Investing, Real Estate, In-Game Ads: Sputnik ATX’s Third Accelerator

Austin—[Updated 3:48 p.m. See below.] Startup accelerator Sputnik ATX has a picked five startup companies for its newest program, the third Sputnik has run. That includes software makers and entrepreneurs focused on investing, commercial real estate, advertising for gaming, and building websites.

Founded in 2017, Sputnik ATX runs two programs annually, selecting a group of five startups that are seeking help with product development, mentorship, sales, and more. The accelerator gives each selected startup $100,000 to participate in the three-month program, in exchange for future equity if the business goes on to raise future funding.

This year, Sputnik ATX has started a new “Entrepreneur in residence” program, which allows two startups from the University of Texas at Austin to join the five other companies in the accelerator. The plan is that the UT startups won’t receive funding, however, though Sputnik ATX may decide to invest a small sum, and therefore potentially take a small equity stake, according to a spokesperson. [Updated with additional comment.]

Here are the five startups Sputnik ATX selected from 200 applicants for its winter group, as well as the two UT student-led businesses:

—Saveday automates 401(k) plans for small- and medium-size businesses, which often don’t offer the retirement benefits to employees. The company was founded in New York.

—Vertalo is an Austin-based blockchain company in the finance sector. It’s targeting issuers of, and investors in, digital assets and cryptocurrency projects, and believes blockchain platforms can reduce the cost of investor-relations services and issuing and managing digital assets.

—Tenavox offers users information on leasing commercial real estate, including matching and connecting tenants. It already operates in Austin and Houston, where its founders are based.

—AdInMo makes advertising technology for the gaming industry, integrating the messages as a part of the games. That includes eSports, augmented reality, virtual reality, and mobile games. The company is from Austin.

–Vybe is an artificial intelligence software maker focused on an application called Leia, which helps people design and publish custom websites. The company is from New Hampshire.

The two UT startups are:

—College Hustle aims to help students land a part-time job near campus. A mobile app lets users message with places with which they’ve sent an application, and find openings through a map interface.

—Celadyne Technologies is developing an alternative to current fuel cell membranes, which determines the efficiency and cost of the fuel cells. Celadyne calls it a nanoceramic membrane.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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