Sputnik ATX, Austin-Based Venture Capital Fund and Accelerator, Announces Its Summer 2021 Cohort

August 18, 2021 9:00 AM EDT

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Selected Startups Exemplify Sputnik’s Mission to Discover and Propel Excellence Out of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Sputnik ATX, an Austin, Texas based venture capital fund and accelerator that backs early-stage founders solving big problems, today announced the selection of its Summer 2021 cohort. Out of over 750 companies that started the application process, five companies were chosen for their potential to solve significant problems in their respective industries. The cohort consists of two companies previously based in Texas, two relocating from out of state and another relocating from outside of the U.S., a testament to Sputnik’s mission to elevate home-grown innovation and grow the Texas startup ecosystem.

The five companies that rose to the top of this application round each have a tie-in to an area of life highlighted by the pandemic, whether that be remote work, at-home cooking, medical care or mental health. As is true for all Sputnik ATX cohorts, each company will receive three months of training and $100,000 in seed funding.

“What sets our program apart is the amount and caliber of mentoring our companies receive,” said Dr. Oksana Malysheva, CEO & Managing Partner of Sputnik ATX. “Sputnik ATX invests in the future; putting financial resources to work, training and advising founders who are skating to where the puck will be and helping them reach their full potential. Our newest cohort will change the food we eat, modernize how we find a place to live, expand a new type of lodging, help returning citizens maintain access to critical health care, and provide everyone the opportunity to be their best emotional and physical self.”

The Summer 2021 cohort companies are:

Fila Manila, Founder Jake Deleon - Filipinos represent the second largest Asian American community yet have little to no representation in grocery stores. Fila Manila is building the premier Filipino American food brand inspired by Filipino cuisine and its proud community. Founded by a first-generation Filipino American immigrant & CPG Food industry veteran, the company’s inaugural products are a range of clean-label sauces inspired by iconic Filipino flavors that are available for purchase both online and at top-tier retailers.

ImagineX, Co-founders Mario Varon and Diego Rodriguez - Millions of dollars are wasted each year by real estate developers guessing what future buyers will want inside. ImagineX allows developers to share an ultra-realistic digital twin of their designs, complete with furnishings. Clients can walk through these properties with a VR headset or on the web and see customized details like finishes and wall colors to their liking before physical builds are finished, increasing conversion by 30% and saving developers on average $70K per project.

Lodgeur, Co-founders Brooke Bornick and Sebastien Long - Apartment owners want to maximize rental income. Business travelers, healthcare workers, digital nomads and others who book extended stays want affordable and attractive lodging that feels like home. Lodgeur creates a win-win for both parties with its turnkey flexible living service. Renters book convenient furnished accommodation on flexible terms. In a pilot project in a Greystar community, building owners earned 146% of market rent on Lodgeur units and boosted their property value.

Patient Sortal, Founder Kenny Eck - The vast majority of people exiting prison have ongoing healthcare issues that need to be addressed upon release, but archaic processes in the transfer of their healthcare data are costing returning citizens their health and billions of taxpayer dollars. Medical care without interruption is required by law yet it’s being neglected. Patient Sortal digitizes records and introduces returning citizens to qualified medical providers without interruption while saving Medicaid $4,000 on average per patient.

Shmoody, Co-founders Mike McSweeney and Nate Thomas - Shmoody is the Swiss Army knife of mental health. The mobile app and community help people with depression, anxiety, and addiction with fun and engaging mood boosting tools, community support, and personal development challenges. Shmoody offers the perfect mental snack to improve your mood in the short term and elevate mental wellbeing in the long-term.

“When we select our cohorts, we look for companies that will generate massive value and have teams with the skills and attributes to climb the mountains to success,” said Joe Merrill, General Partner and Co-Founder of Sputnik ATX. “This group of founders does that and we can’t be more excited to have them join our elite group of alumni, many of whom are already well on their way to not only changing industries, but have created hundreds of jobs for the Texas economy.”

This announcement marks Sputnik’s eighth cohort since its launch in 2017. A complete list of Sputnik’s portfolio of investments to date can be found here.

About Sputnik ATX

Sputnik ATX is a venture capital fund and accelerator in Austin, Texas that combines capital with training and mentorship focused on high growth and product-market fit. Their goal is to help startups reach double digit week over week growth, essential for early stage companies to survive and thrive.

Sputnik ATX is named after its founding city (Austin, Texas) and the first thing humankind put into space. The Sputnik launch touched off a new era of global innovation and competition that led to most of today’s technologies. The Russian word ‘Sputnik’ translates to ‘partner,’ which describes the core of the fund: to partner with and mentor startups that will change the world. The accelerator and fund were founded by Dr. Oksana Malysheva and Joe Merrill. After investing over $1bn in companies around the world, the entrepreneurial atmosphere of Austin inspired Malysheva and Merrill to consolidate their focus in Texas, finding companies in their backyard or who are willing to move to “the best place on earth.” Sputnik ATX launched on Oct. 4, 2017, the 60th anniversary of the Sputnik-1 satellite launch.

McKenzie Cloutier
Coltrin & Associates, Inc.
[email protected]


Source: Sputnik ATX

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