Austin, TX (PRWEB) January 30, 2014
Last night, at a joint graduation and 25th anniversary celebration, the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), part of the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, recognized Manoj Saxena with the Laura J. Kilcrease Civic Entrepreneurship Award. As those gathered celebrated ATI’s 25th anniversary and the Incubator’s newest 25 graduates, Saxena was recognized for his many business and civic contributions to Austin. Saxena joins an esteemed cohort of past Kilcrease award winners, including Pike Powers, Lee Walker, William (Bill) G. Bock, Neal Kocurek, Luci Baines Johnson, Michael Dell and, most recently, Gary Farmer.
Manoj Saxena, a veteran entrepreneur, has founded, scaled and sold two successful venture-backed software companies: Exterprise, acquired by Commerce One in 2001, and Webify, acquired by IBM in 2006. Both were ATI portfolio companies. Since joining IBM as the General Manager, Watson Solutions, IBM Software Group, Saxena has remained a valuable part of the ATI network as a mentor and advisor, continuing to devote his time and energy to help the next generation of Austin-based technology companies.
At IBM, Saxena has directed the operational and strategic initiatives to commercialize industry solutions based on the IBM’s transformative Watson technology. Saxena holds two U.S. software patents and has received numerous business awards including Entrepreneur of the Year, IT Technologist of the Year, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University from where he received his MBA in 1991.
Despite his busy schedule, Saxena still finds time for community service and philanthropy, serving as board member or advisor to numerous organizations, including The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Austin Technology Council, Global Giving, Communities in Schools, St Edwards University Business School and Michigan State University’s Center for Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Finance.
Saxena has invested some of the proceeds of his earlier business successes to build the Saxena Family Foundation, which is committed to improving the quality of life of women, children and senior citizens. Founded in 2002, the Foundation focuses on initiatives that promote U.S. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and the empowerment of young women.
“Manoj is one of our early corporate spin outs from 3M and a favorite ATI success story, for sure,” said Laura Kilcrease, ATI’s first director and Managing Director at Triton Ventures. “He prevailed in starting successful technology companies twice, stayed with IBM after an acquisition sharing his immense intellect there. But it is the time he finds to give back, especially though his own Family Foundation, that I find most inspiring. I am so proud he is one of the Civic Entrepreneurship Award winners.”
First awarded in 1998, the Kilcrease Award is given to business leaders in recognition of their contributions to the Austin community. Past winners have included Austin area influencers such as Pike Powers, Lee Walker, Michael Dell, Dr. Neal Kocurek, William G. Bock, Luci Baines Johnson and, most recently, Gary Farmer. The award is named for Laura J. Kilcrease, founding director of the Austin Technology Incubator and current Managing Director at Triton Ventures, who has dedicated her career to advancing Austin’s tech economy.
The 25th anniversary event included the graduation of 25 ATI portfolio companies and was held last night, Wednesday, January 29. ATI deeply appreciates the following companies whose sponsorship helped make this event possible: AT&T, HPI, IBM, Norton Rose Fulbright and Pike Powers Lab.
About the Austin Technology Incubator:
The Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) is the startup incubator of the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin. ATI works with seed and pre-seed-stage companies, helping prepare these businesses for commercial success, with a particular focus on helping startups compete in the capital markets. The Incubator has operated since 1989 with a dual mission: create jobs and wealth in Central Texas through technology entrepreneurship, and provide distinctive teaching and research opportunities to the UT-Austin community.
Over the past 10 years, ATI companies have created more than 5,500 jobs, nearly $1 billion in economic impact, and over $20 million in tax revenues in Central Texas.