Austin Startup Week 2016 might be over, but many of the local, new companies that took part are still gaining momentum. Throughout last week’s events, panels made up of established entrepreneurs and CEOs discussed the many challenges startups face, suggested tips for finding the right co-founder, and proposed effective ways to seek investments.

According to a report published by Expert Market, Austin is the second-best city in the world to launch a startup in the tech industry. So during last week’s events, we set out to find the newbies around town.

Here’s a list of 10 promising Austin-based startups we chatted with during Austin Startup Week 2016.



Zync-Up aims to build better communities, and according to CEO Aaron Benz, doing so begins in education. With a focus on college campuses, the data analytics company utilizes existing communication channels at campuses to consolidate and feature extra curricular activities that can be easily accessed by students. The startup also uses its data to find at-risk students, and pairs them with upperclassmen for guidance. Zync-Up is currently operating in Eastern University and working towards its next round of fundraising.

Hapi Drinks


Local startup Hapi Drinks is combating childhood obesity and diabetes with sugar free kids’ drinks. The brand has three flavors, all containing zero grams of sugar and just 10 calories; it’s currently the only sugar-free kids’ drink available at H-E-B stores across Texas. Hapi Drinks is made for kids, but targeted towards parents. The startup’s president, Karsten Idsal, hopes to be in more stores across the country in the upcoming year.

The Guild


Austin startup, The Guild, is offering a new option for business travel. With six different apartment complexes around the city—each within walking distance to local restaurants, cafes, and activities—business travelers can live like a local. The Guild works with companies sending employees on travel to provide modern, comfortable living spaces without the hassle associated with the city’s strict leasing restrictions. The Guild is proving that business travel doesn’t need to feel corporate.



UT Grad, Deven Hariyani, is helping parents research, review, and easily find enrichment programs for their children with Kwaddle, a two-sided interactive market place. The product uses content rich data to provide parents with consolidated industry information that streamlines the search process for both vendors and parents alike. The goal is to restructure traditional methods of camp marketing, like brochures and industry trade shows. Kwaddle hopes to expand its user growth and attract more vendors before next year’s summer camp season.

Ads for the Road


Founded just three months ago, this veteran-owned startup is taking the benefits of online marketing to the streets. Ads for the Road, an outdoors advertising company, uses real time analytics and trackability to provide relevant advertisements around Austin. Through GEO fencing and time of day technology, Ads for the Road is able to display digital ads most relevant to a company’s audience at any given location. In the future, Ads for the Road hopes to use its outdoor advertising technology as a tool to help the community.



re:3D is leading the way in 3D printing. Gigabot, the startup’s flagship technology, offers large format 3D printing at an affordable price. The startup is also socially focused, donating one printer to a community in need for every 100 sold. The engineers behind the project hope to positively impact both agricultural and medical fields through on-demand printing. re:3D won first place at Austin Startup Week’s pitch competition last week and is hoping to use that momentum during its next stages of growth.

Inspired Planit


Travel bloggers are all over the web these days, and many followers who look to these sites for inspiration when planning a vacation. Inspired Planit, a digital marketing platform, hopes to connect well-established travel influencers with travel brands to create content they enjoy reading and inspire a trip of their own. Inspired Planit is still in beta testing, but plans to begin looking for funding in the next 3-6 months.

Before Elixir


If you’ve ever dealt with a hangover, you’re going to love Before Elixir. With its combination of vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, and plant extracts, this healthy cocktail mixer prevents both hangovers and flushing—the red appearance many people acquire while drinking. Though Before Elixir can be found in 15 retail locations around Texas, it launched just over one year ago in the summer of 2015 and is still in the early stages of market growth. The product hopes to sell in Whole Foods and HEB by early next year.

Chiron Health


In 2013, co-founders Andrew O’Hara and Charlie Kolb noticed a gap in traditional styles of telemedicine. To fill that space, the duo founded Chiron Health, a telemedicine software company that allows physicians to connect with their patients over secure video. The software also features reimbursement tools that automate insurance eligibility checks to ensure doctors are paid for their time. At its start, the company received 2M in funding and just finished an additional seed-funding round. Chiron Health’s target market includes small- to medium-sized independent physician practices.

Simple Booth


Simple Booth is creating a better photo experience for both individuals and big name brands alike. The photo booth platform includes its feature hardware, Halo, and an easy to use app. It focuses on beautiful lighting to produce quality photos. With Simple Booth, businesses can take ownership of pictures snapped at their event; individuals can offer guests an unforgettable experience that’s easy to set up and compact in size. The startup launched in February 2016 and hopes to build new apps, features, and hardware for the upcoming year.



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Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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