Although plenty of large tech companies — like Apple, Facebook and Amazon — have a presence in Austin, there’s no shortage of small startups as well. Part of this has to do with the many accelerator programs in Austin, which give young startups the chance to take their business to the next level.
Sputnik ATX is one of these programs, and it recently named its winter 2020 cohort of startups it is supporting with mentorship and funding.
“There were over 700 companies that started this application process,” Oksana Malysheva, CEO and managing partner of Sputnik ATX, said in a statement. “The five that we have selected to invest in are those who are tackling big problems in their markets and making a difference in the world.”
The five startups in the upcoming program are based in Austin and beyond, and operate in a variety of industries. Here’s the full list:
- Kanthaka — an app that connects people with on-demand personal trainers
- Mod Tech Labs — a company that's built software to help create 3D assets and imagery
- RxThat — a platform designed to bring transparency to the process of getting your prescription
- Trashbots — a programable robot kit intended to teach K-12 students how to code
- Sandbox Systems — a company that's designed a cloud-based integrated development environment to help people build applications
The first four companies in the list will receive three months of mentoring and $100,000 in seed funding from the program. At the end of the three months, the startups will have a demo day where they present in front of a group of investors.
The last company, Sandbox Systems, was accepted through Sputnik ATX’s Entrepreneur in Residence program with UT Austin. Sandbox Systems was founded by a UT Austin student and will also participate in the three-month mentorship program.
Named after the satellite and the Russian word for “partner,” Sputnik ATX launched in October 2017 — on the 60th anniversary of the Sputnik-1 satellite launch — and since then has led four accelerator classes.
Sputnik ATX will begin accepting applications for its next program in April or May 2020. Applicants must have a viable product and at least one paying customer. They also must be located within 300 miles of Austin or willing to relocate.
This story has been updated with additional information from Sputnik ATX.