How Thinktiv has quietly transformed more than 200 companies inside and outside of Austin

Kelly Jackson

Behind more than 200 startups across the country is an Austin-based company that's helped turn those ideas into reality. This company has supported well-recognized Austin startups like Aceable, Bazaarvoice, Spredfast, TRUECar and many, many more — both inside and outside of our local tech community.

Their name is Thinktiv, and if you haven’t heard of them, well, that's the point.

“We’re the people who sit in the background,” said Thinktiv founder and CEO Justin Petro. “We’re fascinated by doing great work for our customers, so we’re very bad at touting our own successes.”

Successes, indeed. In addition to the 200-plus companies they've helped evolve, they also boast a portfolio of over 120 products developed by the 35-person Thinktiv team — for clients that have collectively yielded $1.3 billion in investments from venture capitalists. 

Made up of engineers, UX designers, marketers, financiers, psychologists and more, the Thinktiv's melting pot of a team offers services that include deep market evaluations and research, deployment strategies, product development, demand generation and multi-channel marketing. 

“It’s a rare breed of people who want to be here,” said Petro. “All of them would be out running their own companies if they weren’t here, or they’d be working at a startup. It’s what we look for from a personality perspective, and not so much a skill perspective. Whatever they went to college for is secondary.”

Their clients range from serial entrepreneurs looking for their next startup to Fortune 500 enterprises in need of an innovation boost.

“People can walk in here with literally an insightful idea on a piece of paper and we can turnkey it and launch it,” said Petro. 

Some of the most unique projects Thinktiv has worked on include Bloodbuy, a Dallas-based healthtech company whose software connects hospitals with blood centers to avoid hospital blood shortages, and Conceivable, an Austin-based fertility tech platform that increases the natural chances for women to get pregnant. 

Last April, Bloodbuy earned national recognition when it won the first Harvard Business School-Harvard Medical School Health Acceleration Challenge. 

When asked if seeing other companies get credit for Thinktiv’s work, Petro seemed unfazed.

“We invent and transform companies. That’s what we do, and we’re the only vertically integrated firm that does so,” said Petro. 

Thinktiv works with about 30 companies per year, Petro said, and they are hyper selective in which projects they take on. 

“We work in underserved, complex markets,” said Petro. “We’re not doing another ride sharing or food delivery. We’re not going to build things that shouldn’t be built.” 

Out of the 200 companies they’ve helped build, Thinktiv maintains equity in 35 of them. These are companies typically racing to get to market quickly while lacking the capital to fund their own talent. 

Moving forward, Petro said this is a space they’d like to explore further, noting the rise of prominent venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz that are adding creative and marketing services to their financial investments. 

 

Image provided by Facebook.

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