Business


Austin auto sales keep up pace in July

Austin-area auto sales maintained their pace in July, keeping dealers on track to equal last year’s record sales total, according to the latest industry data. In July, sales of new vehicles in the Austin metro area edged up two-tenths of a percent over the same month last year, according to Freeman Auto Report, a Dallas-based company that tracks auto sales in Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell...


Texas Standard: is it the MoviePassapocalypse and was it always too good to be true?

Texas Standard: is it the MoviePassapocalypse and was it always too good to be true?

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio show, we discuss the recent sweeping changes happening with MoviePass and whether the brief window of time when you could watch a movie a day for $10 a month is now over. Also: what other online deals once seemed too good to be true? You can listen to the tech segment below or check it out on the Texas Standard website.
Ex-Austin Yellow Cab exec charts new path in tech

Ex-Austin Yellow Cab exec charts new path in tech

Ed Kargbo had a successful career, serving as general manager and president of Austin’s Yellow Cab for eight years. But he started to feel like he was falling behind. So Kargbo took action, enrolling in Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he’s serving as a Sloan Fellow as he pursues a master’s degree in business. His wife and three daughters – his...
3 of 4 local Obamacare providers seek to raise premiums in 2019

3 of 4 local Obamacare providers seek to raise premiums in 2019

Three of the four health insurers offering plans in the Austin area under the Affordable Care Act are angling to raise premiums in 2019 — with the nonprofit provider created by Travis County’s health district pushing for the largest rate increase by far. Sendero Health Plans, an offshoot of taxpayer-supported Central Health, has requested a 33 percent rise in premiums for next year, saying...
Bans don’t seem to be lessening reach of Alex Jones, InfoWars

Bans don’t seem to be lessening reach of Alex Jones, InfoWars

Some of the nation’s largest technology and social media companies have tried to stop Alex Jones and his conspiracy theories. But in a digital world, their attempts seem to have barely slowed him down. After YouTube, Facebook and others this week removed content by Jones and his website, the InfoWars leader, talk show host and Austin resident fired back, accusing the companies of censorship...
Tech takeover: Arrival of industry giants remaking downtown Austin

Tech takeover: Arrival of industry giants remaking downtown Austin

Social media giants, internet companies, the world’s largest retailer and the U.S. military. That’s just a short list of the players moving into or expanding their operations in downtown Austin in a race to attract tech workers. The result, experts say, could be a transformation of the city’s core into a technology center similar to San Francisco and Seattle, both of which have seen...
Statesman to end Ahora Sí, offer voluntary severance to all employees

Statesman to end Ahora Sí, offer voluntary severance to all employees

Ahora Sí, the American-Statesman’s weekly Spanish-language newspaper, will cease publication Oct. 11, the company said Thursday. The announcement came at the same time the Statesman announced all its 200-plus employees would be eligible to take a voluntary severance package. Staffers who take the voluntary severance package would depart the newspaper next month, the company said. &ldquo...
Hey, minimalists: soundbars are totally still a thing

Hey, minimalists: soundbars are totally still a thing

Time was that if you wanted to good surround sound for your home theater, you set up a ton of speakers (five or seven, typically, plus a subwoofer), ran miles of wire and hid your dirty audio deeds with cable wraps and moulding. Wireless rear speakers helped, but some people just don’t want a lot of speakers around. Soundbars, which typically do the work of a speaker array and receiver in a...
Texas tax-free weekend: 5 things you need to know before shopping

Texas tax-free weekend: 5 things you need to know before shopping

Texans are expected to save $90.3 million during this year’s back-to-school tax-free weekend, according to the state comptroller’s office. From Friday through Sunday, shoppers won’t pay state or local sales tax on most clothing and school supplies. In most Texas communities, that works out to a savings of 8.25 cents for each dollar spent. In addition to not having to pay taxes, many...
Austin-based SailPoint’s stock soars after the cybersecurity firm beats the Street

Austin-based SailPoint’s stock soars after the cybersecurity firm beats the Street

Shares of cybersecurity firm SailPoint Technologies soared on Thursday after the company beat Wall Street expectations in the second quarter. Austin-based SailPoint reported that revenue jumped 39 percent to $54.6 million from the year before. That far exceeded analysts’ prediction of $50 million. Adjusted net income was $2.5 million, or 3 cents a share, whereas market watchers were expecting...
TaskUs, growing in Austin and San Antonio, gets $250 million equity investment

TaskUs, growing in Austin and San Antonio, gets $250 million equity investment

A Santa Monica-based business-services company that has been beefing up its presence in Central Texas on Thursday announced a $250 million equity investment from Blackstone. TaskUs  runs its operations out of Austin because its two co-founders, Bryce Maddock and Jaspar Weir, both live here. It employees a team of nine here. The new investment brings TaskUs’ valuation to $500 million...
UT and the Army are going to help Uber build flying taxis 

UT and the Army are going to help Uber build flying taxis 

Uber has set a lofty goal: Build and test electric flying taxis by 2020.   But the task is immense, carrying plenty of obstacles and leaving the ride-hailing company in need of help to realize the project.  One of those hurdles -- limiting the noise level of the air taxis -- has led Uber to the University of Texas, and more specifically, to a handful of researchers and engineers at...
New York Congressman Chris Collins says he’s running for re-election despite fraud indictment

New York Congressman Chris Collins says he’s running for re-election despite fraud indictment

Update: 8:30 p.m. EDT Aug. 8: New York Congressman Chris Collins said he’s running for re-election, despite his indictment on insider trading charges. >> Read more trending news  Collins, at a Wednesday night news conference, called the charges against him “meritless,” according The Associated Press, and said he’s confident he’ll be found innocent. ...
Army brass: Leader of new Austin tech center could be confirmed next week

Army brass: Leader of new Austin tech center could be confirmed next week

If all goes well next week, the U.S. Army could be able to officially name the leader of its new Futures Command tech facility in Austin.  Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who is in Austin visiting with leaders of the tech center, told the American-Statesman on Wednesday that he is hopeful the U.S. Senate next week will confirm Lt. Gen. John Murray as commander of the facility.  Murray...
This startup wants to make deliveries less stressful for apartment dwellers

This startup wants to make deliveries less stressful for apartment dwellers

When Michael Patton moved to a Dallas apartment complex three years ago, the leasing office was receiving 250 to 300 packages every day. “The e-commerce explosion has flooded apartment buildings with packages,” Patton said. “I saw what a pain it was for the property managers, and that was an eye opening moment for me.” Now, Patton says, he has a solution. His startup, Fetch...
$76 million resort coming to Fredericksburg

$76 million resort coming to Fredericksburg

Already a hot spot for visitors, developers and Fredericksburg tourism officials say a planned hotel will help take the city to the next level. Construction will start on the $76 million Seven Hills Resort and Conference Center this fall, with completion slated for 2020. It’ll be located on a 22-acre site at the intersection of North U.S. 87 and West U.S. 290. Houston-based Murphree and Co....
$76 million resort coming to Fredericksburg

$76 million resort coming to Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is already a hot spot for visitors — and developers and city tourism officials say a planned $76 million hotel project will help take the Hill Country city to the next level. Construction is scheduled to start on the Seven Hills Resort and Conference Center this fall, with completion slated for 2020. It will be on a 22-acre site at the intersection of North U.S. 87 and West U...
Tiff’s Treats founders surprise Southwest passengers with warm cookies

Tiff’s Treats founders surprise Southwest passengers with warm cookies

Passengers aboard several Southwest Airlines flights Tuesday got a sweet surprise thanks to Austin’s own Tiff’s Treats. Tiffany Taylor Chen and Leon Chen, founders of the company known for delivering warm cookies and ice-cold milk, boarded flights between Atlanta and Nashville, handing out treats. Tuesday marked the debut of Southwest’s nonstop flights between the two cities. So...
Amazon launches 30-minute curbside pickup at Whole Foods 

Amazon launches 30-minute curbside pickup at Whole Foods 

Amazon Prime members have another perk: grocery pickup at Whole Foods Market. The e-commerce giant on Wednesday announced the launch of curbside pickup at Whole Foods beginning in Sacramento and Virginia Beach, with the company saying additional cities would join the program throughout the rest of the year.  Prime members can shop for Whole Foods items through the Prime Now phone app and...
Fresh off strong earnings report, Austin’s Q2 Holdings snaps up California startup 

Fresh off strong earnings report, Austin’s Q2 Holdings snaps up California startup 

Fresh off a strong earnings report, Austin-based Q2 Holdings, which sells online banking software, said it plans to acquire Cloud Lending, a California-based startup that sells a lending and leasing platform. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cloud Lending, founded in 2014 and based in San Mateo, says its platform helps lenders close more loans, generate more revenue and provide...
Wednesday Tech Crawl: Magic Leap’s mixed-reality headset is finally here; shrugs at $2,295?

Wednesday Tech Crawl: Magic Leap’s mixed-reality headset is finally here; shrugs at $2,295?

Happy Wednesday! Here are a few of the tech stories we’re taking a look at today. Mystery mixed-reality company Magic Leap has finally brought it first product out of the shadows. The Magic Leap One, which is selling at $2,295, is available for pre-order. According to CNET, the device is only being sold in a few markets and requires white-glove delivery setup. (And you’re out of luck if...
The perfect, cuddly robot pal? Gadget company Anki tries to crack that code with ‘Vector’ Kickstarter

The perfect, cuddly robot pal? Gadget company Anki tries to crack that code with ‘Vector’ Kickstarter

Might things be a little bit better for all of us if we each had a cute, anthropomorphic little robot buddy around? One that did cute things like beep-boop encouragement when we’re down or that could fetch us the weather report in the most adorable way possible (rainy digital eyes, anyone?).  Not everyone is likely to need or even want such a thing, but that’s not stopping Anki, a...
‘Grocery wars’: How local stores are competing for your dollars to stay ahead of Amazon

‘Grocery wars’: How local stores are competing for your dollars to stay ahead of Amazon

Local grocery stores are racing to provide customers improved services and technology as more take advantage of online shopping. >> Read more trending news  It’s created a “grocery war” among the largest and smallest stores in an industry that produces $682 billion a year for local economies, according to the Food Market Institute. About 4.8 million people were employed...
Dell Medical School launches data hub with goal of improving health care

Dell Medical School launches data hub with goal of improving health care

The Dell Medical School at the University of Texas announced Tuesday the creation of a “Biomedical Data Science Hub” with the goal of analyzing data to improve health care.  Paul Rathouz, the hub’s founding director, will recruit faculty and staff from different UT schools to analyze data -- some of which is already being compiled by the medical school.  The program&rsquo...
$150 million makeover of Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa nears midpoint

$150 million makeover of Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa nears midpoint

Work is progressing on the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa’s $150 million makeover – a project so big that the resort had to shut down for close to a year. Crews recently marked the topping out of a new, 180-room guest tower, a key component of the renovations and expansions planned for the property at 8212 Barton Club Drive in West Austin, which first opened in 1987. Those new guest rooms...
As it pitches plan to go public, Dell projects a jump in revenue

As it pitches plan to go public, Dell projects a jump in revenue

Dell Technologies Inc. gave investors a deeper look into its financials as it steps up efforts to win support for a plan to take the company public. Dell expects its revenue to increase about 9.5 percent to $87.5 billion in fiscal 2019, according to a proxy statement filed late Monday. That’s the midpoint of a projected range, compared with $79.9 billion in sales a year earlier. Dell said its...
Alex Jones, ‘Infowars’ clips pulled by YouTube, Facebook, others

Alex Jones, ‘Infowars’ clips pulled by YouTube, Facebook, others

The hits keep coming for Austinite Alex Jones. The embattled radio host who runs the Infowars website — currently being sued for claiming the Sandy Hook school shooting never happened — has seen his video and audio clips disappear from Facebook, YouTube and a number of other sites in recent days. While Jones’ critics are cheering the news, some social media and free speech experts...
YouTube yanked Alex Jones’ page. People have some strong thoughts.

YouTube yanked Alex Jones’ page. People have some strong thoughts.

First it was Spotify. Then Apple and Facebook were next. And now, YouTube is the latest online media giant to dole out a big penalty against Alex Jones. The YouTube account for the Austin-based conspiracy theorist, as well as the channel for his Infowars broadcast, were removed Monday, according to USA Today. CNBC reports that clicking on the Alex Jones Channel, which has 2.4 million subscribers...
Alex Jones, ‘Infowars’ clips pulled down by YouTube, Facebook, others

Alex Jones, ‘Infowars’ clips pulled down by YouTube, Facebook, others

The hits keep coming for Austinite Alex Jones. The embattled radio host and owner of the “Infowars” website —  currently being sued for claiming the Sandy Hook school shooting never happened — has seen his video and audio clips disappear from a number of sites in recent days. Other sites are threatening to do the same. On YouTube, Jones’ personal channel and the...
IBM picks Austin as one of 4 sites for global network of anti-hacking labs 

IBM picks Austin as one of 4 sites for global network of anti-hacking labs 

At an IBM lab in North Austin, a team of hackers are breaking into ATMs, cell phone apps and even cars.  The Austin group is working in one of four secure IBM “X-Force Red” labs around the globe. The company on Monday announced the launch of the lab network, with locations in Austin, Atlanta, England and Australia. The hackers aren’t new to the company. Since 2016, the X-Force...
Monday Tech Crawl: Amazon’s HQ2 project shrouded in secrecy, Facebook removes Alex Jones pages and more

Monday Tech Crawl: Amazon’s HQ2 project shrouded in secrecy, Facebook removes Alex Jones pages and more

How is Amazon determining where its second home will be? It’s hard to know. Amazon’s search for its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, has been a secretive process, even to government officials within cities still remaining in the competition.  As The New York Times highlighted in a report, many city council members and other leaders at the 20 locations remaining in the hunt for HQ2...

Up the Ladder

Health care Wellbridge Healthcare has named Gregory Drummond chief executive officer of WellBridge Hospital in San Marcos. Technology Q2 Holdings has named Rekha Garapati senior vice president of client operations and services. ESO has named Robert Munden general counsel.
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

SOFTWARE SALE Austin software maker Accruent being sold in $2 billion deal: Austin-based software maker Accruent is being sold for $2 billion, the company’s ownership group said last week. California-based private equity firm Genstar Capital, which has owned Accruent since 2016, said it has agreed to sell Accruent to Fortive Corp., an industrial products company based in Everett, Washington...
Railyard condo project in downtown Austin hits the market

Railyard condo project in downtown Austin hits the market

It’s a developer’s dream: Two unrestricted parcels in downtown Austin that could become a blank canvas on which to envision a large mixed-use project near both the Austin Convention Center and a commuter rail stop. The dream could become a reality if a developer offers owners of the 112-unit Railyard condominiums a price they can’t refuse. The Railyard was built in 1983 and spans...
Site of ’80s-built Austin condos is a developer’s dream, and it’s for sale

Site of ’80s-built Austin condos is a developer’s dream, and it’s for sale

It’s a developer’s dream: Two unrestricted parcels in downtown Austin that could become a blank canvas on which to envision a large mixed-use project near both the Austin Convention Center and a commuter rail stop. The dream could become a reality if a developer offers owners of the 112-unit Railyard condominiums a price they can’t refuse. The Railyard was built in 1983 and spans...
Austin’s Alchemy Systems sold to UK-based company for $480 million

Austin’s Alchemy Systems sold to UK-based company for $480 million

Austin-based workplace training company Alchemy Systems said Friday it has agreed to be acquired by London-based Intertek Group. The deal is valued at $480 million and is expected to close in the third quarter, Intertek Group said. Alchemy Systems will remain in Austin and will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Intertek Group. Alchemy CEO Jeff Eastman will remain as the company’s leader...
Texas merger activity falls short of expectations

Texas merger activity falls short of expectations

Mergers and acquisition experts predicted 2018 would be a record year for dealmaking. They pointed to stable energy markets, pent-up private equity and a spanking new investor-friendly tax law. New mergers and acquisitions data shows that the first six months of the year shows Texas businesses did a healthy number of transactions, but far from what was expected. In fact, dealmaking activity involving...
Texas sorghum farmers squeezed by U.S.-China tariff fight

Texas sorghum farmers squeezed by U.S.-China tariff fight

Jay Wilder inspected fields of blooming grain sorghum Monday, marveling at the bronze crop’s growth at his century-old family farm in Burleson County. The 47-year-old farmer said his growing season could not have been better; the sorghum he planted across 900 acres near College Station benefited from ideal rainfall and temperatures, yielding a vibrant grain atop stalks standing 4½ feet...
Austin’s Twin Liquors acquires Dallas-based chain

Austin’s Twin Liquors acquires Dallas-based chain

An Austin-based liquor store chain is expanding into the Dallas area. Twin Liquors confirmed Thursday that it has acquired Sigel’s Fine Wines and Great Spirits, a chain that had been struggling through bankruptcy. The deal closed June 29. Sigel’s has locations scattered across North Texas in the cities of Dallas, Richardson and Rockwall. “Twin Liquors, Central Texas’ fine wine...
Companies that run 6 Austin TV stations face antitrust lawsuit

Companies that run 6 Austin TV stations face antitrust lawsuit

Broadcasters that operate hundreds of TV stations nationwide, including six Austin network affiliates, have been named in a federal antitrust lawsuit filed this week. The suit was filed by the Robins Kaplan law firm in U.S. District Court’s Northern Illinois District on behalf of a Mobile, Ala., personal injury law firm that does a significant amount of TV advertising. The lawsuit accuses Gray...
Survey says Whole Foods customers have liked changes since Amazon’s takeover -- but have they been enough? 

Survey says Whole Foods customers have liked changes since Amazon’s takeover -- but have they been enough? 

The Amazonification of Whole Foods Market appears to be boosting customer perception of the grocer -- albeit incrementally.  According to a new survey released by market research firm Morgan Stanley, Whole Foods customers indicated they have had a better overall experience at the grocer since Amazon took over last fall.  The research firm has studied various components of the grocery...
After heating up in Austin, 4 bars making push into Houston

After heating up in Austin, 4 bars making push into Houston

The companies behind some of Austin’s hottest bars are making a big push into Houston. Four bars with local roots will share a building at 2416 Brazos St. in the Bayou City’s trendy Midtown district, with some opening as soon as this year. Union Venture Group is set to bring 77 Degrees and Jack & Ginger’s Irish Pub – both mainstays in Domain Northside’s Rock Rose entertainment...
Clothing retailer Madewell brings first-of-its-kind concept to Austin

Clothing retailer Madewell brings first-of-its-kind concept to Austin

Clothing retailer Madewell has brought a first-of-its-kind concept to Austin. Madewell Commons opened Tuesday at 1329 S. Congress Ave., just south of downtown Austin. In addition to offering Madewell clothing, the new store is also meant to serve as a community gathering spot, with room for concerts, pop-up shops and other events. Local businesses whose products are featured in the store include CK...
Software maker Atlassian will eliminate 100 jobs at downtown Austin hub

Software maker Atlassian will eliminate 100 jobs at downtown Austin hub

Atlassian, which is one of Austin’s largest software employers, is eliminating 101 jobs at its downtown hub following the sale of two products to a rival company. Atlassian, which makes tools for technical workers to collaborate and share information, announced last week that it has formed a strategic partnership with Slack, which makes a popular messaging tool for the workplace. Under the agreement...
Tech Crawl: A speedbump for AMD’s swiftly rising stock; and Apple flexes its muscles yet again

Tech Crawl: A speedbump for AMD’s swiftly rising stock; and Apple flexes its muscles yet again

Welcome to August, Austin technology fans.  Let’s hope this month isn’t quite as absurdly hot around here as was July. Here are some of the technology-related stories that are making waves and generating headlines around the Internet this morning: The past few months have been heady times for Advanced Micro Devices. The chipmaker -- which is formally based in California but has most...
Kroger may expand ban on Visa credit cards to more stores over high swipe fees

Kroger may expand ban on Visa credit cards to more stores over high swipe fees

Due to Visa Inc.’s high annual swipe fees — a $90 billion problem — Foods Co., a unit of supermarket chain Kroger, has banned payment using Visa credit cards at 26 California stores and gas stations operating under the brand. >> Read more trending news  “Visa's rates and fees are among the highest of any credit card brand,” Foods Co. said in a statement...
Seven-story office development planned for South Lamar Schlotzsky’s site

Seven-story office development planned for South Lamar Schlotzsky’s site

A seven-story office building that could be up to 96 feet tall is being planned for a site just south of Lady Bird Lake that now houses a Schlotzsky’s restaurant. The 1.26-acre property at 218 S. Lamar Blvd. is owned by Michael Carl Pfluger and William Reid Pfluger. The developer of the proposed project, Generational Commercial, plans to ask the city for a zoning change to build a development...
Former Austin Toys R Us store bound for auction block

Former Austin Toys R Us store bound for auction block

One of the former Austin-area Toys R Us stores likely won’t sit empty for long. The location in the Brodie Oaks shopping center at 4025 S. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) in Southwest Austin is one of 123 nationwide set to be auctioned Aug. 13-14 in New York. The 43,136-square-foot building was constructed in 1982, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District, and was valued at $3...
Board OKs 10% rate hike on Texas windstorm insurance

Board OKs 10% rate hike on Texas windstorm insurance

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association voted Tuesday to raise insurance premiums by 10 percent, despite a push by some state lawmakers from Hurricane Harvey-ravaged areas to derail the rate increase. The premium increases – for insurance policies covering wind and hail damage to property primarily in coastal areas of the state — still need approval from the Texas Department of Insurance...
Usher sells metro Atlanta mansion with climate-controlled treehouse, yoga studio for $1.5M

Usher sells metro Atlanta mansion with climate-controlled treehouse, yoga studio for $1.5M

R&B singer Usher has reportedly sold his 8,022-square foot home in Alpharetta, Georgia, which he first bought in 1998 from the legendary music executive L.A. Reid, for $1.5 million. >> Read more trending news  Usher has called metro Atlanta home since he and his family moved from Chattanooga, Tennessee when he was 12-years-old. The Alpharetta mansion, located inside an exclusive gated community...
Work on Capitol complex gets going, 10 months after groundbreaking

Work on Capitol complex gets going, 10 months after groundbreaking

State leaders made speeches and lined up to scoop ceremonial shovelfuls of dirt last September during the official groundbreaking for a decades-in-the-making project to build new government office buildings, parking garages and a pedestrian-friendly green space along Congress Avenue north of the Capitol. About 10 months and little visible progress later, actual construction of the $581 million...
Harvey’s flooding boosts insurance in Texas, but will it last?

Harvey’s flooding boosts insurance in Texas, but will it last?

Little more than two months before Hurricane Harvey slammed the Gulf Coast of Texas, Alberto Castaneda let his home’s flood insurance lapse. He had never filed a claim on the policy in 10 years, and he needed the extra cash to expand his restaurant business. Standing inside his suburban Houston home nearly a year later, Castaneda tallies the cost of the destructive floods to himself and his...
House calls for car repairs: Mobile mechanics service Wrench expands into Austin market

House calls for car repairs: Mobile mechanics service Wrench expands into Austin market

When Christina Michelle needed an oil change on her 2015 Subaru WRX, she didn’t want to do another stint at the car dealership. Michelle, a Cedar Park human-resources manager in real estate, waited nearly three hours last time she went there.  “Summertime is our busiest time in real estate so I’m not able to be gone that long right now,” she said. On weekends, she&rsquo...
Monday Tech Crawl: Twitter to look at its echo chambers, and what to expect in Apple’s earnings

Monday Tech Crawl: Twitter to look at its echo chambers, and what to expect in Apple’s earnings

Twitter is going to examine the health of discussions on its platform The social media giant said in a post Monday that it is working with Leiden University to build metrics that will examine how people engage with diverse viewpoints on its site. Twitter’s announcement comes after years of complaints by users that the platform creates echo chambers for certain viewpoints, fueling negative online...

Up the Ladder

Legal The Texas Board of Legal Specialization has named William Frank Carroll board chair. The group also named Tina Amberboy, Diane Dillard and Lisa Brown board members Technology Disco has named Kristin Zmrhal-Murray vice president of customer success. Jask has named Dave DeWalt vice chairman of its board of directors.
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

HOUSING MARKET Austin-area home starts climb 3.3 percent in 2nd quarter: Amid strong demand for housing, Central Texas homebuilders ramped up production in the second quarter as they started work on more than 4,500 houses, new figures show. Starts totaled 4,537 from April through June, a 3.3 percent increase over the year-ago quarter, Metrostudy said in its latest report. For the 12 months that ended...
Talking with Texas Standard about Google Next conference’s big themes

Talking with Texas Standard about Google Next conference’s big themes

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio program, we discussed Google’s big Next Cloud conference, which attracted 20,000 this week and focused primarily on internet security and artificial intelligence. How much of what Google is advancing will affect you personally? You can check out the segment on the Texas Standard website or listen below:
The Dell Medical School wanted health-tech collaboration; these U.K. firms answered the call    

The Dell Medical School wanted health-tech collaboration; these U.K. firms answered the call    

Around early 2016, Ruben Rathnasingham and Paul Benton were at a reception in Austin hosted by international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright when the two bumped into each other. Rathnasingham, an assistant dean at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas, was preparing for the school’s grand opening. Benton, the international director of the Association of British HealthTech Industries...
Public improvement district will bring new development to Manor

Public improvement district will bring new development to Manor

As one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Manor has been getting a lot of looks lately. Commercial developers, in particular, have their eyes on the city – and a recently improved public improvement district is expected to accelerate development. The EntradaGlen PID gets its name from the two master-planned communities it encompasses: Las Entradas and Shadow Glen. Together, the two...
Construction starts on new Oak Hill hospital

Construction starts on new Oak Hill hospital

Construction is underway on a new hospital in Southwest Austin. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Austin Oak Hill is expected to open late next year at 5251 U.S. U.S. 290 – the former site of the Oak Hill Golf Range. The hospital will have a 24-hour emergency room, as well as operating rooms for surgical procedures and space for inpatient services. It will be Baylor Scott & White&rsquo...
Do you even need a streaming TV box anymore?

Do you even need a streaming TV box anymore?

There was a time just a few years ago when 4K televisions first started becoming affordable, but there wasn’t a lot of actual 4K-quality video content you could watch on them. Slowly, set-top boxes from Roku, Apple and Amazon caught up and so did the apps built into the TVs from Netflix, Amazon and YouTube. These days, I’m starting to wonder if an external streaming box is even really...
It’s the MoviePass of Austin craft beer: PintHub app provides free beer with membership

It’s the MoviePass of Austin craft beer: PintHub app provides free beer with membership

It’s a pretty simple, tempting premise: Pay $9.99 per month and get one free beer a day from a participating bar or brewery.  PintHub, the creation of two University of Texas graduates, recently launched in Austin after a successful first run in Dallas. The membership-based app is similar to services like MoviePass and ClassPass, but instead of giving its members a free movie per day...
Austin-based Tankee, a free safe-space video network for kid gamers, launching this fall

Austin-based Tankee, a free safe-space video network for kid gamers, launching this fall

Parents who feel a cold chill up their back whenever their kids venture into the world of online gaming have a new resource. This week, an Austin-based video service aimed at 6-12-year-olds called Tankee came out of stealth mode with plans to launch officially in the fall. The company, which has five employees and is entering its first seed round of investment, is co-founded by Gerald Youngblood...
UPS reducing workforce with retirement buyouts

UPS reducing workforce with retirement buyouts

United Parcel Service Inc. is trimming its workforce. Officials with the shipping giant said Tuesday that employees who took retirement buyouts will leave the company on a staggered schedule over the next 12 months. >> Read more trending news  Officials with the Sandy Springs, Georgia-based company also said Tuesday they will not disclose how many employees have taken the buyout, but that...
AMD reports surge in income, revenue during strong second quarter

AMD reports surge in income, revenue during strong second quarter

Advanced Micro Devices lived up to expectations Wednesday, reporting $1.76 billion revenue in its second-quarter earnings report. The chipmaker -- which is headquartered in California but has a large presence in Austin -- reported revenue up 53 percent year-over-year and net income of $116 million, or 11 cents per share. That compares with a net loss of $42 million in the same quarter last year...
Job openings grow as Austin area battles ‘skills gap’

Job openings grow as Austin area battles ‘skills gap’

The latest sign of the surging economy in the Austin metro area is, literally, a sign — “Help Wanted.” Postings for local job openings topped 43,000 last month, 10 percent more than in June 2017, according to data compiled by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. The figure also substantially outpaced the 38,092 people in the metro area that the Texas Workforce Commission counted...
Austin startup ScaleFactor lands $10 million to build out sales, marketing

Austin startup ScaleFactor lands $10 million to build out sales, marketing

ScaleFactor, which sells accounting and payroll management software, has landed $10 million to build out its sales and marketing teams. Founded in 2014 by former KPMG accountant Kurt Rathmann, the company sells machine-based financial and bookkeeping software to small- and medium-sized businesses. The software collects and analyzes data from point of sale systems, bank accounts, credit cards and billing...
Austin’s Silicon Labs tops Wall Street revenue expectations, but stock price slides

Austin’s Silicon Labs tops Wall Street revenue expectations, but stock price slides

Silicon Labs reported another quarter of record revenue Wednesday, surpassing Wall Street expectations.  The Austin-based chipmaker reported revenue of $217.1 million in the second quarter, up 14 percent year-over-year. “The diversity of our business supports strong fundamentals,” president and CEO Tyson Tuttle said before the stock market opened Wednesday. “We are very pleased...
Wednesday Tech Crawl: soul searching in FB departures, Google Cloud Next announcements and a jaw-dropping one-take drone shot

Wednesday Tech Crawl: soul searching in FB departures, Google Cloud Next announcements and a jaw-dropping one-take drone shot

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Here are some of the tech stories we’re poring over this morning: There are some high-profile departures happening at Facebook, and at least one of those leaving is directly addressing some of the hot messes the company currently finds itself in. The company’s chief security officer Alex Stamos left a brutally honest memo about the company’s &ldquo...
First Jimmy Choo outlet in Texas now open in San Marcos

First Jimmy Choo outlet in Texas now open in San Marcos

There’s a new addition at San Marcos Premium Outlets. The shopping center, at 3939 S. Interstate 35 in San Marcos, has welcomed the state’s first Jimmy Choo outlet. Find the 2,300-square-foot shop next to CH Carolina Herrera. The Jimmy Choo outlet carries a variety of men’s and women’s shoes, handbags and accessories. “We’re thrilled to have Jimmy Choo join San...
A reverse stock split for Austin’s Superconductor Technologies

A reverse stock split for Austin’s Superconductor Technologies

Austin-based technology company Superconductor Technologies said Tuesday is has completed a reverse stock split that was required to keep its shares trading on the Nasdaq exchange. Superconductor Technologies develops and commercializes high-temperature superconductor materials and technologies. The company moved its headquarters from Santa Barbara, Calif., to Austin in 2012, and in 2013 raised about...
Indeed, Galvanize among winners of first Austin Mosaic Awards for diversity and inclusion

Indeed, Galvanize among winners of first Austin Mosaic Awards for diversity and inclusion

On Thursday night, WeWork Congress downtown was the scene for a new award presentation focused on inclusion and diversity. The Mosaic Awards, an event hosted by The Mentor Method, SocialGood.us and BLNDED Media, presented honors to companies and individuals from a list of 20 finalists. The winners were: Large Company: Indeed Medium Company: Galvanize Small Company: ...
Texas business coalition opposes state’s bid to end DACA program

Texas business coalition opposes state’s bid to end DACA program

The state’s Republican leadership is once again crossways with some prominent Texas business organizations and companies — this time over the fate of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. A pro-business coalition has weighed in to oppose a federal lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The suit seeks to end the Deferred Action for Childhood...
Austin-area home starts climb 3.3% in second quarter

Austin-area home starts climb 3.3% in second quarter

Amid strong demand for housing, Central Texas homebuilders ramped up production in the second quarter as they started work on more than 4,500 houses, new figures show. Starts totaled 4,537 from April through June, a 3.3 percent increase over the year-ago quarter, Metrostudy said in its latest report Thursday. For the 12 months that ended in June, starts totaled 16,675 — up 1.9 percent from the...
Monday Tech Crawl: Qualcomm shows off first 5G smartphone antennas, and St. Louis Uber driver filmed hundreds of passengers

Monday Tech Crawl: Qualcomm shows off first 5G smartphone antennas, and St. Louis Uber driver filmed hundreds of passengers

Qualcomm has taken a big step in making true 5G a reality  The chipmaker has unveiled its first 5G mmWave antennas for smartphones. While users are already going to see speed improvements on smartphones from lower-bandwidth 5G technology being created, the real difference will be experienced through the 5G mmWave network, online publication The Verge said. The problem is that the hardware...
Austin-area apartment rents hit record high

Austin-area apartment rents hit record high

For a couple of years, apartment dwellers in the Austin-area got a bit of a break from sharply rising rents amid a surge of new supply and somewhat slower job growth. But the respite is proving to be short-lived, experts say. Job growth has gained momentum, leasing has picked up steam and the Central Texas apartment market is once again on the rise, with rents hitting an all-time high in June of $1...

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

MILITARY TECH General says new tech center in Austin will keep U.S. Army relevant: The U.S. Army’s new technology center in Austin, named its Futures Command, is necessary for the military branch to remain “the best army in the world,” Army Lt. Gen. Eric Wesley said this past week. Wesley, who was in Austin with a team of Army officials to set up the facility, said the Futures Command...
Area jobless rate at 3.2% amid hot economy; average wages slow to rise

Area jobless rate at 3.2% amid hot economy; average wages slow to rise

A trend of near 20-year lows in the Austin metro area’s monthly unemployment rate continued in June, although by some measures the tight labor market has yet to fuel gains in average wages for workers. The local jobless rate registered 3.2 percent last month, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, the lowest nonseasonally adjusted rate for the month of June since coming in at 2.5 percent...
Talking with Texas Standard about tech to take on your next road trip 

Talking with Texas Standard about tech to take on your next road trip 

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio program, we discussed tips on technology for summer road trips. What are some of the top apps and gadgets you should consider before hitting the road, from a website dedicated to roadtrippers to roadside-assistance crowdsourcing? You can hear the segment on the Texas Standard website or listen to it below:
Colton House luxury hotel planned for South Congress Avenue

Colton House luxury hotel planned for South Congress Avenue

Austin’s hotel boom shows no signs of letting up. The latest example: Developers have started work on an 80-room luxury hotel in South Austin. The Colton House is going up at 2510 S. Congress Ave., near West Oltorf Street. The site had previously been occupied by the Taste of China Express restaurant. It’s set to debut in fall 2019. Inherit Hotel Group, the firm behind the project, says...
Austin solar firm lights up the lives of Haitian orphans

Austin solar firm lights up the lives of Haitian orphans

More than 7 million Haitians lack access to electricity. Residents of one orphanage there are now no longer a part of that eye-opening statistic thanks to an Austin company’s efforts. A crew from Freedom Solar traveled to the island nation recently to install an off-the-grid solar array that will power A Child’s Hope, an orphanage in La Montagne, around the clock. SunPower donated the...
Austin area unemployment rate at 3.2% in June

Austin area unemployment rate at 3.2% in June

A trend of near 20-year lows in the Austin metro area’s monthly unemployment rate continued in June, fueled by big job gains over the past year in the high-tech sector, the hospitality industry and skilled trades and construction. The local jobless rate registered 3.2 percent last month, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, the lowest nonseasonally adjusted rate for the month of June...
As temperatures soar, state breaks power use records this week

As temperatures soar, state breaks power use records this week

As Texans set records this week for electricity consumption amid a scorching heat wave, the operator of the state’s largest electrical grid said it’s prepared to handle the spike in demand. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the grid that serves most of the state, has set records for power use this week as temperatures have climbed well into the 100s across the state...
Dockless bike share firm Ofo leaving Austin amid U.S. exodus 

Dockless bike share firm Ofo leaving Austin amid U.S. exodus 

Ofo, the China-based bike share company that has only operated in Austin for about five weeks, is pulling out of the market as part of a widescale downgrading of its U.S. operations.  An Ofo spokesman did not say when the company planned to officially leave town.  According to media reports, Ofo is also shuttering its service in other U.S. cities and cutting its U.S. staff. The company has...
What’s the temperature? Not so fast, you might be wrong

What’s the temperature? Not so fast, you might be wrong

Quick: how hot is it? “Very,” is not a great answer and neither is, “at least a billion degrees.” Given that most of us are carrying around a powerful internet connected device with us at all times, there’s really no excuse for not knowing the outdoor temperature around you. But you’d be surprised to know, maybe, that their validity might be called into question...
Putting new funding to work, Austin’s YouEarnedIt buys a Chicago startup

Putting new funding to work, Austin’s YouEarnedIt buys a Chicago startup

YouEarnedIt is putting its recent investment by Vista Equity Partners to work by acquiring a Chicago startup. Austin-based YouEarnedIt, which lets companies provide employee recognition and rewards, said it has purchased HighGround, a human relations software company. In an announcement on Thursday, the companies said the partnership would help both grow their businesses as they gradually integrate...
Scorching Thursday heat could again set record for power use in Texas

Scorching Thursday heat could again set record for power use in Texas

Texans could again set records for electric power demand on Thursday as residents try to stay cool amid a scorching heat wave. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the electricity grid that serves most of the state, is forecasting that electricity use could reach 74,049 megawatts on Thursday. That mark would exceed all-time records set Wednesday of 72,192 megawatts between 4 and...
New York-based GLG doubles down on Austin with expansion, room for 730 employees downtown

New York-based GLG doubles down on Austin with expansion, room for 730 employees downtown

In 2005, New York-based GLG opened an Austin office as a small outpost for its business, which specializes in connecting businesses to experts. “We moved here because we thought it was a quaint sleepy community which was pro-business and where we could maybe put some of our folks because it was such a small livable city,” said Richard Socarides, GLG’s head of public affairs. It turned...
Facebook comments: July 20, 2018

Facebook comments: July 20, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Bob Sechler, farmers in Texas could be permitted to grow hemp. If a provision in the 2018 farm bill makes it into the final version, states will be able to decide how to regulate the crop. Advocates told a legislative committee Wednesday that if state lawmakers allow it, Texas farmers could become top producers of hemp. It’s a source of fiber for...
Who is the fastest wireless provider in Austin? It’s not who you think 

Who is the fastest wireless provider in Austin? It’s not who you think 

In the race to get to 5G wireless Internet speeds over the next few years, the major wireless providers — AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon Wireless — are building out new infrastructure for that next-gen set of networks. Could that be the reason that of the four major wireless providers, the one that came in last in national rankings for the first half of this year is...
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