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Summary:

Austin is still betting on hardware statups even as venture firms stop funding them. In a video interview with Bart Bohn, a director at the Austin Technology Incubator, we talk about where hardware startups can find funding, and which ones to watch in Austin.

Back during the first technology boom, Austin was a force when it came to silicon and enterprise software startups, but the escalating cost of the plants where chips were manufactured and the SaaS-ification of enterprise software hit Austin’s key sectors hard. Other than cursing Salesforce.com and semiconductor foundries,  Austin has tried to make a tech comeback with wireless, clean energy and even a few consumer web startups, but the city is in the midst of an identity crisis, and its startups are lagging those built in Silicon Valley.

Austin has Gowalla, which is trailing behind Foursquare in location-based services, and Heliovolt, which is trailing Valley startup Solyndra in the race to develop better solar technology. But Bart Bohn, a director at the Austin Technology Incubator is hoping to resurrect Austin’s hardware past with a collection of data center infrastructure and wireless startups  in the University of Texas-backed incubation program. Given the emphasis on cloud computing and wireless innovation, ATI’s bet may pay off.

In the video below Bohn talks about how infrastructure startups are raising money in Texas, and names some of the exciting companies at ATI, from Smooth-Stone, which is building servers with ARM chips to Savara, a biomed startup that has developed a method for delivering drugs via an inhaler. Maybe, with a newly active ATI, plus a new hardware-focused venture fund in Austin, the city can regain some of its former glory.

Thumbnail courtesy of Flickr user turtlemom4bacon’s

  1. Austin also has Indeed.com, a consumer web startup with decent traffic. A billion job searches a month – http://blog.indeed.com/2010/02/16/25-countries-all-jobs/

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  2. Nice post! I really like your posting.
    i will come back to read more of your posts.
    specially about Austin Still Pinning Its Hopes on Hardware Startups

    Cheers

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  3. Hi Stacey, no lagging behind by BreakingPoint (based in Austin). We announced yesterday 280% revenue growth in 2009. Here is a link to the release:

    http://clicky.me/breakingpointgrowth

    BreakingPoint makes custom hardware and software for cyber security simulation.

    I, fortunately, work at BreakingPoint :)

    /kff

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