News

ATI’s Mitch Jacobson named Economic Development Volunteer of the Year

Mitch JacobsonThe Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce has named ATI Director Mitch Jacobson the Economic Development Volunteer of the Year for 2017.

He was one of 12 outstanding business volunteers named by the Chamber. The 12 honorees will be recognized during the Chamber’s 140th Annual Meeting scheduled for February 6, 2018.

Jacobson has a long history of community service, including advisory board membership for the Nature Conservancy, the UT Environmental Science Institute, and EcoRise. In 2016 he was named “Mentor of the Year” by Austin Under 40.

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Second cohort of Austin small businesses graduate from FASTForward program

17 Austin small businesses have completed the second annual FASTForward small business accelerator program. The program was developed and led by the IC² Institute and supported by the City of Austin Economic Development Department’s Small Business Program.

FASTForward participants made their final presentations and received a Completion Certificate issued by the IC² Institute on December 4, 2017 in City Council Chambers.

FASTForward 2017 graduation

Participating companies were Elevated Evolution LLC; Austin Language Learning School; Emoji’s Grilled Cheese Bar; The Maximus Box; Fandindo Textiles LLC; Got Dirty Blinds? LLC; Your Smart Closet, Inc.; Melissa Borrell Design; Lua Brazil LLC; Tamale Addiction; Garbo’s; Stitch Texas; Sweet Ritual Vegan Ice Cream; Skybridge Academy; Spirit Pieces; Crushing Tigers; and Bright Production Development.

Learn more about the participants on the FASTForward companies page.

The small businesses, recruited through the minority chambers of commerce and other small business resource organizations, enjoyed the assistance of dozens of experienced community mentors, including MBA students from The University of Texas. Having student involvement has the two-fold benefit of providing the students with real world experience while giving the business owners a fresh, new vantage point.

The FASTForward initiative was created to help address the growth disparity in Austin. On average, women- and minority-owned small businesses do not achieve the same annual revenue and overall growth as the average majority-owned business in Austin. The City’s Economic Development Department is committed to closing that disparity gap.

For more information see:

FASTForward 2017 graduation

FASTForward 2017 graduation

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FASTForward startups appear on Foodie Friday

Emojis Grilled Cheese Bar and Garbo’s ATX were featured on two segments of Foodie Friday, the KVUE series exploring the Austin food scene.

The two food trucks are among several culinary startups in IC²’s FASTForward entrepreneurship program for Austin small businesses.

FASTForward is a 10-week training program for Austin-based small businesses designed to accelerate business growth and maximize profit. FASTForward was developed by the IC² Institute and is supported by the City of Austin.

Watch the videos, and then explore the full range of companies in the FASTForward portfolio.

For more information you may visit the Emojis and Garbos websites.

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New Austin Technology Incubator leadership featured in the Austin Business Journal

New ATI Director Mitch Jacobson highlights ATI’s focus on “deep tech.”

Today’s Austin Business Journal featured a story on new leadership at the Austin Technology Incubator.

Mitch Jacobson, who has led the ATI Clean Energy Incubator since 2009, was named in October as director of ATI.

Highlights of the article:

“We’re doubling down on this type of ‘deep tech,’ where we’re trying to solve really hard problems with tech solutions” — something Austin’s other incubators and accelerators aren’t doing, Jacobson said. “And we intend to be a better and more influential partner in the community’s startup arena.” …

“We also want to improve our efforts working within UT, across all disciplines, to find technologies developed here that we can commercialize to tackle challenges like carbon capture, city-utility water leaks and the reuse of water in fracking.” …

Linking the inherent expertise that spans so many spheres within UT itself — and with the greater Austin community — is key to what differentiates ATI among the rest of the incubators and accelerators in the Texas capital, said Gregory Pogue, interim executive director of UT’s IC² Institute. ATI operates within the institute.

“Taking advantage of that allows us to work more solidly toward solving the most difficult problems with deep tech,” Pogue said. …

New people in charge of ATI’s focus areas:

Dr. Lisa McDonald, biological and health sciences
Richard Amato and Dr. Michael Webber, clean energy
Dr. Mark Sanders, transportation and mobility and water
Dr. Charles Upshaw, who specializes in the internet-of-things within water

ABJ subscribers can read the full article.

Read more about the ATI team on the Austin Technology Incubator website.

ATI team

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Southwest I-Corps accepting applications for winter 2018 regional program

Researchers are invited to explore the commercial value of their innovations and qualify for a $50K NSF commercialization grant.

Southwest I-Corps Winter 2018 regional programSouthwest I-Corps is now accepting applications to its next regional program, running January 25 – February 22, 2018.

The NSF I-Corps regional program will facilitate the commercial evaluation of academic research and innovation, and develop potentially eligible teams for the national NSF I-Corps program and a $50,000 I-Corps team grant. During the program, teams will be introduced to the fundamental I-Corps principles, helping teams explore the potential value of their research or innovation, and quickly and effectively validate their commercialization strategy.

The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) enables teams of scientists, researchers and engineers to explore the commercial potential of their research or innovation. By learning how to assess commercialization opportunities, teams gain a better understanding of their market, customers, competitors and industry.

The IC² Institute hosts the headquarters of the Southwest I-Corps Node, which serves universities and research centers in Texas and adjacent states.

For more information, download the flyer, see the announcement on the Southwest I-Corps website, or contact Aprille Busch, Southwest I-Corps Assistant Director, at abusch@ic2.utexas.edu.

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Hear ATI’s Mitch Jacobson on Austin’s collaborative incubator/accelerator scene

Austin Technology Incubator Director Mitch Jacobson spoke with KUT about Austin’s wealth of resources for startups and ATI’s commitment to “deep tech.”

“Whoever is an entrepreneur in Austin is lucky, because of the amount of resources we have in the city for entrepreneurs, between the accelerators and incubators and events like South By Southwest and events that go on any day of the week,” said Jacobson. He said Austin now has many options for entrepreneurs, and organizations cooperate to find the best fit for each startup.

Regarding ATI’s role, Jacobson said the incubator now focuses on what they call “deep tech.” “We’re working on technology that solves big problems with big solutions, so, energy technology, water technology, infrastructure technology and the biosciences: drugs, medical and diagnostic equipment.”

Listen the full story at KUT.org.

Mitch Jacobson on KUT

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Richard Amato at HATCH! FAIR in Hanoi

In September, IC²’s Richard Amato served as a judge and panel moderator at HATCH! FAIR, Vietnam’s largest entrepreneurial conference and start-up exhibition. The panel discussion focused on entrepreneurship within universities and featured several leading university professors and investors from Hanoi who are driving incubation and entrepreneurship for the students.

Richard’s participation was an outgrowth of his work at the Vietnam Climate Innovation Center. VCIC is one of seven similar centers funded by the World Bank in order to develop sustainable industries in developing nations by commercializing locally relevant technologies in the clean-tech/climate space. Richard and the IC² Institute have been actively engaged since 2015 in supporting CICs in four of the seven countries in the program: Vietnam, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Now in its second year, the Vietnam CIC has incubated 39 companies to date.

For more information:

Richard Amato at HATCH! FAIR 2017 in Hanoi

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Congrats to Toybrary Austin, winner of 2017 Celia Bell Award

FASTForward participant Liza Wilson, owner of Toybrary Austin, was the winner in the Startup category of the 2017 Celia Bell Entrepreneur Awards.

Watch Liza talk about her vision for Toybrary Austin and the value of a good mentor.

Toybrary Austin is one of the 19 local Austin businesses taking part in IC²’s FASTForward Austin entrepreneurship training program this fall.

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FASTForward welcomes 19 companies into 2017 program

The IC² Institute’s FASTForward program has welcomed a new group of 19 local Austin companies into the second year of its small-business entrepreneurship training program.

Participating business owners will spend 10 weeks working to grow their businesses with the help of IC² experts and an enthusiastic group of mentors from UT and the Austin community.

FASTForward 2017 companies and mentors

FASTForward was developed by the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin and is supported by the Small Business Program of the City of Austin.

You can learn see the full roster of companies at fastforwardatx.org.

FASTForward 2017 company logos

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IC² Fellow Fred Phillips awarded Kondratieff Medal

Dr. Fred Phillips, Distinguished Professor at Yuan Ze University’s College of Management and Visiting Professor at SUNY Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, received the 2017 N. D. Kondratieff Medal (Gold) from the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Academy issues the prize every three years to a scholar who has made signal contributions to the social sciences. The medal, like the N.D. Kondratieff Foundation that administers it, is named for a pioneering Russian economist (1892-1938) who by identifying the “long wave” economic cycles inspired the later work of Joseph Schumpeter and Simon Kuznets.

Phillips accepted the medal and delivered the laureate lecture on September 25 at a ceremony in Moscow.

Phillips earned the PhD at The University of Texas at Austin and has been an IC² Fellow since 1984. He has enjoyed a global career, teaching at UT Austin, Oregon Graduate Institute of Science & Technology, Maastricht School of Management, Yuan Ze University in Taiwan, and Stony Brook’s program in Korea. He is editor in chief of Elsevier’s 50-year-old international journal Technological Forecasting & Social Change, which has published approximately 300 works by Kondratieff scholars.

Fred Phillips can be reached at fred.phillips@stonybrook.edu.

Fred Phillips receives Kondratieff Medal

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