Video: Kevin talks to us about Centro Fox – A Leadership Training Center in Guanajuato

Centro Fox

Kevin has been spending the last week in Mexico! Listen to him talk about Centro Fox:

The Fox Center has a responsibility and a fundamental commitment to human beings, as the beginning and end of political action and social life, as well as the objectives, the general will and the interests of society, based on principles as well common, solidarity, subsidiarity, social justice and citizen participation. He believes that education is the base of the main strategic factors that companies should promote to deal with prospects of success, the challenges of this century human being. The scientific and technological advance that is emerging as the hub of economic and social progress has as prerequisites information, knowledge, education, research and culture. These are the foundations that gave rise to the main activities of the Fox Center for Leadership Training The challenge is before humanity is to adopt new ways of thinking, acting and organize society, in short, new ways to live.

Meet our Mentors & Advisors

Key to Success

Over the past few months we’ve made an effort to help you all identify our fabulous mentors & advisors! Since not everyone peruses the website on a regular basis, we thought we’d highlight them here for you. These accomplished individuals are involved in helping develop and execute on Tech Ranch strategy, mentor students in the Venture Forth program and serve as advisors, board members and entrepreneurs-in-residence for companies in our Venture Builder program.

Please join us in thanking these individuals for their time and effort!

DaDavid Johnstonvid Johnston

David has been a 10X serial entrepreneur developing companies in various different fields from software to biotech. He co-founded the BitAngels in 2013 (the world’s largest angel group) and now serves as the Managing Director for the Decentralized Application Venture Fund. As the Managing Director, David evaluates projects in the Decentralized Applications & Protocols space that are based on open source software, and use a distributed blockchain for token ownership and access to the application.  He also serves as a Board Member at the Factom Foundation, which encourages the development of applications on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. David got into the Bitcoin space in 2012 and has been excited to see the disruptive potential of the technology in finance and beyond. David and his wife currently reside in Austin, TX.Venture Builder Ad

Steve MaysonaveSteve Maysonave

Trusted Advisor to CEOs and Boards. Acknowledged expert in sales, strategic planning, marketing and global partner development. Thirty years international experience with an established track record of team building, acceleration of revenues, and extraordinary international growth. Operational experience includes six years as CEO, building operations in the US, Europe, India and Japan, and running five worldwide sales operations, three of which were built from scratch. Veteran of multiple startups. In-depth application and industry knowledge in cloud computing, security, enterprise software, consulting services, energy, financial services, healthcare, IT outsourcing and mobile. Global, executive contact base of CIOs, Outsourcers, SIs, VCs.

Chelsea McCulloughChelsea McCullough

Chelsea supports initiatives that leverage technology to make a positive social and civic impact. In her role as Executive Director of Texans for Economic Progress, she facilitates dialog between the statewide technology community and elected officials, advocating for greater access to tech education, entrepreneurship and infrastructure. She is also a Founding Partner of Impact Hub Austin, a local effort within a global network to provide co-working and incubation for social ventures. She is active in several organizations that encourage economic solutions to global challenges including the World Economic Forum Global Shapers, UnltdUSA (social entrepreneur accelerator), LeadershipAustin, The Seton 50, EGBI, ImpactTexas (conference on impact investing) and serves on the City of Austin Tech & Telecomm Commission. She was founding Director for RISE (an annual entrepreneurs conference), Marketing Director at MPOWER Labs (financial services for the underserved) and served in the Governor’s Office in Economic Development. She received the Austin Under 50 Award in Science & Technology (2015), BPE Ascendant Award (2013), was an ABJ Profiles in Power Finalist (2013). She is a Leadership Austin graduate (2010). Her “side project” involves launching a modular furniture start-up, Mable, which will provide affordable, beautiful furniture made for moving that is produced from sustainable materials and manufactured in the USA. Chelsea has masters and bachelor degrees in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.

Graham McFarlandGraham McFarland

Graham is a practicing entrepreneur, knee deep in his fifth start-up. He has successfully built, funded and exited multiple companies ranging from $10K in sales to over $10M in sales. He has also experienced a few failures as part of his journey. Graham joined the Cinegif team in early 2012.  He was the Founder and CEO of ExpressDigital and PhotoReflect software, a web service company focused on enhancing photography workflows. The company was sold in 2011.  Under his leadership, ExpressDigital garnered over 30,000 customers worldwide and powered the portrait solutions for Wal-Mart, Sears, Carnival Cruise Lines and Canon.   As a digital imaging pioneer, Graham became a well-known spokesperson for this segment of the photographic industry, and in 2007 he was named by Dealerscope Magazine as a member of its “40 Under 40” list of top executives.

Graham’s companies have been recognized as some of Deloitte’s 50 fastest growing technology companies and members of the Inc. 5000. He was also an Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist in Colorado. He has successfully raised over $12M of start-up financing for his companies including from friends and family, angel, venture, and debt.  You can read about one of Graham’s early start-up experiences in Entrepreneur Magazine. Graham received his Bachelors degree in Accounting from Texas A&M University in 1990 and is a CPA.  He is an educator and mentor at the entrepreneurial incubator Tech Ranch and a guest lecturer on start-up related topics at St. Edwards University and Texas A&M University’s Startup Aggieland.

Suzanne PierceSuzanne Pierce

Assistant Professor of Research, Jackson School of Geosciences.

Suzanne Pierce is a computational Earth Scientist.  She is uses a scholar-practitioner approach to integrate scientific information with technology systems. Leading applications include decision support systems for conflict resolution applied to groundwater and energy case studies.  She has developed innovative teaching techniques that incorporate interactive games with 3D printed tangibles and content that aligns with next generation science standards.

Ben RamirezBen Ramirez

International Economic Development Manager for the City of Austin

Ben Ramirez is responsible for the City of Austin’s governmental initiatives for projects involving international economic development and foreign direct investment. His duties include creating, coordinating and managing the City of Austin’s global economic development strategic plan with division staff and partner organizations.

Drawing from professional experience earned in the public and private sectors, Ben has assisted international business expansion efforts around the globe. Ben has a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Michigan, and a JD from the University of Toledo. He is an associate member of the Texas Camino Real District Export Council; a board member of CleanTX and the Austin Latino Music Association; Secretary of the Board for Central Texas Foreign Trade Zone #183; external advisory board member of the University of Texas Center for European Studies; and Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Austin.

Glori RamirezGlori Ramirez

Ms. Ramirez is a seasoned management consultant with over 14 years’ experience in business strategy, revenue growth, and new business design and launch. She’s worked with Fortune 100 and 500 clients to implement and execute the operational, financial, and management structures necessary to achieve revenue growth objectives. She currently advises and assists startup companies on strategy, business model design and operations.

Glori received her BA in Economics from Cornell University. She grew up in New York and now lives in Austin, TX.

Rudy RosenRudy (Rudolph) Rosen

Rudolph Rosen is a Research Professor at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Texas State University. He is a former Director of Fisheries, Wildlife and Coastal Resources for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and was Executive Director of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Dr. Rosen has been executive director and regional director of three of the nation’s largest nonprofit science-driven conservation organizations. At one of these, Ducks Unlimited, he was responsible for managing over 500 water development projects and wetlands inventories annually, constituting $130 million in total activity and involving over 2,000 business partnerships with federal, state, and private funders. This included developing advanced technology and models for evaluating and responding to sea level rise along the Pacific Coast. He has had P&L responsibility for organizations of $100+ million, 1,400+ staff and 100+ facilities.  Most recently he has been responsible for managing H2O, a water education program focusing on integrating new mobile and interactive technologies into youth education curricula about water. Dr. Rosen has been appointed to over 130 water and natural resource-related boards, commissions, and committees and has written over 500 articles, presentations, and blogs on water and natural resource-related policy, science, and organization management. He recently wrote “Texas Aquatic Science” a peer-reviewed science textbook on water for high school and university students, available from Texas A&M University Press.

Michele SkeldingMichele Skelding

Michele Skelding is the Senior Vice President of Global Technology and Innovation for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce where she leads the development and execution of the organization’s vision for Central Texas as a top global region for technology innovation, company formation and expansion, in addition to increasing top access to private equity and venture capital. In this role, Michele cultivates emerging and strategic technology growth that identifies next generation technology and innovation trends, as well as facilitating the vital interconnection of Austin’s burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem for company inception and growth acceleration. Michele is an integral member of Austin’s entrepreneurial community, previously serving in leadership positions with the Central Texas Angel Network, one of the top angel networks in the nation, and as a mentor with Incubation Station, a business accelerator that brings together Austin’s notable entrepreneurs, investors and advisors. Prior to the Austin Chamber, Michele served as Senior Director of Global Business Development, Marketing & Communications for Appconomy, a mobile app software company dually headquartered in Shanghai and Austin. Michele has also held senior positions with Lifeproof Cases, First Mobile Technologies, G-51 Capital, Augmentix Corporation, Dell and AT&T’s executive leadership development program.

Venture Forth Ad 

Graduate Company Highlights – VF #27

Venture Forth 27

dealer10x roundDealer10X

Dealer10X is making automotive sales people better with the SalesDawg App.   Salesdawg is an app that uses competition to better educate automotive sales staff on sales skills, inventory and the automotive market.

Team:

Stephen Granger, CEO

Brendhan Botkin, CFO

Jonathan King, CTO

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Fun2 Learn Code


Fun 2 Learn Code

We provide computer programming classes and summer camps to young people in order for them to learn to create with technology and the opportunities that can provide.

Team: Manny Castro, CEO

Website

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

OnePay


OnePay

OnePay is your central point for saving time and money with bills.

We are an online bill paying service that consolidates all of your monthly payments into a single bill and a single place. Furthermore, we save you money by optimizing your bills and finding saving opportunities, either by flagging fees that you are not supposed to get charged, finding a more adequate plan to fit your needs, or simply, finding a better deal out there.

Team:

Jesus Lopez

David Dewey

Jan Jose Ruiz

Kathryn Bonesteel

X8bit Development

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Blog

Crunchbase

Angel List

Student Spaces


Student Spaces

Our website connects college students with off campus housing options using an online platform focused on renter education. Student Spaces is taking the headache out of finding your next off-campus rental. From off-campus apartments to fully furnished luxurious student living, Student Spaces is your one stop housing resource.

Team:

Nassim Joseph, President & Housing Expert

Katherine Barr, Operations Specialist

Trey Kelley, Financial Pro

Website

Twitter

Facebook

SXSW Success! Highlights from Tech Ranch International Programming

Japan 1

Now that the rush of SXSW is behind us, we can reflect on the amazing experiences we had throughout the Interactive festival. To check out all of our pics, click here.

Our most popular speakers!

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox

IMG_2402 14 12

Austin Mayor Steve Adler

10406726_10155250920515401_3650850738954276499_n 11074474_10155250920340401_5629732712365682985_n

Frank Breust, VP of Governmental Affairs for BMW

IMG_2399

Alexander Oser, Metaio, Inc.

7IMG_2397

Ravi Pradhan, VP of Technology Strategy at Siemens Smart Grid

IMG_2513 IMG_2515

Our fun, spirited delegations:

Korea

DCamp brought five fascinating and innovative companies to pitch and share their ideas with the SXSW attendees – and to top it off, hosted the Geeks from Gangnam Kpop concert at the Brass House!

10797_10155250380105401_2523527445230914649_n 10382757_10155256255020401_1138666609721770129_n 10404072_10155250380470401_5234466642893652272_n 10423296_10155250379490401_6349751224195355053_n 11074448_10155256254850401_2527107314260500617_n

Bavaria

Invest-in-Bavaria arrived in Austin full of excitement and vigor. As a group they were part of the larger German Haus, throwing parties and hosting speakers throughout the event. For Tech Ranch we were lucky enough to have had speakers like Frank Breust from BMW and Alexander Oser from augmented reality company Metaio.

IMG_0461 9 IMG_250411062809_10155250381265401_6711333664604194571_n

Japan

With 25+ delegates, our partners from NEDO and JETRO brought great speakers, pitch companies and FUN!

10659422_10155237949310401_762631623697545838_n  Japan 2 IMG_0445 Japan 1

Mexico

Startup Mexico is a group we’ve been working with over the past year in multiple areas, and SXSW was the ultimate partnership. With major focuses on education and commerce initiatives, their speakers were engaging and informative.

IMG_2459 IMG_2426 IMG_2495 10923641_10155237951485401_4912241618623207736_n

Hong Kong

With companies like Neogeno and Simple Wearables Limited – HK Cyberport was a great addition to our program!

IMG_0467IMG_2489

Israel

We felt lucky to have two great companies from Israel join us – Gigya and Onysus.

21 Onysus

Thanks to everyone who made this year a success and we can’t wait to make it even better in 2016!

President Vicente Fox Visits Tech Ranch

5

While we couldn’t discuss it before the fact, Tech Ranch was lucky enough to host former President Vicente Fox of Mexico last week. While I will admit that having a head of state come to office was stressful, it was trumped by the fact that he is truly motivated to impact change.  In our Training Room, there were various members of his organization, Austin area entrepreneurs and representatives from multiple groups looking to focus on social good and enterprise.

This is just the jumping off point for bridging the gap between Mexico and Texas, specifically Austin. We are happy to announce that we’ll also be having President Fox as part of our SXSW Interactive schedule – with more information coming soon…

We love all of the exciting things happening here at the Ranch! Check out our pics below:

5Fox 1 Fox 4 Fox2 Fox3

Record Opening Day for Art & Craft Crowfall Kickstarter Campaign

Crowfall Header

We love celebrating wins around the Ranch and today has been exciting for multiple reasons (more on that in the next blog post :))! Long-time Tech Ranch company, Art & Craft Entertainment, launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new game, Crowfall.

While I may not understand everything about the gaming industry, I DO understand what a successful fundraising campaign looks like. Crowfall’s Kickstarter campaign opened at 8 AM this morning and by 10 AM had raised over $200K. As I’m writing this the number continues to tick upwards, just hitting $350K in the last 10 minutes.

According to Creative Director, J. Todd Coleman,

“Crowfall is a new type of online gaming experience. Our goal with Crowfall is to create a game that feels more visceral, more immersive…We want thousands of people to take the role of warriors, nobles, crafters, assassins, mercenaries…and then co-operate and compete in a virtual ‘game of thrones’. 

Basically, we are trying to build a living, breathing simulation of a fantasy World.”

This marks a huge milestone for the company that has been preparing the launch of the campaign for months. From the Tech Ranch perspective, we’ve been watching them slowly take over more and more space in the northwest corner of our new office and we could tell that something big was on the horizon.  We encourage you to support them in their mission to reach $800K by visiting their Kickstarter page and sharing their campaign information with others!

Crowfall Kickstarter

Tech Ranch International at SXSWi

Global

Tech Ranch International at SXSWi - One-PagerIt is the event everyone is talking about – and has been for months – SXSW! Over the course of my first month here at Tech Ranch, I’ve been lucky enough to speak with partner delegations from Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Mexico and South Korea. These countries, with the addition of a partnership with The Netherlands through the Austin Technology Incubator, are going to be traveling to participate in Tech Ranch International at SXSWi.

We have developed programming that allows our partners in the countries above to send featured speakers, panelists and startups to participate in sessions across five industry verticals. These verticals include: Water/Energy, Transportation, Commerce, Education and Healthcare. As we near the big event, our partners are sending their top picks, who not only will represent their country and Tech Ranch but also the innovation happening in their sector.

Each vertical will have five attached sessions: Featured Speaker, Panel, Startup Pitches, Campfire and Speed Dating. Of the course of four days the sessions will be hosted all over downtown Austin, with the addition of country-specific events for Bavaria, Japan, South Korea and Mexico helping them bring awareness to their innovative programs.

We’d love for you to keep up with our program updates by liking our Facebook page and following our SXSWi website. Feel free to tell your friends and share your own information as well!

Global

AEM and Tech Ranch Partner to Support Entrepreneurs in Texas and Mexico

AEM

AEM and Tech Ranch Partner to Support Entrepreneurs in Texas and Mexico

AEM Austin, TX – January 26, 2015 – The mission statements of AEM and Tech Ranch highlight the following key words: opportunities, innovation, cultural values, development, entrepreneurs and community. The new partnership being launched between these groups will only serve to strengthen and enhance the execution of these missions.  Main goals include supporting Mexican entrepreneurs looking to enter the United States market and assisting U.S. companies who are looking for a bridge into the booming Mexico marketplace.

AEM and Tech Ranch are looking to build and maintain a bridge between entrepreneurs in both countries. By offering a special focus on tech-related ventures and benefits for AEM members, Tech Ranch is going to offer programs, co-working space and support for visitors and companies new to the area.  AEM will also become involved in Tech Ranch’s SXSW Global Connections programming the week of March 13 – 17th.

The kick-off event for the partnership will be taking place January 29, 2015 from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the new Tech Ranch office located at 8920 Business Park Drive, Suite 250, Austin, TX 78759. The event is open to the public and there will be giveaways, drinks and food for everyone’s enjoyment!

About AEM

In June 2012, a group of Mexican entrepreneurs gathered to form a chapter of the EMP in Austin. This group, AEM, is now part of the Mexican Association of Entrepreneurs, which was founded in 1996 in San Antonio, TX and now has a presence in several cities across Mexico and the U.S. AEM’s main objective is to help business leaders become successful in both countries. Additional objectives include supporting, collaborating and influencing bilateral relations and conducting business, social and cultural events to help with integration.

About Tech Ranch

Tech Ranch is differentiated by the focus on entrepreneur education and development, international expansion and the drive to create a true community for entrepreneurs near and far. Kevin Koym, Founder and CEO, has developed this community to focus on four key values: respect, risk, community and excellence. Development programs, including Venture Forth, an 8-week boot camp, aim to help entrepreneur gain real traction, not just learn about business. With its close ties to the Austin startup scene and an open-door policy for all types of entrepreneurs, Tech Ranch positively impact the startup landscape in the coming year.

Tech Ranch Spotlight: TeVido BioDevices

TeVidoBioDevices-3D

TeVidoBioDevices-3DOver the past couple years, Laura Bosworth-Bucher of TeVido BioDevices and I have crossed paths many times, but this was the first opportunity I’ve had to really sit down with her and get the scoop on TeVido. If you aren’t familiar, TeVido BioDevices is a biotech startup that was founded to 3-D print human tissue. As a member of the Advisory Board for the UTEP College of Engineering, Laura met the inventor of the technology and initially didn’t plan on making a business out of what she was learning. After doing what all good entrepreneurs know to do, market research and validation, she realized that there really did exist a problem that could be solved.

Starting with wound care, TeVido realized that it was just too hard to get a good grasp on the market and pivoted to breast reconstruction after a couple of eye-opening meetings with plastic surgeons from Seton. Breast reconstruction made sense on many levels, and the decision to begin with the 3-D printing of nipples stemmed from the lack of attractive options (think a tattoo), the fact that the procedures are covered by insurance and because the size was something the 3-D printer was capable of creating more easily.

Throughout the course of these pivots, the team truly took advantage of the Austin startup ecosystem. Initially, the decision to land in Austin was a tough one. As most of you know, the biotech investment scene here isn’t robust. While we plan on seeing a lot of growth as the new Dell Medical School is built, when Laura started out she was counting on the connections and opportunities that did exist to carry the weight.

What she found was what has kept most of us here, which is the fact that Austin is a soft place to land. The community goes out of its way to help entrepreneurs and we work hard to avoid the hard and fast nature of other innovation centers. For example, Michael Patton of Medical Innovation Labs, Cindy WalkerPeach of the Austin Technology Incubator, members of the BioAustin non-profit and Michelle Skelding from the Austin Chamber have all assisted in making connections, providing assistance and working closely with TeVido. The list of relationships is long: Texas Venture Labs at UT, Biotech meetups, Livestrong, Austin Community College and of course, our very own Tech Ranch. Tech Ranch was proud to be the home of Scott Collins and his non-profit RxDonate.com and was where Laura met up with him and convinced him to eventually become her CTO and VP of Product Development. Using the Ranch as space for not only TeVido activities but also for events related to the Avinde female entrepreneurship accelerator.

That being said, we are thrilled to see how well Laura and Scott are doing with TeVido. Between grants and private funding they have raised over $1.2M. This is a lot of money, but almost $40M will be needed to get their product to market. One step of this process is securing the patents necessary to protect their investment as they continue development. In order to help fund the process, they have launched an Indiegogo campaign with incentives such as 3-D printed chocolate breasts, custom jewelry and art created by a breast cancer survivor. We encourage you to help them out. With 12 days left and $20K more to raise, every couple of dollars counts!

As a final takeaway, I wanted to ask Laura what she felt were the three hardest things about being an entrepreneur. Each startup and team has a different experience but we all know that perseverance pays off :)

1. Things take much longer than expected and than they should

2. The highs and lows are very extreme and leave you feeling very alone at times

3. Funding for a biotech is Austin is a huge challenge!

What is a Tech Ranch Campfire?

Campfire Blog Post - 1

Campfire Blog Post - 1As most of you know, the number of networking events in Austin is growing by the day. “Meet new people”, “have some drinks”, and “network for your business” are all common phrases when you are scouring through the events pages – I will admit, I’ve used them all. We are not here to tell you that you won’t get all of those amazing perks at a Tech Ranch Campfire session, but you will do so in a new way.

Campfire networking works by channeling the group that attends and what they can offer to the greater community of “Ranchers”. The afternoon sessions start at 3:30 PM at the Tech Ranch offices (8920 Business Park Drive, Suite 250!) with a brief introduction to the space, team members and programs.  From there, Kevin leads the group on a fact-finding mission…first asking attendees to share any updates or “asks” they have regarding their entrepreneurial venture and then breaking everyone into smaller groups to really dig deep into how we can all help each other.

Kevin, our CEO and Founder, will ask each of the small groups to have a discussion. This discussion involves each person providing an “ask” and a “give”. Generally, it is a lot easier to ask for help then give advice or offer help, but entrepreneurs need as many resources and contacts as they can get to succeed.

After sharing we continue to “meet new people”, start to “have some drinks” and follow-up on potential “networking for your business”. We hope to see you at one or every upcoming Campfire!

To learn more click here.

To RSVP click here.

Campfire 3 Campfire 6