Austin Turns Out For A Hot Night Of Fun, Drinking And Pitching

Last Thursday, on a balmy night in Central Texas, over 900 people attended TechCrunch’s first event in the Lone Star State. Just like every other TechCrunch meetup, the crowd was an eclectic mix of tech nerds, entrepreneurs, business types, and venture capitalists. It was an epic night that ended with a pitch-off for the ages.

Halfway through the night 30 companies took the stage and pitched to three Austin-area VCs and TC East Coast Editor John Biggs and myself. Never before have we featured such raw talent in a pitch-off. Austin, and Texas in general, has some amazing young companies.

But in the end a robust video production management startup, First Cut Pro, won the top prize of a Startup Alley table for TC Disrupt SF. Embarkly, a startup that’s essentially Expedia for dog boarding, won two tickets to Disrupt SF as the runner-up. And Camperoo, a well-developed platform for shopping and booking kids summer camps (they’re looking for funding, btw), impressed the live audience enough to win the Audience Choice award.

I would also like to thank the sponsors that made this event happen. Austin-based Volusion, an ecommerce solution provider, and Austin-based Vobi, made much of this event possible. Our other sponsors like ATI, Silvercar, Texas for Economic Progress and 5 Gum, also played a big part, too.

After spending a few days talking to Austin startups and VCs, it’s very clear that Austin is a special place for young companies. The area is full of talent and helpful venture capitalists which combine into a vibrant community.

Thank you, Austin. We had a great. Take care now, y’hear.

TC is headed to Seattle next for another meetup + pitch-off. The general admission tickets will be on sale soon and we’ll open up registration for the pitch-off competition in the coming weeks. Startup Demo tables and Exhibitor packages area available now.