In the 2010 Vancouver Games, the United States had the biggest haul of Winter Olympics medal ever. They came away with 37. The 2014 Winter Olympics will start this Friday February 7. While the world still awaits that beginning, the gold medal winners have been announced at the third annual Austin Startup Games that were held last week.
The gold medal winner of the Austin Startup Games is SpareFoot Storage Finder. This is their seconding consecutive gold medal win in the games. Second-place winner was uShip and third-place winner was Capital Factory.
Chuck Gordon, co-founder and CEO for SpareFoot, was thrilled. Last year, they won by a slim margin of 26 to 23. This year, they won 31 to 15. Not only did SpareFoot ‘bring home the gold,’ they also donated $23,000 to Kureit, the cancer research charity. SpareFoot won five gold medals and two silver medals in 10 events. (And, the top three winning teams brought in close to $60,000 for charities!)
Just as athletes work hard to prepare for the Winter Olympics, SpareFoot works hard to make the Austin Games fun and a successful event for those who attend. They work with the charities, corporate sponsors, caterers, DJs, bartenders, and cleanup crews. There are a million details and all are managed expertly.
This year, sixteen startups participated in the games that were held again in the Austin Music Hall. There were games such as foosball, table hockey, shuffleboard, trivia, pop-a-shot, Connect 4, darts, and flip cup. And, the teams’ attire fit the lighthearted teasing banter between teams. People wore costumes such as company t-shirts, togas and laurel wreaths, and lots of hair ‘attire’ and high socks.
The Austin Startup Games holds an opening ceremony. A bugler plays the Olympic Song, a former Olympian runs the torch in and lights the Austin Startup Games version of a games torch. Then, someone sings the national anthem and white doves are released. People think it’s an amazing ceremony.
The history of the Startup Games is interesting. The first competition was in 2012. Eight companies competed and they raised $5,000 for charity. In 2013, 16 companies competed and raised $30,000. This year, 16 companies competed and they raised a whopping $56,000.
This competition is only for startup companies. To participate, companies have to be a tech company with 250 employees or less, be headquartered in the Austin area, and not be publicly traded. Large local companies (such as RetailMeNot) are not eligible to compete. However, that doesn’t stop them. Those companies have become event sponsors.
Thanks SpareFoot for organizing and holding yet again another successful Startup Games!
“For Second Consecutive Year, SpareFoot Scores Gold at Austin Startup Games!” The SpareFoot Blog; 27 January 2014.
“The biggest story lines of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.” CBS Sports; 3 February; 2014.
“How Austin’s Startup Games Create a Close Community.” Techzette; 30 January 2014.