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Wednesday, March 14, 2018
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First Up

Brent: Good afternoon. Is it just me, or does it feel like Friday… on a Wednesday. SXSW has a way of bending time.

A quick note before we start: We recently launched the Austin Inno Careers Directory. If you’re hiring, swing on by and post your job to find the next member of your team.

Now, let’s kick a Beat…

The Big One

A breakdown on the day’s biggest Inno story.

SXSW Launches 

So many partnerships formed. So many new ideas explored. And, so many new startups launched.

It’s another dizzying year at SXSW. And we have at least five new, noteworthy local startup launches going on. And each of them have the potential to be real game-changers. Earlier this week, we shared news about the launch of Strangeworks, led by founder WilliamHurley (AKA whurley). We also detailed the emergence if Spendindie, an online marketplace for products from independent businesses across the nation.

Today, we learned Valkyrie Intelligence, an applied science consulting firm led by founder and CEO Charlie Burgoyne, launched Valkyrie Labs. It’s a joint venture with BuildGroup to launch and scale A.I software and hardware tech. Though it just launched today, it has already built a device to process neural network training at high speeds.

And, as you may have noticed if you walked through the SXSW Trade Show (open to everyone), Firefly Aerospace is back at it. Actually, they have been back at it for months. But they haven’t said much beyond posting jobs. That changed this week when the company brought a busload of folks up to its Cedar Park headquarters and out to its Briggs rocket testing site.

Learn about all these new startups born at SXSW in our latest post.

Making Moves

Inside the people, companies and organizations making moves today.

Google Bans Crypto Marketing 

Google joined Facebook in banning marketing of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings on Wednesday. And Bitcoin’s value fell rapidly by more than 10% on the news. The moves come amidst a “techlash” that has the public and lawmakers mulling over regulations to social media platforms and limiting the power of the world’s biggest companies, most of which are now tech-based. Many in the crypto world saw the ban as too broad.

ofo and Ghisallo Cycling Initiative Donate Bikes in Austin

ofo, the Chinese bike rental company, donated 100 bikes to Community First! Village, which provides affordable housing for some of Austin’s poorest residents. Along with the bikes, the companies provided maintenance training workshops. As you may have seen, Austin has approved a dockless bikeshare program. ofo says it plans to launch in Austin soon. And, if they do, they’ll have some funding to help them. The company raised $866M in new funding led by Alibaba yesterday.

App Dev Office Opening in Austin

InspiringApps is opening an app development office in Austin. The Boulder, Colorado-based business will have its Austin office at CapitalFactory. “Despite its rapid growth, Austin has kept its roots and continues to draw talented people committed to maintaining a sustainable work-life balance,” the company wrote in a news release.

In The Know

The Inno stories you need to read today.

– Stephen Hawking Dies at 76; His Mind Roamed the Cosmos(NYTimes)
– Austin is already planning for the future of autonomous vehicles, according to SXSW panel (Community Impact)
– How Amazon’s Bottomless Appetite Became Corporate America’s Nightmare (Bloomberg)
– How Fort Worth is building its tech cred with a splashy SXSW outing(Dallas Morning News)

In The Community

The events and happenings to know about tonight and this week.



Keeping Austin Weird & Wired

The fun stuff

Smells Like Onion and Musck

Gonna kick it to Will Flanagan, American Inno’s national director of product and strategy, today. In the Atlanta Inno Beat, he wrote about news that Elon Musk, who was in Austin earlier this week, has poached several writers from satirical news site The Onion for a secret comedy project.

Here’s what Will wrote:

What could this possibly be? Let me take a few (Onion-inspired) guesses…

  • The Hyperdupe: A super-fast transportation solution that never sends you to the right location. “Want to get to Columbus from Chicago in 15 minutes? Duped! You’re in Wichita now.”
  • Chess-la: A super-expensive, electric-powered, software-enabled chess board.
  • SpaceEx: A startup that allows you to send your ex to space.
  • Elon’s Musk: A line of perfume and candles that smells like Elon Musk.

Featured Jobs

Featured startup and tech jobs on Austin Inno’s new Careers Directory.

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Meet The Author

Brent Wistrom

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