Texas Roundup: Rackspace, 1st and Future, Manoj Saxena, & BeeHex

Let’s get caught up on the latest innovation news from Xconomy Texas.

—San Antonio cloud computing company Rackspace is cutting 270 jobs in the U.S.—about 6 percent of its 4,500-person workforce—the company’s CEO Taylor Rhodes announced. The move comes almost five months after Rackspace was acquired by private equity firms for $4.3 billion. To help those newly on the job hunt, the Geekdom co-working space is hosting a job fair with coding school Codeup on April 11. Geekdom is also offering anyone who lost their job at Rackspace in the layoffs a membership for free—usually $50 a month—for up to six months.

uShip, an Austin, TX-based shipping logistics software developer, has a new CEO. Mike Williams was previously the general manager of corporate real estate services at Accruent, another Austin software company. (Accruent’s software manages various aspects of real estate, such as leasing or operating buildings.) At uShip, Williams says he hopes to push forward the company’s work with large, multinational businesses like DB Schenker, a German logistics company that coordinates large shipping needs for businesses.

SubVRsive, an Austin virtual reality company, has raised $4 million in a Series A round from WPP, the multinational advertising and public relations firm. The company also announced that Johannes Larcher, formerly with Hulu, has been appointed SubVRsive’s CEO. The company helps its customers use virtual reality technologies for marketing and brand engagement. Customers include Lionsgate and MTV.

—A new startup accelerator for hardware entrepreneurs called makerSeed is set to open at the University of Texas at Dallas. The accelerator will focus on student startups with innovations in wearables, connected devices, robotics, and other hardware specialties. Founder Ethan Hall says makerSeed will host a “Shark Tank”-style contest for UTD student entrepreneurs in order to find four teams to participate in the four-month pilot program. After tweaking the program based on that experience, he says their plan is to host a “regular” class of four to six teams at the accelerator in the fall or spring, he said.

—The Smart Gigabit City reverse pitch contest will be held in Richardson, TX, just north of Dallas, on February 24. Local app developers are eligible to compete for the event, which is being funded by two grants from the National Science Foundation’s US Ignite

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