ATI welcomes new member company ICON, makers of a 3D printer for houses

The Austin Technology Incubator welcomes its newest member ICON, a construction technologies company which is revolutionizing homebuilding through 3D printing.

ICON logoJust in time for SXSW, ICON unveiled what they call the “first permitted, 3D-printed home in America” here in Austin. They are also partnering with non-profit New Story to build 3D-printed homes for communities in need in developing countries.

ICON will join ATI’s Clean Energy Incubator. The startup went through ATI’s rigorous application process, which selects only the companies with the most promise to benefit from ATI’s help. ATI only accepts about 12% of the companies which apply, and 75% of admitted companies successfully receive funding.

“We believe that ICON’s breakthrough 3D-printer technology has the potential to create an entirely new market for low-cost, energy-efficient housing both in the developing world and here in the US,” said ATI Director Mitch Jacobson.

ICON has been getting lots of press. Read all about it:

New Story Unveils First 3-D-Printed Home (Architectural Digest)

Austin startup catches SXSW’s eye with 3D-printed tiny home that costs less than a car (Austin Business Journal)

This House Can Be 3D-Printed For $4,000 (Fast Company)

Austin company is building 3D printed houses for less than $4,000 (Houston Chronicle)

Startup Creates 3D Printer That Can Build Homes in Less Than 24 Hours (My Modern Met)

This cheap 3D-printed home is a start for the 1 billion who lack shelter (The Verge)

The Quest to Bring 3-D-Printed Homes to the Developing World (Wired)

For more information:


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IC² and ATI at SXSW 2018

Austin’s busiest week of the year is coming up again. Here’s where to find the IC² Institute and the Austin Technology Incubator at SXSW 2018.

This year several of our events will be held in conjunction with our friends at the Arctic Business Incubator in Luleå, Sweden. A group of startups from Sweden, Norway, France, Germany and beyond will participate in what we’re calling the “IC² International Incubation Mash-up.” The mash-up will consist of rapid pitch training, a guided tour through the whirlwind of SXSW with a focus on internationalization opportunities for European startups, and a final QuickPitch event organized by IC² at the House of Scandinavia. You are welcome to join the fun in the opening and closing sessions on Friday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 13.

Another focus of our activities will be the SXSW Cities Summit, sponsored by the Austin Technology Incubator. The Summit will consist of two full days of programming on March 12 and 13, particularly featuring the SXSW Cities Summit Startup Spotlight presented by ATI.

See You at SXSW 2018

Wednesday, March 7
Celebrate Student Entrepreneurship with Blackstone LaunchPad
Pitch competition and reception featuring student entrepreneurs from UT Austin, Texas A&M, and UT Dallas.
Open to the public with RSVP
6 PM – 8 PM – Main Street Hub, 600 Congress Avenue, Suite 1200

Friday, March 9
IC² International Incubation Mash-up
QuickPitch training for startups from Sweden, Norway, France, and Germany provided by experts from IC² and the Austin community.
Open to the public with RSVP
2 PM – 4:30 PM at the IC² Institute, 2815 San Gabriel St.

Saturday, March 10
How to Get What You Want Out of Side Gigs
With panelist Art Markman, IC² Research Director
Requires SXSW badge
5 PM – 6 PM at Fairmont Manchester A

Monday, March 12 – Tuesday, March 13
SXSW Cities Summit
Sponsored by the Austin Technology Incubator
Requires SXSW badge
9:30 AM – 6 PM at the Four Seasons

Monday, March 12
Scandinavian Breakfast
Meet IC² collaborators from the Arctic Business Incubator, Luleå, Sweden
Requires SXSW badge
8:30 AM – 10 AM at House of Scandinavia (Café Blue), 340 E 2nd St.

Monday, March 12
TiE Austin India Meetup
Sponsored by the Austin Technology Incubator and Nexus Startup Hub
Requires SXSW badge
2 PM – 3 PM at JW Marriott, Room 209

Monday, March 12
SXSW Cities Summit Startup Spotlight
Meet the startups working to solve the toughest challenges that face cities around the world. Presented by the Austin Technology Incubator and Austin Energy.
Requires SXSW badge
4 PM – 7 PM at the Four Seasons Terrace

Monday, March 12
Health & Life Science Network Happy Hour
Organized by Capital City Innovation, sponsored by the Austin Technology Incubator
Open to the public with RSVP
4:30 PM – 7 PM – Austin Public Library, 710 W Cesar Chavez St.

Monday, March 12
Sustaining Creative, High Industries: Austin & Norway Talks SXSW
With Mitch Jacobson of the Austin Technology Incubator and David Gibson of the IC² Institute
7 PM – 9:30 PM at House of Scandinavia (Café Blue), 340 E 2nd St.

Tuesday, March 13
Health and Med Tech Roundtable at the House of Scandinavia
Featuring Dr. Gregory Pogue of the IC² Institute.
9 AM – 10 AM at House of Scandinavia (Café Blue), 340 E 2nd St.

Tuesday, March 13
QuickPitch organized by the IC² Institute and the Arctic Business Incubator
Pitches by Swedish startups from the IC² International Mash-Up.
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM at House of Scandinavia (Café Blue), 340 E 2nd St.

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BBR researcher speaks about human trafficking research at AAAS

Research Scientist Matt Kammer-Kerwick of IC²’s Bureau of Business Research participated in a January 18, 2018 panel on human trafficking and the research techniques used to fight it at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Austin.

Also on the panel was Dr. Melissa I.M. Torres of the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault at UT Austin. Torres and the IDVSA are long-time collaborators with the BBR on topics related to human trafficking, sexual assault, and campus sexual misconduct.

The AAAS panel addressed the multiple and complex research methods needed to understand the scope of human trafficking, also known as modern slavery.

Because modern slavery in developed countries is an underground activity, ordinary survey techniques do not work to count its victims. Instead, researchers in many countries and US states are developing new techniques.

Human trafficking impact in Texas - infographicOne method, called Multiple Systems Estimation, measures it by cross-referencing existing data from multiple sources, such as health care provider and law enforcement records. Respondent driven sampling (RDS) is another technique, and is one being used by BBR and IDVSA in a current study in Texas. RDS used referrals from within communities at risk to develop more representative estimates from partially observable populations.

Preliminary benchmarks based on a systematic review and a meta-analysis were used in the 2017 report from the BBR and IDVSA entitled “Human Trafficking by the Numbers.” The study found that there are an estimated 313,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas, including approximately 79,000 minors who are victims of sex trafficking and approximately 234,000 adult victims of labor trafficking.

The scope of the problem uncovered by the BBR’s and IDVSA’s research is much larger than in previous studies that relied on identifying individual victims, necessitating a larger policy response. “We just need to expand greatly the amount of investment that’s needed for people to recover from these patterns of victimization,” said Kammer-Kerwick.

The AAAS panel addressed the wide variation of human trafficking in the world today. “Those faces [of trafficking victims] don’t really always look like what we think they look like. Trafficking happens in many forms. It’s a global issue that affects different populations in different ways,” said Torres. “There’s not going to be one response and one answer in addressing it.”

Watch the panel

2018 AAAS news briefing panel

For more information:

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U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster launches Nexus

With the arrival of the U.S. Ambassador to India, Kenneth I. Juster, IC²’s Nexus Startup Hub held its official launch ceremony on February 8th, 2018 in New Delhi. Well over 100 of the top innovation ecosystem stakeholders in India were present to witness the official launch, presided over by the Ambassador.

Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster at the launch of Nexus Startup Hub in New Delhi, 8 Feb 2018
Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster

The IC² Institute runs the Nexus Startup Hub in partnership with the U.S. Embassy to India. Nexus operates as an innovation hub and a business incubator. As part of the innovation hub Nexus conducts training programs, workshops, and master classes for entrepreneurs and ecosystem partners, while as a business incubator Nexus conducts 10-week intensive pre-incubation training programs and offers long term incubation of eight months to a few selected startups. This two-phased approach to incubation helps in developing the ecosystem for a larger impact while helping individual startups to scale up and commercialize their technologies through the business incubator.

To date, Nexus has received applications from well over 415 startups for its pre-incubation program while 20 selected startups have completed Nexus’ intensive 10-week pre-incubation program.

At the launch, Ambassador Juster also announced two new Nexus initiatives for 2018 – special mentoring and training for women entrepreneurs through the Aspiring Women program and extension of the Nexus hub concept to neighboring countries through the South Asia Connect program. “The American Center and the IC² Institute of the University of Texas, through Nexus and South Asia Connect, will help foster an increasingly dynamic, integrated, and innovative startup ecosystem across the region,” Juster said.

South Asia Connect Program

The South Asia Connect program was launched to boost regional cooperation by building entrepreneurial capabilities among startups from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Leaders of entrepreneurship organizations and entrepreneurs will receive training at the Nexus Startup Hub to access markets, build connections and increase intra-regional business activities.

Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs Program

With additional funding from the U.S. Department of State for a special pilot program called Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs, Nexus is reaching out to female university students throughout India to identify young women with entrepreneurial ideas. The program will provide training in both India and the United States to selected women, with practical tips and mentoring on how to launch sustainable businesses. Ambassador Juster acknowledged this program as furthering the spirit of the recent Global Entrepreneurship summit in Hyderabad with the theme ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’.

“An advantage of the hub concept is that Nexus can be a home for a variety of cooperating programs with different audiences and strategies, all with the common aim of strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India and South Asia” said the director of Nexus, Erik Azulay.

Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster at the launch of Nexus Startup Hub in New Delhi, 8 Feb 2018 Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster at the launch of Nexus Startup Hub in New Delhi, 8 Feb 2018


Women entrepreneurs face issues that males do not: US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster (Indian Express)

US government’s start-up hub to nurture Indian women entrepreneurs (Financial Express)

US Embassy launches ‘Nexus Startup Hub’ to guide India’s budding entrepreneurs (New Indian Express)

U.S. Embassy launches Nexus Startup Hub (Business Standard)

U.S. to Share Start-Up Tips; Hub Opens in Delhi (Navbharat Times Hindi daily)

New start-up hub to help women entrepreneurs (Hindu BusinessLine)


Remarks by Ambassador Juster at Nexus Startup Hub Launch at the American Center (U.S. Embassy)

US Embassy launches Nexus Startup Hub to guide India’s budding entrepreneurs (India Today)

U.S. Embassy launches Nexus Startup Hub (ANI online)

Nexus Startup Hub at the American Center (Yahoo India!)

US Embassy launches Nexus Startup Hub (United News of India online)

US Embassy launches Nexus Startup Hub in Delhi (India TV)

U.S. Embassy launches Nexus Startup Hub (

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Clay Spinuzzi wins award for special issue on the rhetoric of entrepreneurship

Clay SpinuzziClay Spinuzzi, a professor in the UT Austin Department of Rhetoric and Writing, has received the 2018 CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award in the category of Best Original Collection of Essays in Technical or Scientific Communication.

The award was given for the Special Issue on the Rhetoric of Entrepreneurship: Theories, Methodologies, and Practices in the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Volume 31, Issue 3.

Spinuzzi began studying entrepreneurship communication in conjunction with the IC² Institute in 2013. Since then, he has published four articles and four proceedings papers with IC² collaborators as well as editing two special issues on entrepreneurship communication. He continues to work with IC² on ongoing research projects.

The JBTC special issue featured articles by Jeff Gerding and Kyle Vealey, Natasha Jones, and Stephen Fraiberg, as well as an introduction by Spinuzzi, which can be accessed through the IC² Institute’s repository.

The award will be presented at the Awards Session of the 2018 CCCC Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 16.

Read more:

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IC² Institute student and faculty engagement grows in 2017

The impact of the IC² Institute on startup success and regional economic performance has been well documented and recognized in Austin and from our international programs. The IC² Institute is also deeply engaged in student and faculty success at The University of Texas at Austin.

Through UT courses, internships, and collaborative programs, in 2017 the IC² Institute engaged with 233 students across 11 colleges and schools at UT. These include over 50 UT students who participated in IC² international entrepreneurial programs. Outside of UT, in 2017 IC² worked with an additional 125 international students across four continents through graduate degree programs, courses and internships.

In addition, the IC² Institute has supported research and teaching activities of 35 UT faculty in nine colleges and schools. These collaborations have contributed to the over 118 research publications produced by the IC² Institute since 2016.

IC² Institute student engagement 2017

IC² Institute faculty engagement 2017

IC² Institute student engagement worldwide 2017

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Austin Technology Incubator named recipient of IN² clean tech award

ATI will share award with Rice, Texas A&M and Texas State to accelerate clean tech companies for IN² incubator.

IC²’s Austin Technology Incubator is among the recipients of awards under the 2017 IN² Channel Partner Awards Program, announced on January 16, 2018, by the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²).

IN2 Channel PartnerIN² awarded more than $1 million in support of eight projects and nineteen organizations to address gaps in clean-energy technology development and commercialization.

The Austin Technology Incubator grant was awarded to ATI in conjunction with Rice University, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Clean Energy Incubator, and Texas State University to collaborate on a series of programs and initiatives that will help catalyze the next generation of cleantech entrepreneurs and serve as a feeder to the IN² program. Referred to as “The IN2Bound Cleantech Accelerator Program,” these programs will educate entrepreneurs and accelerate startups, and connect them to a network of experts to provide technical support and mentorship.

Other IN² Channel Partner Awards recipients:

The California Institute of Technology, partnered with Clean Energy Trust: to establish the Rocket Fund Mid-West (RFMW), an interstate partnership bringing together sustainability- focused accelerators, utilities and universities in a community consortium, to help guide vulnerable Very Early Stage (VES) ventures through critical early stages. Pioneered in California, the Rocket Fund will offer a solution for one of the most intractable problems preventing cleantech innovations from reaching the marketplace – the lack of funding and necessary commercial partners for building, demonstrating and validating ‘pre-products’ in the real world.

Carnegie Mellon University, partnered with Northwestern: to launch a new Center for Cleantech Entrepreneurial Excellence (C2E2). The goal of the center is to better understand how cleantech/energy innovation and entrepreneurship differ from other technology sectors. At a regional level, C2E2 will examine key success factors in early-stage company development and how societal outcomes can be enhanced as a result.

Cleantech Group: to leverage its annual Cleantech Forum to capture key discussion points and indentify themes to help further inform the direction of the IN² program as it considers expanding into the food-systems space.

Activation Energy, in support of the Cyclotron Road program: to disrupt the current partnering and investment model for bringing new technologies to market – which relies heavily on human networking – by developing a network leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify a comprehensive list of strategic partners for emerging clean energy technologies. Working in partnership with Moxley Holdings and Rho AI, their model will identify future partners based on current investments, partnering trends, and natural language analysis of public statements.

Innosphere: Colorado’s leading non-profit technology incubator will embark on a multi-year plan called Scaleup Colorado to systematically address three specific problems holding back Colorado’s science and technology ecosystem from growing at a higher rate and creating greater economic impact. These challenges include the need to grow Colorado’s technology GDP by growing startup support capacity, early stage companies achieving startup success and achieving more than $50 million in revenue per year, and limited access to capital.

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), partnered with ACRE, Clean Energy Trust, Greentown Learn, and NextEnergy: to establish a standard for measuring and reporting the economic, environmental and social impact of the portfolio companies within their network. The team will leverage LACI’s Just Impact 2016 report and framework, and conduct individual research within organizations to evolve a common framework for training their staff and portfolio companies, and measuring and reporting on their individual impact results.

NextEnergy, partnered with Prospect Silicon Valley: to ensure that the cleantech potential of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electrified) mobility solutions are fully realized, by entering into a sister city partnership between Detroit, MI and San Jose, CA, to address two main challenges – connecting a cleantech innovation pipeline to industry players and market opportunities, and bringing private sector/industry partners together with government and NGO service providers to encourage a focus on serving low- to moderate-income market segments.

The IN² Channel Partner Awards Program is designed to foster the development of a robust cleantech ecosystem by funding innovative incubators, accelerators and universities, and promoting a collaborative network of knowledge sharing.

“The Channel Partner Awards Program supports IN²’s ultimate goal of building resilient, smart and connected communities by encouraging the development of a strong, multi-stakeholder cleantech ecosystem that will collectively support and drive innovation to enable greater urban sustainability,” said Ashley Grosh, Wells Fargo vice president and IN² co-lead. “Each of the recipients of the 2017 IN² Channel Partner Awards Program has displayed a talent for innovation, disruption, and commitment to clean technology.”

“IN² has engaged stakeholders from universities, incubators and accelerators in an effort to give a voice to local community challenges and solutions and to create a strong, collaborative ecosystem of startup support across the country,” said Richard Adams, director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) at NREL. “Our mission is to nurture an ecosystem where more startups and innovators receive the technical and financial backing, as well as business mentoring and encouragement they need at their earliest stages in order to advance toward commercialization of their technologies.”

The IN² Channel Partner Awards Program was established with $5 million of committed funding to be distributed over four years. In 2016, the program supported more than 33 Channel Partners, encouraging them to engage with their local communities, attend IN² events, and play an active role in helping develop the IN² ecosystem, which currently includes stakeholders across the U.S. In August of 2016, IN² convened a Summit comprised of Channel Partners, IN² stakeholders, investors and subject matter experts for in-depth discussions on promising clean technology developments and disruptions, strategic expansion of the IN² ecosystem, and future initiatives for the IN² Channel Partner Awards Program. For more information on the awards program, please visit

About the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN²)

IN² is a $30 million clean-technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. Co-administered by and housed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, IN²’s mission is to speed the path to market for early-stage, clean-technology entrepreneurs. Companies selected for participation in the program receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding from Wells Fargo, technical support and validation from experts at NREL’s facilities, and the opportunity to beta-test at a Wells Fargo facility or with a strategic program partner. Launched in 2014 with an initial focus on supporting scalable solutions to reduce the energy impact of commercial buildings, IN² is expanding its focus in 2018 to support innovation in sectors such as transportation, commercial buildings, food systems, energy storage, and others with the ultimate goal of fostering smart and connected communities of the future.

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Watch the FASTForward 2017 graduation presentations

Meet the 17 Austin small businesses that completed the 2017 FASTForward entrepreneurship training program conducted by the IC² Institute for the City of Austin.

Read more about FASTForward or visit

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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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