Austin Business News - Local Austin News | Austin Business Journal

    Austin's pro golf tournament getting swankier; Chip & Joanna Gaines bring their flair to new VIP area
    Austin's annual PGA Tour tournament will have an exclusive new feature in 2020, thanks to a partnership with Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Dell-sponsored event remains one of the most alluring stops on the PGA Tour due to the unique format, caliber of participants and high purse ? at $10.5 million, it's the sixth-most lucrative event on the tour.

    Firefly responds to rocket test fire, investigates cause
    A fire that broke out late Jan. 22 during a rocket test at a Firefly Aerospace Inc. facility in Briggs, about 50 miles north of downtown Austin, was extinguished ?quickly" and never posed a danger to staff or the public, according to the company. Firefly CEO Tom Markusic took the blame during an interview with KXAN News. ?It was just very normal rocket testing stuff,? Markusic told KXAN. ?The response was larger than it needed to be. And I will take the blame for that. We didn?t properly?

    Person to know in Austin tech this week: Steve Kramer
    This startup that helps businesses use AI just hired a chief scientist. KungFu.AI could nearly double its headcount this year, with job openings in engineering and product management.

    Austin Green development takes 'first step' forward
    The Grove and the 'Domain on Riverside' pale in comparison to the sheer size of Austin Green's proposed 12,000 homes and apartments on 2,122 acres in far Southeast Austin. A planned unit development proposal will head to City Council in the coming months. The site, in Austin's extraterritorial jurisdiction located three miles from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and eight miles from downtown, is currently an active sand and gravel quarry.

    RigUp poised for huge growth in 2020 after massive fundings
    Launched in 2014, RigUp is already a unicorn ? perhaps the biggest in Austin, with an estimated valuation of $1.8 billion. It has attracted the support of big names like Andreessen Horowitz, which propped up Facebook, Skype, Airbnb and Twitter. Allen Gilmer, a seasoned energy-tech executive in Austin, called RigUp the "best use of the gig economy in a vertical, in my mind." So what's their secret? Here, co-founder and CEO Xuan Yong lays out his vision for growing the company after collecting more money from investors in 2019 than any other Austin startup.

    Journal Profile: Why Carey Smith started Unorthodox Ventures after a $500M exit
    In our regular Journal Profiles, we introduce readers to an important business leader in Central Texas. This week is Carey Smith, who sold Big Ass Fans a couple of years ago. The huge payout seeded Smith's newest venture, a venture capital firm in Austin that frankly doesn't care much about returns.

    How Elizabeth Christian Public Relations handled a co-founder's retirement
    Elizabeth Christian Public Relations has changed a ton in 25 years in business. Now it is one of the largest and best-connected independent agencies in town, representing the likes of Google and the Austin FC soccer team. How the firm is handling the retirement of co-founder Meg Meo has plenty of lessons for other entrepreneurs to heed.

    First projects teed up for Uptown in Kyle
    More pieces are falling into place to establish a new mixed-use district in the small city of Kyle, south of Austin. Kyle City Council on Jan. 21 took a slew of actions to advance the Uptown project, including bringing new companies on board and ironing out details for one of the project's central features. Called Heroes Memorial Park, it will be a monument for deceased veterans, first responders and "other heroes who lost their lives while serving the community," according to city documents. Council?

    Capital Gains: Whataburger gets new look, marketing firm gets new name
    On page 3 of our weekly edition we wrap up some of the news, talk and speculation floating around town with our Capital Gains feature. Here's what caught our eyes this week. A NEW LOOK FOR WHATABURGER If you've been to one Whataburger, you've been to most of them ? many of the orange and white locales are designed in a similar fashion. But Whataburger just opened a South Austin location that it says distinctively reflects the Texas capital city. The San Antonio-based fast food restaurant?

    Austin: Please stop throwing scooters in Lady Bird Lake, creeks
    Some of the thousands of scooters in Austin ultimately end up in the city's waterways, like Lady Bird Lake, Waller Creek and Shoal Creek. City Hall hopes it can help put a stop to that. Austin City Council passed a resolution Jan. 23 to address litter in the city's watersheds, with a particular focus on scooters being illegally dumped in the water. The resolution directs city staff to study what penalties and public outreach strategies will most effectively discourage the practice. Since scooter?