5 fun facts we learned about Austin tech leaders in 2016

by Kelly O'Halloran
December 28, 2016

We learned a lot from our Austin tech leaders in 2016, including mistakes to avoid, how to hire a first employee and advice some leaders wish they'd have known from the start. We also gained introspection to who these people really are and what motivates them, plus some entertaining details from life at the office. Take a look through five of our favorite fun facts about several of the minds leading Austin tech.

 

TrendKite's co-founder got a tattoo following sales team milestone

In chatting with AJ Bruno, TrendKite's co-founder, about how the company sustained a strong sales culture while expanding the team from three to 54 people, we learned he actually got a tattoo on his ribs to celebrate a team win. The airplane tattoo is in addition to ongoing sales celebrations and continued learning sessions with the team.

With a recent funding round in November and ongoing company expansion, Bruno said he and his team will continue to foster a high-energy sales environment.

 

Aceable's founder used mobile flashcards to learn about building a company

When we talked with Aceable's founder Blake Garrett about committing full-time to launching a startup, he mentioned that he used to spend his evenings after work studying the processes of creating an app and raising funding rounds.

"I literally had an app on my phone that had flashcards about how to raise a Series A, and who the investors were; I didn’t know what convertible debt is. I didn’t know any of that,” said Garrett.
 

 

Praecipio Consulting's CEO was inspired by grandfather's personal business approach

Christian Lane participated in November's CEOs to Know series, highlighting the challenges and successes of running Praecipio Consulting. When discussing who inspires him, Lane recognized his grandfather, a businessman, whom he used to visit in Mexico over the summers as a kid.  
 
"He's a great businessman, and I got to learn a lot from him and shadow him and my uncles...There's a more paternal feel in Mexico when it comes to business relationships. We'd have coffee with his business associates and his colleagues... I still think about 'what would my grandfather do?' when evaluating certain aspects of my business," Lane said.
 
 
 

AcademicWorks CTO Aaron Scruggs's ball-throwing skills are "weak, but improving"

When compiling the responses for our CTOs to Know series, usually the CTOs we highlight directly respond with their own musings. But when we asked Aaron Scruggs from AcademicWorks about how his coworkers might describe working with him, he copied and pasted answers from their engineering Slack channel. Here are a few of the funny ones:
 
“Who’s Aaron?”
“His ball-throwing skills are weak, but improving.”
“I don't know whether to laugh or cry at some of his responses. This is a roast, right?"
 
 
 

The Patient IO team holds walking meetings downtown

While Patient IO CEO Jason Bornhorst helped debunk the myth that startups work 24/7, he also opened up about the importance of not eating lunch at your desk. Although big pushes may call for the entire team to do just that, Bornhorst said they make up for it by taking turns paying for Uber Eats for the entire team.
 
Additionally, he said his team has regularly scheduled walking meetings downtown and along the Town Lake trail to help get outside of the office while remaining on task
 
 
 
Images provided by companies.
 
What would you like us to ask Austin tech leaders?Let us know here or tweet @BuiltInAustin
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