Austin Technology Incubator Recaps Successful First Formal Year of Landing Pad Program

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ATI Landing Pad Program Leads to 13 Companies Relocating and Successfully Integrating into the Austin Business Community in 2011

The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), a not-for-profit part of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin (UT), today recapped a very successful first formal year of its Landing Pad Program. The Landing Pad Program supports early stage technology companies by leveraging ATI’s network and community insight to accelerate that company’s acculturation into the Austin business ecosystem. While the program has been in place loosely in the past, in its first formal year in 2011, ATI supported 13 companies in their moves to Austin, including: Amatra, BlackLocus, Convergence Wireless, Digital Harmony Games, Drivve, DXUp Close, SceneTap, Social Muse, Tactical Information Systems and V-Chain Solutions. Additionally, serial entrepreneur Ben Dyer moved to Austin from Atlanta with TechDrawl, and he has since helped launch and relocate two new startups: NightRaft and BeHome247.

“We are so proud of the business environment that exists in Austin, all the right ingredients for success, but via a supportive, community approach. So it goes without saying, we always want to recruit companies from elsewhere to come experience what Austin is all about,” said Robert Reeves, ATI’s Director of IT and Wireless. “The Landing Pad Program formalizes a twenty plus year “welcoming” effort, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the 13 companies who became part of the Austin ecosystem in 2011.”

The Austin Technology Incubator’s Landing Pad Program is designed to accelerate the acculturation of a company into the Austin ecosystem. It serves companies relocating to Austin or establishing its North American headquarters in the city. Participants tend to be “early stage” high technology companies in the biosciences, clean energy, wireless and IT industries and are not appropriate for the incentive packages targeted for the Fortune 1000.

Beginning its 23rd year, ATI’s influence extends beyond the 200+ portfolio companies it has incubated over more than two decades, to the greater University of Texas network and overall Austin community. Programs like 3 Day Startup, the new 1 Semester Startup UT class that ATI co-leads and this Landing Pad Program, continue to expand the value of ATI to more and more companies and entrepreneurs.

A few of the 2011 Landing Pad companies are described below, and share their thoughts on ATI, and Austin.

Amatra, a global provider of multi-channel smart communication solutions for public and campus safety, and business and government commerce and outreach, moved to Austin from Indiana in 2011. Amatra CEO Kishan Siram said, “ATI’s strong track record of helping take start-ups to the next level and connecting them with potential funding sources through its business expertise, industry knowledge, networking opportunities and ties to UT is what attracted us most.”

BlackLocus, which helps online retailers price their products through its SaaS platform, uses machine learning algorithms developed at Carnegie Mellon. Relocating from Pittsburgh to Austin, in large part to have greater access to talent, capital, and strategic partnerships, Black Locus CEO Rodrigo Carvalho said, "The ATI folks received us with open arms. They introduced us to a lot of important people in the Austin community and gave us office space to work from while we were settling in."

Digital Harmony Games is a B2B software developer of “Harmony Tech,” a network technology that enables any and all game developers the ability to connect Smartphone, tablet, and browser platforms into the same environment in real time. Digital Harmony CEO, Jeff Lujan said, “We are thrilled to be part of the ATI Landing Pad Program, as the support and advisement we receive from the seasoned professional staff combined with the charisma of other entrepreneurs adds momentum and opportunity for our future success.”

Drivve optimizes document intensive business processes from image capture and processing, to document management and workflow, to print and output management with its software solutions. Drivve CEO Jacob Park said, “We looked to ATI for its distinguished history of providing member companies with strategic insights and key connections in the worlds of business and technology, as well as for the opportunity to forge bonds with other exciting technology companies in the Austin area.”

V-Chain Solutions focuses on improving business response, key to consumer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty. It automates routine decision using artificial intelligence, which enables users to detect, analyze, and solve problems deep in the supply chain to prevent business disruptions. V-Chain Solutions CEO James Vinson says, “We relocated to Austin, from California to work with top scientists from UT, those specializing in artificial intelligence, neural networking, evolutionary computations and machine learning.”

“ATI has always been focused on finding, welcoming, integrating and helping make successful new technology companies, whether from Austin or not,” said Eve Richter, Emerging Technologies Coordinator, City of Austin. “Over the past few years, the Landing Pad concept has brought two dozen companies to town, and we are so thrilled ATI has really taken the program up a notch, formalizing it in 2011. The City of Austin is proud to support ATI in all efforts, including the Landing Pad Program.”

The criteria to participate in the Landing Pad Program consists of a company that it is in one of ATI’s areas of focus, new to the Austin community, can become self-sustaining in six months or less, and demonstrates a long-term commitment to the Austin ecosystem. To apply to the program, companies are invited to complete an application at and are asked to select the Landing Pad program at the appropriate stage. Invitation to participate in the program is selective. Cost to participate in the program may include membership fees, equity and space rental as appropriate. For more information, call 512-305-0000.

More about the Austin Technology Incubator:
The Austin Technology Incubator is a not-for-profit unit of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin that harnesses business, government and academic resources to provide strategic counsel, operational guidance and infrastructure support to its member companies to help them transition from early stage ventures to successful technology businesses. Since its founding in 1989, ATI has worked with hundreds of companies, helping raise close to $1 billion in investor capital. For more information, visit

Laura Beck for ATI


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Kirsten Frazee
The Austin Technology Incubator
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