Tech Roundup: Message.io's seed round, Austin tech's key new hires and more

by Kelly O'Halloran
November 24, 2016

Austin ranks number 9 in country for small business survival rate

The Kaufman Index released its 2016 Main Street Entrepreneurship list, ranking Austin 9th in the U.S. for its rate of business owners, established small business density and small business survival rate. Between 2015 and 2016, the small business survival rate locally increased from 47.8 percent to 52.3 percent. Providence, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, D.C., San Francisco, Portland, Boston and Pittsburgh all placed ahead of Austin. [Kaufman Index]

 

data.world partners to launch open data workspace for analyzing hate crime 

Last week, data.world and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) partnered to launch a public, open-data workspace to collect insight and reduce the rising number of hate crimes through collaboration and data sharing. The workspace currently hosts the FBI's 2015 Hate Crime Statistics and ADL's state-level data on hate crime statutes, with more datasets to be added. The goal is to work together to examine open data, identify trends and determine how current events and policies affect the rate of hate crime in the country. [Press Release]

 

Message.io grabs $2.5M seed round and partnership with Microsoft

Message.io closed a $2.5 million round of financing led by Khosla Ventures and Eniac Ventures late last week. The funding will be used to further its development of a bot syndication platform that makes it easier for developers to scale their bots across multiple channels without having to rebuild each time. The Austin startup also announced a partnership with Microsoft to seamlessly roll out bots from messaging platforms onto Microsoft's chat service, Microsoft Teams.  [Built In Austin]

 

Austin earns spot on Best Places to Live for Tech Entrepreneurs list

Techinsurance, an online insurance agency for IT businesses published Best Places to Live for Tech Entrepreneurs. The release features a study of 30 U.S. cities other than San Francisco and Manhattan that provide strong opportunities for tech entrepreneurs. The study recognized Austin as a Best Place to Raise a Family, citing the Eanes School District — the second best district in America — great eats, consistent sunshine, coolness factor and friendly atmosphere. [Techinsurance]

 

Vyopta names SailPoint CEO and co-founder to board

Vyopta added their first independent member to their board of directors by bringing on SailPoint's CEO and co-founder Mark McClain. McClain has received multiple awards over the past few years for his leadership abilities, including Best CEO in Austin in 2013 from the Austin Business Journal and 2015 EY entrepreneur of the year. He joins Vyopta CEO and co-founder Alfredo Ramirez and Chris Pacetti of the venture capital firm AVX Partners. [Press Release]

 

PeopleAdmin welcomes new CEO

PeopleAdmin, a developer of HR software for education and government organizations, announced Jack Blaha as the company's new CEO on Friday. He will take over the position from Kermit Randa, who will transition to a role on the board. Baja recently served as COO and executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions for Aptean Inc. [Austin Business Journal]

 

Lithium Technologies announces new Austin GM

Mike Betzer has been named the new GM for Lithium Technologies' Austin office. Betzer will oversee the new social media management product group out of the local office. Lithium Technologies, headquartered in San Francisco, creates social media management and online community tools for companies throughout 34 countries including Microsoft, Virgin Mobile, Sony and Spotify. [Press Release]

 

Images provided by featured companies, Facebook and Shutterstock.

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