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Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.
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Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Gaming industry leaders optimistic about state of things in Austin

Austin’s video game development sector is enjoying a time of unusual stability − a period without major layoffs at established game companies or a raft of studios shutting down. Leaders in the sector say they are optimistic about the future for the industry in Central Texas. A key strength, they say, is the diversity in types and sizes of game companies that operate here — and the...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

The state of Austin’s gaming sector: Stable, diverse in size, due for some shakeups

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

Hemanshu Chhabra, the creative director at the small Austin indie studio Triple-I Games, used to work on huge video games such as “Star Wars: The Old Republic” for companies such as Electronic Arts-owned BioWare Austin and for Amazon Game Studios. After about a decade in the “AAA” high end of game development, he went indie for a few years. In September 2015, he and...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Ride-hailing app GetMe suspends service in Austin  

by Sebastian Herrera

Ride-hailing firm GetMe has temporarily shut down its phone application in Austin, the company confirmed on Thursday. GetMe said its app is being revamped for a re-launch, though the company did not say when that would happen.  “Our current app is unavailable as Get Me evolves and transforms its team and technology,” GetMe spokesman Matthew Krueger said in an email to the American-Statesman...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin’s Magnitude Software puts its $100 million war chest to work with another acquisition

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

Austin-based Magnitude Software is closing out the year with another acquisition. Magnitude said it is purchasing Innowera, an Irving-based business software startup. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Magnitude was founded in 2014 through the merger of two software firms, Noetix Corp., based in Redmond, Wash., and Kalido, based in Burlington, Mass. The company sells business intelligence...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Spectrum launches high-speed, 1 gigabit internet service in Austin  

by Sebastian Herrera

Broadband provider Charter Communications on Wednesday announced that it has launched high-speed 1 gigabit internet service in Austin through its suite of broadband services named Spectrum. Priced at $104.99 for new customers, the service will provide 1 gigabit, or 1,000 megabits, per second of high-speed internet. At 1 gigabit, a user can download 25 songs in 1 second, a television show in...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Wednesday Tech Crawl: Coinbase’s Bitcoin Cash problem, Europe rules against Uber, funding issues for ‘HQ Trivia’ and an audio-animatronic Trump

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

Happy Wednesday, Austin! You only have to make it a few more days before holiday break. You can do it! Here are a few tech stories we’re following this morning: TechCrunch reports this morning that problems with Coinbase’s just-introduced support for Bitcoin Cash was glitchy as for an hour or so, prices for the cryptocurrency were shown on Coinbase and GDAX to be $8,500, about...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Southwest adds flights from Atlanta to LA for Rose Bowl

by JuliaKate E. Culpepper, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Southwest Airlines announced it will add flights from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Calif. for the College Football Playoff semifinal between No. 3 Georgia and No. 2 Oklahoma.  >> Read more trending news  The airline will add flights on Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 from Atlanta to Los Angeles as well as a flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta on Jan. 2. Southwest will also add flights between Oklahoma...

Trump pick to lead Export-Import Bank rejected by Senate panel

by Maria Recio, American-Statesman special correspondent

In a rare rejection of a Trump administration nominee by Republicans, the Senate Banking Committee voted down a former GOP congressman to head the Export-Import Bank, a move supported by Texas business interests who depend on bank financing to support exports. At the same time, the committee advanced four nominees to the bank’s board of directors, giving the bank a quorum for the first time...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Commentary: U.S. copyright laws are 40 years old. It’s time to update

by David H. Donaldson Jr., Special to the American-Statesman

Copyright laws have been fundamental to American culture since the founding of our nation — they are one of the specific powers granted to Congress under the Constitution. Next month, we celebrate 40 years of operating under the 1976 revision of the copyright law. Simply put, the revision has been one of the best upgrades in a long time and has been critical in the success of the arts in our...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin’s Crossroads Systems acquires provider of affordable housing, mortgage financing

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

Austin-based technology company Crossroads Systems says it has acquired Capital Plus Financial, a provider of affordable housing and mortgage financing to underserved communities. As part of the deal, Erik Donnelly, CEO of Capital Plus Financial, will assume the CEO role of Crossroads. Donnelly will fill the role formerly held by Crossroads principal executive officer Richard Coleman. &ldquo...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin shoppers finding grocery deals with Basket app

by Gary Dinges

Finding the lowest grocery prices in town? There’s an app for that.  The app, called Basket, utilizes crowdsourcing to get prices on milk, bread, eggs – and everything else you can imagine – at supermarkets across the nation.  Austin shoppers have been especially quick to embrace the app, said Andy Ellwood, Basket’s president.  “Austin’s a really...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin’s Amplify Snack Brands being sold to Hershey for $1.6 billion

by Bob Sechler, American-Statesman Staff

Amplify Snack Brands, an Austin company best known for its SkinnyPop popcorn, is being bought by The Hershey Co. in a $1.6 billion deal that the maker of chocolate Kisses and candy bars is billing as its largest acquisition ever as it launches a major push into the market for salty snacks. Shares of Amplify, which had been down about 21 percent for the year through Friday, soared Monday after the...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

McCain goes to Arizona for Christmas, will miss tax vote

Associated Press

Republican Sen. John McCain has returned to Arizona to celebrate Christmas with his family and will miss the vote on the GOP tax bill. The 81-year-old senator was admitted last week to Walter Reed Medical Center and treated for a viral infection. A doctor says he is also "responding positively" to ongoing treatment for brain cancer. His daughter Meghan McCain tweeted Sunday: "My father...

Up the Ladder

by Staff

Finance Banker’s Toolbox has named Max Thoene chief operating officer. Government The Texas County & District Retirement System has named Casey Wolf chief investment officer. Health care The Austin Healthcare Council has named Mini Kahlon board chair and Charles Barnett board vice chair. Technology SecureLink has named Chip Pate chief financial officer, Alexis Jones vice president of people...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

by Staff, American-Statesman staff

3M DEAL 3M to sell Austin unit to Corning in its latest local downsizing: Industrial and consumer products company 3M continues to reduce its Austin footprint, announcing plans to shed a unit based here that makes bandwidth and optical fiber devices for the telecommunications sector — six months after it reached a separate deal to sell its main local campus. Corning is buying 3M’s communication...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

A milestone for Austin-based Car2go: 1 million users 

by Sebastian Herrera

Car2go, the car-sharing company based in Austin, says it has hit a milestone: It has topped 1 million users in North America. The milestone comes nine years after Car2go launched its North America operation in Austin as a pilot program with 200 cars. Paul DeLong, CEO for the company’s North America operations, said the growth  reflects the current demand for shared cars. “One million...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

1 year in, Domain Northside development is a hit

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

Bigger and better than anything Central Texans had seen before. That was the goal when Austin-based developer Endeavor Real Estate Group set out to plan Domain Northside, the third – and final – phase of the Domain mixed-use project in North Austin. One year after the first wave of businesses opened their doors, Endeavor executives say the development has not only met, but exceeded their...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

What time do stores open and close on Christmas Eve 2017?

by Fiza Pirani, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

If you’re banking on some last minute Christmas shopping, you’re not alone.  >> Read more trending news  According to a 2016 survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers, 76 percent of adult shoppers said they planned on making holiday purchases right up until Christmas. And with Christmas Eve on a Sunday this year, shoppers will have an extra weekend...

Home sales, prices rise as Central Texas market stays on record pace

by Shonda Novak, American-Statesman Staff

As it rolls toward another potential record year, Central Texas’ housing market remained on solid footing in November, with sales volume and the median home sale price both higher than a year ago. Sales of single-family homes in the Austin-Round Rock metro area climbed 3.7 percent from the prior November, as 2,196 homes changed hands, the Austin Board of Realtors said Thursday. Half of the homes...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Home sales, prices climb as Central Texas market stays on record pace

by Shonda Novak, American-Statesman Staff

As it rolls toward another potential record year, Central Texas’ housing market remained on solid footing in November, with sales volume and the median home sale price both higher than a year ago. Sales of single-family homes in the metro area climbed 3.7 percent from the prior November, as 2,196 homes changed hands, the Austin Board of Realtors said Thursday. Half of the homes last month sold...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin health tech startup Keet acquired by Portland company

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

Austin-based Keet Health, a communication platform for medical providers, has been acquired by Clinicient, a Portland-based outpatient rehabilitation software maker. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Clinicient, founded in 2004, helps outpatient rehabilitation therapy businesses manage their clinical and financial operations. The company is backed by growth equity firm Catalyst...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

$60 million renovation project underway at Horseshoe Bay Resort

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

At the Horseshoe Bay Resort, everything old is new again these days. The sprawling 7,000-acre Hill Country resort on the shores of Lake LBJ – a longtime favorite with business and casual travelers alike – is in the middle of a multi-year $60 million renovation and expansion project that will leave almost no part of the property untouched when completed in early 2019. The first phase of...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.
Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

The year of yes for holiday tech gifts

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

Most years, when I look at the gadgets and devices on offer for Black Friday sales and the push into Christmas, there are clear winners and losers: stuff that would make great gifts depending on your budget, and stuff you should clearly avoid. For instance, in past years, ebook readers were solid choices as gifts, but 4K TVs suffered from a lack of enough content to make them worthwhile and Internet...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Obamacare enrollment brisk but deadline nears in shorter signup period

by Bob Sechler, American-Statesman Staff

Enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has been brisk as the deadline to sign up looms Friday, but final numbers are likely to fall short of last year regardless because the enrollment period is half as long. In Texas, enrollment on the federal health care exchange is up nearly 30 percent, to 579,688 people, compared to the same period last year, according to the federal Centers...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Report: Austin to be among top cities for tech hiring in first half of 2018

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

Austin ranks fourth on a new list of U.S. cities where technology hiring is expected to grow the most in the first half of 2018. Twenty-five percent of chief information officers surveyed in Austin said they plan to add full-time tech professionals to their teams in the first half of the year, according to a hiring and local trend report by Robert Half Technology, a staffing company. “The...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Kendra Scott’s 2018 plans: More staff, more office space

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

Kendra Scott has big plans for 2018. The Austin-based designer whose jewelry has been worn by a number of A-list celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift told the American-Statesman she plans to nearly double the size of the staff working at her Central Austin headquarters in the coming year. To accommodate all those new hires, Kendra Scott LLC, which has occupied the entire fourth floor of...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

PHOTOS: Checking in on Domain Northside a year after debut

by Karen Hinojosa

A year after its debut, Domain Northside continues to lure big name retailers. We check in to see what's new.

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Wednesday Tech Crawl: What experts got wrong about Bitcoin, Apple’s new Texas investment and threading added to Twitter 

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

Happy Hump Day, Austin! Here are some of the tech stories we’re taking a look at this morning: It takes a strong columnist to admit they were completely wrong, but that’s what business writer Kevin Roose is doing over at the New York Times, enumerating the way he missed the boat four years ago on the phenomenon that is Bitcoin. You can read his reasons and go back and read the...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Chamber sets new economic roadmap with Opportunity Austin 4.0

by Dan Zehr, American-Statesman Staff

The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday will unveil Opportunity Austin 4.0, the latest iteration of its economic development roadmap and one that seeks to expand on existing efforts to help more Central Texans share in the region’s prosperity. While the architects of the new version did not call for any surprising new strategic shifts — as its predecessor did with the addition...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

‘PUBG’ finally arrives on a game console, ‘Fallout 4’ goes VR

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Game Preview Edition.” The incredibly popular PC game, a “Hunger Games”-like battle royal that has sold 20 million copies, finally arrives on a game console. The game contains graphical enhancements for the new Xbox One X and has the unusual distinction of being one of the few major console releases to be labeled “Unfinished&rdquo...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

With $282M acquisition, Silicon Labs doubles down on Internet of Things 

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

Silicon Laboratories is doubling down on the “Internet of Things” market with its recent $282 million acquisition of California-based Sigma Designs. Austin-based Silicon Labs has continued to notch higher sales growth thanks in part to its efforts to pivot toward high-growth areas such as Internet of Things products, electric vehicles and renewable energy. The Internet of Things -- or...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

3M to sell Austin unit to Corning in its latest local downsizing

by Bob Sechler, American-Statesman Staff

Industrial and consumer products company 3M continues to reduce its Austin footprint, announcing plans to shed a unit based here that makes bandwidth and optical fiber devices for the telecommunications sector — six months after it reached a separate deal to sell its main local campus. Corning is buying 3M’s communication markets division for $900 million in a cash transaction that&rsquo...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin tech accelerator DivInc shows off its startups at Demo Day

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

After three months of intense work, DivInc, the Austin accelerator for diverse entrepreneurs, has launched its latest group of startups. The founders of eight companies took the stage for Demo Day on Friday at Google’s downtown Austin offices. They introduced their startups and pitched their ideas to potential investors. DivInc launched in 2016 with the aim of creating a path to tech entrepreneurship...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Planview expands its software offerings with another acquisition

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

Austin software maker Planview is expanding its project management offerings with the acquisition of a Tennessee-based company, the company said Monday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Planview sells software that helps companies map and track employees. The company has grown by buying smaller project management players.  LeanKit, based in Franklin, Tenn., sells project management...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.
Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

As recycling costs rise, will Austin feel the sting?

Bob Sechler

The cost of being green has been going up — at least when it comes to recycling. China — traditionally a top buyer of mixed paper, plastics and other recyclable trash that U.S. consumers toss into their recycling bins — plans to severely restrict imports of some of those commodities beginning in 2018 as part of an effort to clean up its environment. The decision has been roiling...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

by Staff, American-Statesman staff

DATA SECURITY Cyber threats on rise for state government, Texas Senate panel told: The terms vary — phishing, hacktivism and whaling are just a few — but they all represent serious cybersecurity threats increasingly menacing state governments throughout the U.S., some Texas state senators were told during a hearing last week. “Unfortunately, the bad guys are getting very, very innovative...

Up the Ladder

by Staff

Health care St. David’s HealthCare has named Robert Nagel senior vice president of business development. Marketing Fullscreen has named Kevin Roe senior vice president of client services. Nonprofits Texan by Nature has named Joni Carswell executive director. Technology Kony Inc. has named Kathy Crusco executive vice president and chief financial officer. NSS Labs has named Dina Bruzek senior...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Talking about ways to protect kids online with Texas Standard 

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio program, we talked about some strategies for keeping kids safe online, especially in light of recent problems on YouTube with adult-themed videos targeted at kids. You can find the segment, which includes resources and advice, on the Texas Standard website, or listen to to the audio below:

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Trendy, members-only social club to open first Texas location on South Congress 

by Shonda Novak, American-Statesman Staff

Following rumors that swirled all year, it’s official: Soho House, a trendy, members-only social club, will open an Austin location in a mixed-use project that is under construction on South Congress Avenue. The first Texas location for Soho House will be in the $55 million Music Lane development that will bring more office, dining, shopping and entertainment options to bustling South...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

After Amazon-Whole Foods deal, grocery delivery companies adapt

by Sebastian Herrera, American-Statesman Staff

On June 16, the day Amazon announced it would acquire Austin-based Whole Foods Market, Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta called a company-wide meeting from Instacart’s headquarters in San Francisco. Mehta wanted employees to know it was not time to panic, as some grocery stakeholders were doing throughout the country that day, said Instacart senior regional director Sean Twersky. Instead, “He...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

ORACLE’S BIG BET: New campus expected to transform part of South Austin

by Lori Hawkins, Shonda Novak , American-Statesman Staff

For 16 months, Oracle’s new corporate campus has been quietly taking shape on prime waterfront property southeast of downtown Austin. The sleek five-story building will have more than half a million square feet of office space that initially will house 3,000 tech workers, many of them young professionals. Along with its original land purchase, Oracle bought a brand new apartment complex called...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Friday Tech Crawl: snow day, yes, but also a HomeKit security issue, a hot Bitcoin app and living in Amazon’s bubble

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

Who cares about tech news, it snowed in Austin last night, can you believe it!? You can? You still want some tech news, rounded up? All right, fine, but we’re going out and making a snowman after this. According to 9to5Mac and other sites, a serious security flaw in Apple’s HomeKit software could allow remote hackers to access Internet of Things devices such as smart locks. A...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

SWEET! Austin-based NadaMoo gets $4 million to expand

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

Austin-based NadaMoo has landed $4 million in funding to continue its growth, the company said Thursday. A Canadian venture firm, InvestEco Capital, led the round of funding for NadaMoo, which sells a line of dairy-free frozen desserts made with coconut milk. NadaMoo’s products feature ingredients that are organic, GMO-free, fair trade-certified and gluten-free whenever possible, the company...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

With free ‘Wander’ project, artists want you to choose your own downtown Austin adventure

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

One of the joys of the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, popular in the 1980s and 1990s, was the dead ends. In the series of books, flipping to a page to continue the story could result in your character’s death. But you could always backtrack and take an alternate path and see where the story would go if you had made a different choice. That sense of playful exploration...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin e-commerce startup Dosh raises $5M for deal-finding app that gives cash back

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

Austin startup Dosh has raised an additional $5 million as it prepares to launch its app for finding cash and deals. Founded a year ago, the company offers a free app that gives consumers cash back on debit and credit card purchases when they shop, eat and travel. The investment was led by Goodwater Capital with participation from Extol Capital and Next Coast Ventures. The company said the new...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Dell reports 3rd quarter sales of $19.6 billion, lowers operating loss

by Sebastian Herrera

Dell Technologies on Thursday reported a more than 20 percent year-over-year growth in sales for its fiscal third quarter, while also reporting that it lowered its operating loss. Boosted by solid sales in PCs, servers and networking devices, the Round Rock-based technology giant reported $19.6 billion in sales, a 21 percent year-over-year revenue increase and 1.5 percent increase since its...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Cybers threats on rise for state government, Texas Senate panel told

by Bob Sechler

The terms vary — phishing, hacktivism and whaling are just a few — but they all represent serious cybersecurity threats increasingly menacing state governments throughout the U.S., some Texas state senators were told Wednesday. “Unfortunately, the bad guys are getting very, very innovative in their approaches” to stealing data or disrupting an organization’s functions...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Report: Prices at Whole Foods edge back up a bit

by Sebastian Herrera

Since its acquisition of Whole Foods Market in August, Amazon has twice promoted lowering prices of some items at the Austin-based grocer. But those price cuts, which have included items such as avocados, beverages, eggs and turkeys, have not led to a significant overall change, and prices on some items at the stores have actually risen recently, according to a report this week by research...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

‘Unicorn’ cybersecurity company gets ready for more growth in Austin

by Lori Hawkins, American-Statesman Staff

Duo Security -- a ‘unicorn’ software company with a valuation of more than $1 billion -- is preparing for more growth in Austin. After tripling its Austin headcount in the past year, the fast-growing cybersecurity company has moved to a larger downtown office to prepare for more growth. The company, founded in 2010 in Ann Arbor, Mich., helps businesses prevent being hacked by protecting...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Asian grocer H-Mart, food hall to make Austin debut next month

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

Asian grocer H-Mart said Wednesday that it’s wrapping up work on its first Austin-area location, with an expected opening date sometime in mid-January. The 68,670-square-foot store will be at 11301 Lakeline Blvd. near Lakeline Mall in Northwest Austin, taking over a pair of storefronts in the Parkline shopping center that were vacated in recent years by Bed Bath & Beyond and Sports Authority...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Rear-view cameras and other new-car features you can add to older vehicles

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

If you’ve been coveting some of the tech features you’d typically find in newer cars but you’re determined to hang on to an older vehicle you love, you can split the difference with some smart aftermarket upgrades. For instance, I get a lot of use out of my car’s built-in rear-view camera: it ensures I won’t run over a neighborhood cat or hit the recycle Dumpster...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

After Amazon-Whole Foods merger, grocery delivery companies adapt to industry’s new reality

by Sebastian Herrera

On June 16, the day Amazon announced it would acquire Austin-based Whole Foods Market, Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta called a company-wide meeting from Instacart’s headquarters in San Francisco.  Mehta wanted employees to know it was not time to panic, as some grocery stakeholders were doing throughout the country that day, said Instacart senior regional director Sean Twersky. Instead...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Schlitterbahn struggling? S. Texas water park faces bankruptcy auction

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

The original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels is an undeniable success. Has been for nearly 40 years. But its spinoff on North Padre Island? Not so much, according to media reports. The Houston Chronicle says the North Padre Island water park and its accompanying resort could be auctioned off as soon as February, following a recent hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Antonio. IBC Bank is the lender...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin alcohol sales up 5 percent in October; COTA ranks 1st in state

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

Fueled by Formula One’s annual racing stop in Austin, the Circuit of the Americas sold $2.9 million worth of alcohol in October – more than any other venue in Texas – according to an American-Statesman analysis of state data. That’s up about $600,000 from last year. AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, was a close second for the month, coming in at $2.8 million...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Commentary: Why the ‘attack’ on Christmas is an American fallacy

by Ann Young, Special to the American-Statesman

“If one more person says ‘Happy Holidays’ to me, I just might slap them. Either tell me ‘Merry Christmas’ or just don’t say anything.” So went a festive holiday message Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller made on Facebook a couple of years ago. Non-Christians can stop reading here, as this message is not aimed at you. Instead, I would like my Christian...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

‘Steep: Winter Games Edition’ and a bigly-packaged ‘Dead Rising 4’ for PS4 are new in games

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

“Steep: Winter Games Edition.” Hey, it’s getting a little chilly, is that putting you in the mood for some winter sports? This package includes the original snowboarding/skiing, etc. game “Steep” in addition to “Road to the Olympics,” an expansion takes you through the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Rated T for Teen. $60 for Xbox One...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Texas A&M boss Sharp seeks an Austin swap for his Telluride home

by Shonda Novak, American-Statesman Staff

Austin-area homeowners: Want to swap your house for a mountain retreat in the scenic Colorado town of Telluride? John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, says he is looking for someone who owns a home in the Austin area — preferably on Lake Austin or Lake LBJ — to trade him their house for his four-bedroom getaway in the world-class ski resort of Telluride. The home,...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Software maker SAS moving Central Texas operations to new East Austin campus

by Shonda Novak

After more than 25 years at the same location, software firm SAS is moving its 94-acre campus in far Northwest Austin to a new building under way in East Austin, where a rapidly developing office market is emerging just east of downtown.  Rick Whiteley and Richard Whiteley of Cushman & Wakefield’s Austin office are representing SAS in its move to 1801 E. 6th St., where Riverside Resources...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

15-year prison sentence handed down in Austin securities fraud case

by Bob Sechler, American-Statesman Staff

James Elton Warr, who operated an Austin investment company, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of bilking his clients out of more than $1 million from 2010 to 2011. A Travis County jury on Friday found Warr, 69, guilty of first-degree felony charges of theft, securities fraud, money laundering and misapplication of fiduciary property. He could have been sentenced to as...

Up the Ladder

by Staff

E-Commerce RetailMeNot has named John Adcock senior vice president, people. Law firms Baker Botts has named Coleson Bruce a partner in its Austin office. Medical XBiotech has named Sushma Shivawsamy chief scientific officer. Technology NSS Labs has named Dina Bruzek senior vice president of products and Satendar Bhatia chief revenue officer.

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

by Staff, American-Statesman staff

BAZAARVOICE SALE: Bazaarvoice going private with $521 million deal: Austin software maker Bazaarvoice has agreed to be sold to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners in a $500 million-plus deal that will take the company private, the company said last week. Bazaarvoice, which makes software for online and social media marketing, will see Marlin Equity Partners acquire all outstanding...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

For Austin tech sector, parental leave becomes key recruiting tool

by Lilly Rockwell, American-Statesman Staff

The tech industry is at the forefront of a movement to allow new parents more time at home after the birth or adoption of a child. These companies are motivated by a desire to retain top talent, particularly women, and evolving expectations over how much time off new parents need to care for a child. The trend is being seen in Austin-area tech companies, as in the past two years a number of them have...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

In Austin, can code schools help ease tech job crunch?

by Lilly Rockwell, American-Statesman Staff

Coding schools are emerging in cities throughout America, promising jobs to its graduates in the lucrative tech industry. These schools, which teach programming languages and other tech skills, are concentrated in places like Austin that harbor a large tech industry. In Central Texas, hundreds of people each year are enrolling in for-profit code schools to gain a foothold in the tech industry, according...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Lengthy Austin securities fraud case ends in conviction

by Bob Sechler, American-Statesman Staff

The president of an Austin investment company, whose grandfatherly demeanor contrasted with allegations that he bilked investors out of more than $1 million in 2010 and 2011, was convicted Friday on four first-degree felony charges that included theft and securities fraud. James Elton Warr, 69, was found guilty in state district court in Travis County after a joint prosecution by the Texas State Securities...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin lender Skills Fund focuses on code school market

by Lilly Rockwell

The emergence of code schools has also spawned an industry of alternative lenders that specialize in giving shorter-term loans to students.  Tuition at code schools costs an average of $11,469, according to Course Report, an industry research company.  Because these schools are not eligible for federally-funded student loans offered at low interest rates, alternative lenders have filled...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

In Austin, can code schools help ease tech job crunch?

by Lilly Rockwell, American-Statesman Staff

On a summer day in June of 2016, executives from different code schools met at the W Hotel in Austin for a meeting that spanned several days. That these competitors were all in the same room together was unusual. But they had gathered for an important reason. They wanted to see if there was a way to agree on a standard way of reporting how well their students do after graduation. They were fearful...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Code schools can be lifeline for those with ‘no options,’ Austin grads say

by Lilly Rockwell, American-Statesman Staff

Over the past four years, code schools in Central Texas have graduated hundreds of students. Code schools say that a majority of these graduates have landed jobs in Austin’s fast-growing tech industry.  We spoke to graduates of three different Austin-area code schools to learn more about how they paid for it, what they learned and how the job hunt went afterward.    Here are their...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin tech firm BlazingDB raises $2.9 million for growth

by Sebastian Herrera

Austin tech company BlazingDB has raised $2.9 million in seed round funding that the company says it will use to hire more staff and increase its sales capabilities.   California-based investment group NVIDIA GPU Ventures and Samsung NEXT, Samsung’s investment arm, provided the funding. Both have gained seats on BlazingDB’s board as a result of their investment.  "Investors...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Friday Tech Crawl: new features for Alexa and Google Home, Disney suing Redbox and crying Nintendo kid still crying

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

Happy Friday, everybody! Here are some tech stories we’re following on this first day of December(!).  The race to make smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home more useful continues as both Amazon and Google introduced some new features for their product lines. Google has added local home services to Home, which allow you to reach out to local plumbers and other service people...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Talking about delays with Space-X’s Boca Chica spaceport with Texas Standard

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

This week on the “Texas Standard” radio show, we talked about the Space-X spaceport in South Texas, which is not yet operational despite being announced in 2014. You can read more about it in this story by Bob Sechler, who uncovered some of the reasons for the delays.  You can check out the segment on the Texas Standard website or listen to it below:

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.
Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

In Texas, veteran tech workers not seeing much progress on diversity, survey finds

by Sebastian Herrera

Long-time tech workers in Texas say they aren’t seeing much progress from their companies’ efforts to create a more diverse workforce, a new survey from hiring site Indeed.com finds. Diversity among the technology workforce has been an issue for years, with various reports and data showing a lack of inclusiveness in the technology industry.  Indeed.com recently examined the topic...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

In Texas, Obamacare enrollment up despite shorter sign-up window

by Bob Sechler, American-Statesman Staff

Texans have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in high numbers through the initial four weeks of open enrollment, with applications so far up by more than 50 percent in the state — but a significantly shortened enrollment period means the final count still might fall below last year. Nationally, enrollment on the federal health care exchange is up by about 30 percent...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Reader stuck in email purgatory wants another option

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

A reader, Gus, writes: “My current AT&T/Yahoo service is so terrible I almost despair at times. For example, sometimes when I have just turned my computer on and opened Internet Explorer, I get a pop-up message ‘Yahoo is not responding due to a long-running script.’ Of course I click on ‘Stop script’ though I have no idea what script is being referred to. I...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Dallas Fed: Regional economy expands despite lingering Harvey effects

by Dan Zehr, American-Statesman Staff

The regional economy brushed off most of Hurricane Harvey’s impact and sustained a healthy pace of expansion over the past six weeks, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In its chapter of the Beige Book, an anecdotal survey of the economy compiled every six weeks by the Federal Reserve banks, the Dallas Fed said economic growth in its district &ldquo...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Why some Austin tech companies are offering more paid time off for new parents

by Lilly Rockwell, American-Statesman Staff

Soon after starting a new job in product marketing at Austin software company Bazaarvoice, Adri Nowell found out she was pregnant. Lucky for her, by the time she gave birth to her son Liam in July, Bazaarvoice had decided to add four additional weeks of paid parental leave for new mothers or “primary parents.” Nowell was able to take 16 weeks off work, about four months, and receive her...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

November TV ratings in Austin: KXAN’s still the station to beat

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

KXAN continues to be Austin’s top choice for local TV news, according to the latest Nielsen ratings. In the November “sweeps” period, the city’s NBC affiliate was home to the No. 1-rated 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. English-language newscasts. ABC affiliate KVUE’s newscasts placed first at 4:30 a.m. and middays. Mornings, in particular, were especially competitive...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Want to buy AOL co-founder Marc Seriff’s Horseshoe Bay estate? It’s up for auction.

by Lori Hawkins, Shonda Novak , American-Statesman Staff

Want to buy the Horseshoe Bay estate owned by AOL co-founder Marc Seriff? The estate at 312 Wennmohs Place will sell to the highest bidder on Dec. 14 through global auction firm Concierge Auctions, which has offices in New York and Austin. The property, which sits on 572 feet of open waterfront, was previously listed for $6.75 million by Tammie Bennett of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.
Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

SXSW Gaming 2018 draws ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ creator Brendan Greene

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

The schedule for 2018’s South by Southwest Gaming event just got a lot more interesting. SXSW on Tuesday announced that Brendan Greene, the creator of the wildly successful mod-gone-mainstream shooter “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” will speak at the March 15-17 event. Over the last year, “Battlegrounds,” or “PUBG” as it’s better...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

A guide to Austin’s comics specialty shops

by Joe Gross

New to Austin and wondering where to get your weekly comics fix, fill out your trade paperback collection and flip through back issues? Here is a guide to Austin’s comic book specialty shops.  Note: This list contains ONLY comic book shops. Comics and graphic novels can be found at many Austin stores selling new and used books, including BookPeople and any Barnes and Noble or Half Price...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Opening of Fairmont Austin, city’s largest hotel, delayed yet again

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

Opening day for the $370 million Fairmont Austin Hotel has been pushed back yet again. Representatives for the hotel told the American-Statesman this week that they’re now looking at opening in early 2018. When first announced, the hotel had been set to make its debut in June of this year. That was later pushed back to August, late fall and then November. When the 37-story, 1,048-room property...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Virtual reality ‘DOOM’ and ‘Xenoblade Chronicles 2’ are new in games

by Omar L. Gallaga, American-Statesman Staff

New video games out this week: “DOOM VFR Edition.” After recently coming to the Nintendo Switch, the well-received reboot of Id Software’s “DOOM” now arrives as a virtual-reality game. Will it be scarier and just as fast-paced? Rated M for Mature. $30 for PlayStation 4 VR and HTC Vive on Windows PC. “Xenoblade Chronicles 2.” Nintendo scores another role-playing...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

This Austin entrepreneur scored a historic deal on ‘Shark Tank’

by Eric Webb, American-Statesman Staff

Austin fans of ABC’s “Shark Tank” might have noticed a familiar name on Sunday night’s episode. Local company EverlyWell, which sells at-home health test kits, scored a deal with one of the show’s investors (excuse us, “sharks”). The deal wasn’t just notable for the company’s bottom line. According to EverlyWell, it was a milestone for ...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Will #WasteLessWednesday make an impact? Austin agency thinks so

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

America Recycles Day got its start 20 years ago – thanks in no small part to an Austin-based ad agency. EnviroMedia launched and worked on the first five years of the event, which takes place Nov. 15 each year, pushing Americans to do a better job of preserving the earth’s precious resources In 2017, there was a new twist, with the introduction of a robust social media campaign that will...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

There’s an Alamo Drafthouse PSA for ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ and it’s a glorious mess

by Eric Webb, American-Statesman Staff

You’ve seen Armie Hammer dance in a Twitter meme. Now, watch him tell you to shut up before your movie starts. Hammer stars with Timothée Chalamet in “Call Me By Your Name,” one of the most anticipated movies of holiday season. The Luca Guadagnino-directed romance is garnering serious film awards buzz. Less likely to earn a place in an equivalent pantheon: the &ldquo...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Austin’s Bazaarvoice to be sold, go private in $521 million deal

by Lori Hawkins

Austin software maker Bazaarvoice has agreed to be sold to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners in a $500 million-plus deal that will take the company private.  Bazaarvoice, which makes software for online and social media marketing, will see Marlin Equity Partners acquire all outstanding common stock of Bazaarvoice for $5.50 in cash for a total value of $521 million...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Cyber Monday: 5 things to know before you start shopping

by Gary Dinges

Don’t expect much work to get done at the office Monday.  Your co-workers – and, let’s be honest here, probably you, too – will no doubt be surfing the web in search of Cyber Monday shopping deals.  Cyber Monday is when a variety of retailers trot out some of the season’s best online bargains.  While there was more of a tech focus in its early days, that&rsquo...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Top Local Business Stories of the Week

by Staff, American-Statesman staff

TEXAS SPACEPORT Progress slow at SpaceX’s planned South Texas spaceport: More than three years ago, SpaceX founder Elon Musk gathered with state leaders at this remote South Texas beach to trumpet it as the future location of the world’s first commercial spaceport. But so far, the only liftoffs from the shifting dunes are being achieved by seagulls and pelicans. SpaceX — the Hawthorne...

Business news from the Austin American-Statesman.

Average Austin shopper to spend about $465 this holiday season

by Gary Dinges, American-Statesman Staff

In an ever-changing retail landscape, stores big and small have tweaked their Black Friday plans this year to maximize sales. For many, the days of throwing the doors open on Thanksgiving and welcoming shoppers for 24, 36 or even 48 hours straight are history. Instead, a growing number of shopping centers and big-box chains decided this year to give bargain hunters a shot at door busters for a bit...