Facebook photo page. Makes the two-headed dog look tame. 

Send news tips, feedback and rants to: brent@austininno.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @AustinInno and @BrentWistrom  

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