Summer is finally here. Whether you’re working on a tan, paddleboarding into the heart of Downtown Austin on the glassy surface of Lady Bird Lake, or searching for the perfect breakfast taco on East 6th, it might also be a good time to catch up on the movers and shakers in your local tech scene — and Built In Austin has curated 11 noteworthy companies to get you started.
With a scorching $2.6 billion raised by Austin startups in Q1 of 2022, many of the city’s tech employers are unveiling upgrades to the breadth, depth and inclusion of their culture and perks.
The Austin-based companies featured here are unique in many ways, but all 11 have one thing in common: They are exciting, people-first organizations worth keeping on your radar.
What they do: Aristocrat is a gaming company that utilizes artificial intelligence, information technology and more. Its diverse range of products and services includes electronic gaming machines, social gaming and casino management systems.
- Diverse management team
- Unconscious bias training
- Performance bonuses
- Paid volunteer time
- Sabbatical opportunities
Well-being warriors: When Built In Austin sat down with Aristocrat earlier this year, Senior Director of People and Culture Jennifer Ilsley shared her thoughts on the company’s commitment to mental health and well-being. “There are links to internal and external resources on our internal company website to help employees focus on their well-being relating to mental and physical health, community, career and social goals,” Ilsley said. “Our global employee support fund offers financial assistance to employees who have experienced an unforeseen life-changing financial hardship.”
What they do: Red Ventures is a portfolio of digital companies that aims to connect consumers and brands through carefully crafted online experiences. Red Ventures utilizes online marketplaces and strategic partnerships with a goal of creating impactful digital growth and solving complex problems across a variety of verticals.
- Parental leave
- Commuter benefits of $260 monthly for transit or parking expenses
- Robust social calendar including quarterly outings and a monthly happy hour
- Mentorship programs
- Adoption assistance: up to $12,000 reimbursement for eligible adoption expenses and 12 weeks of paid leave
Big startup energy: Product Manager Maddie Tarr spoke to Built In Austin in February about the impressive balance Red Ventures has struck by building a large operation while maintaining a more personal, startup energy. “It wasn’t until weeks after I started — after visiting the company’s headquarters outside Fort Mill, South Carolina — that I realized the magnitude of this company,” Tarr said. “I had VPs and senior directors of a multibillion-dollar company sitting next to me, listening to and engaging with my ideas. No matter my title, experience or seniority, my voice was heard.”
What they do: H-E-B Digital creates digital products — for the households that shop at H-E-B, its partners who serve those households in tandem with H-E-B, the farmers that grow the product, and for the business functions that develop, source, package and sell food.
- Discount of 10 percent on H-E-B brands — called “Valued Partner Perks Card”
- Inclusive stock plan, which cultivates a culture of company ownership
- Generous partner health plans
- 401(k) matching
- Local volunteer opportunities
PRG power: Built In Austin sat down with Group Vice President of Talent Mayerland Harris in January, who spoke to H-E-B’s history of inclusion and belonging as a cultural framework evidenced by its thriving ERG program. “In 2021, we established our company-wide partner resource groups, or PRGs, which are formally known as affinity groups,” Harris shared. “My talent team built a strategic plan to ensure that DEIB was woven into everything we do for our partners, or employees. We built a statewide program that elevated our existing affinity groups and added commitments and goals into every aspect of our talent organization, from diversity recruiting practices to pay equity and developmental resources for partners to grow their careers.”
What they do: CCC Intelligent Solutions is an artificial intelligence company that aims to reshape the auto and casualty insurance, auto manufacturing, collision repair and parts industries. With a customer-centered focus on connection, CCC uses AI-powered data insights, machine learning, IoT and telematics to reimagine the claims process.
- Access to the CCC Learning Academy, an internal platform for advancing skills like time management, cooking, finance, and career and business development
- Flexible work schedule
- Remote work program
- Continuing education stipend
- Three no-cost wellness programs (Interactive Health, SmartDollar, Naturally Slim)
Industry innovation: When Built In Austin sat down with CCC in January, Director of Product Management Sowjanya Padmanabhuni spoke about the value of their disruptive product. “Our very first deep learning model helped us realize what could be achieved by training our AI with photos. With just a single photo, the model was able to predict the outcome of whether a vehicle was a total loss or not. This was the ‘aha moment’ for us that opened the door to new possibilities,” Padmanabhuni said. “We recently launched our first straight-through processing product that helps insurance carriers estimate damages in seconds, allowing drivers to advance quickly to their next steps like repair scheduling or settlement.”
What they do: ESO is a data, technology and research company that seeks to improve community health and safety by harnessing the power of data. ESO’s team develops user-friendly software to meet the needs of modern EMS agencies, fire departments and hospitals.
- Participation in local volunteer activities like the Austin Heart Walk with the American Heart Association
- Culture committee with representatives from multiple locations and functions
- Inclusive recruitment and hiring practices
- Childcare benefits
- Generous parental leave
Impactful purpose: Built In Austin caught up with ESO this spring to learn more about its unique community impact. “Working for a company that serves emergency services, fire departments and hospitals is an opportunity I didn’t know existed but one I am eternally grateful for,” said Director of Global Talent Acquisition Erin Johnson. “Since joining ESO in 2020, we have doubled in size and expanded into Canada. Even with such growth and expansion, our emphasis on the customer and our people has remained the same.”
What they do: Lansweeper is an IT company that operates based on the basic premise that “you can’t protect what you can’t see.” The company supports healthy cybersecurity by helping customers maintain visibility of their IT environments and develop the relevant daily routines to inspect and verify. Lansweeper’s “Deepscan engine” discovers assets in the customer’s corporate network without installing any software.
- Location in the heart of Austin — a stone’s throw from the Arboretum and the Domain
- Flexible working hours
- Industry-competitive pay
- Commitment to personal and professional development
- Collaborative working environment
- Hybrid work model
Who they’re hiring: Backed by an impressive private equity investment of $158 million in 2021, Lansweeper is ramping up its efforts to improve cyber hygiene for its customers — by hiring across all departments. Lansweeper is seeking sales leadership and personnel, operations professionals, product and development engineers, and beyond.
What they do: Core Scientific is a blockchain company that provides blockchain infrastructure and software solutions and describes itself as “taking sustainability in self-mining seriously.” Core Scientific aims to self-mine responsibly — by maintaining a carbon neutral footprint and utilizing a portion of electricity from greener power sources, including solar, wind and hydro. The company is on a mission to reshape modern institutions to be more fair, inclusive and sustainable.
- 401(k) matching of up to six percent
- Company equity
- Promote-from-within culture
- Relocation assistance
- Remote work program
In the news: Core Scientific recently made waves by reporting an expansion of its self-mining and hosting businesses this spring. CEO Mike Levitt noted to Business Wire that the company produced 1,121 bitcoins for its own account and operation 8.1 EH/s for its hosting company.
What they do: AppSumo is an e-commerce and marketing tech company that strives to make entrepreneurship accessible for everyone and serve an engaged community that knows an enterprise budget isn’t needed to build a successful business. AppSumo’s list of customers served includes Mailchimp, Evernote and Dropbox.
- Regular in-person and virtual community-building events to sustain a culture self-described as “a fun and quirky family”
- Partnerships with local businesses
- Diverse hiring practices
- Two company-paid trips per year
- Company-sponsored Employee Assistance Program that covers at least three mental health visits
Feedback first: When Built In Austin connected with AppSumo earlier this year, People and Culture Manager Charlotte Johnston shared her thoughts on the company’s commitment to meaningful feedback. “Our leadership team listens to what is important to our people,” she said. “For example, we heard from our managers that they were hungry for leadership training. Within one month we researched options, vetted them with a pilot group and launched yearlong self-paced development programs for our managers. We act that fast here and reshuffle priorities to support our people.”
What they do: Urbint is an international enterprise software company that aims to empower utilities and infrastructure operators to manage risk and increase resiliency using AI-powered solutions. The company’s overarching mission is to help make communities more resilient.
- Remote workers receive a generous stipend for creating a home office
- Fitness subsidies
- Customized development tracks per employee
- Tuition reimbursement
- Diversity programs
Who they’re hiring: Urbint is hiring across all divisions, but is especially ramping up its search on the technical side of the house. In addition to HR, marketing, product, operations and sales, Urbint is expanding its teams of data and analytics professionals and development and engineering professionals.
What they do: Elevate Brands is an e-commerce company that purchases Amazon brands and operates them internationally — striving to elevate the brands to their full potential. Elevate Brands understands that business models like Amazon have democratized retail and distribution and seeks to help smaller brands be a part of the new marketplace.
- Performance bonuses
- Company equity options
- 401(k) plan
- Health and disability insurance
- Unlimited vacation time off
In the news: In 2021, Elevate Brands was one of 10 Austin companies to raise a combined $2 billion in investments. In April of 2021, Elevate raised $12.5 million and gained its 20th brand. By July, it had raised $250 million, and by November, it had raised $55 million in additional equity funding.
What they do: FLASH develops connected mobility solutions that support drivers, fleets and connected vehicles. These solutions enable consumers to book event parking spaces and operators to manage parking inventory and receive touchless payments, among other last-mile mobility needs.
- Company equity options
- 401(k) plan
- Health, life and disability insurance
- Wellness programs and mental health benefits
- Unlimited vacation time off
Collaborative curiosity: When asked to describe FLASH’s workforce in one word, Senior Growth Manager Paul Nysse replied, “Curious.” In a May 2022 interview, he told Built In Austin, “My colleagues are always challenging the status quo and continually pushing boundaries. It is always good to challenge why we are doing what we are doing and have a general curiosity about how to make things better.”