Are you crazy ?

Russell Hinds
4 years ago

I'm remembering a day I think it was back in early 2012. I got a text from Josh Baer saying lets meet I want to show you something. I'm supposed to go to the 16th floor of the Omni building which I'm pretty sure is completely vacant, but ok, its Josh, lets see what he's up to. I get there, and can't get to the floor, the guard at the ground floor says I need an escort. I explain, and he says ok, and scans his card to let me gain access to the 16th floor. I get there and its completely empty. So I start wandering around. Eventually I see Josh, but he's touring someone, and he'll be right with me. Eventually we connect, and he spins this tale, a tale about being the center of the Austin startup world, and the space filled with desks, and meetings every day in this big empty room, and company logos on the walls and floor. And I'm thinking man are you nuts, that's a pretty big vision. But no, he's already got investments lined up, and lots of interest. I'm thinking this is one of those deals where if I don't invest and things turn out like he says, I will be really upset. And I guess another part of me, really wanted to believe, and to throw in to support the potential for this thriving vision of an Austin startup community. Well you know what happened, it came to pass, and I think Capital Factory surpassed everyones expectations.


Eric Gould Bear
4 years ago

A couple of years ago, this guy calls me up and says, "I never reach out like this, but thought I'd give it a shot." His pitch went like, "We're both bears, we're both bald and we're both entrepreneurs. Seems like we should know each other." We met for lunch at Guerros and the Baer/Bear connection was set in motion. People regularly ask if we're brothers. Obviously. But he keeps spelling his name weird.


Sam Decker
3 years ago

1,861 days from they day I'm writing this we announced capital factory. http://deckermarketing.com/2009/04/22/capital-factory-invests-in-five-startups-for-2009-fund/.

Today Capital Factory could be measured by many things. 112,000 web results, 4,500 tweets, 14k followers, 6,900 FB likes, 5 demo days, countless events and crawls, a frickin' building, the frickin' President, and thousands of entrepreneurs impacted! Just like a startup, you never know what happens once you light a match.

Bryan Menell and I co-founded Capital Factory with Josh back in 2009. I think we all wanted different things, but most of all we all wanted to grow Austin entrepreneurship. Josh was THE major force behind it all, and as Bryan and I got caught up in our companies a few years later, Josh carried it so much further than Bryan and I ever imagined...though perhaps not further than Josh imagined!

My favorite memory of Capital Factory is when Josh and I judged a 3-day startup competition. What big startup ever comes out of one of those?? We already had a full slot of great startups for the first summer's accelerator program, but we both liked this founder, Q Beck, and company called Famigo which set out to connect parents and kids with friendly games. We loved the passion and the mission of the idea. He didn't have a technical co founder, just him and Matt (his co-founder) with an idea. Fast forward 5 years later...and yesterday I logged into my AT&T wireless account to see Famigo as a $4.95 option to select! Like many startups it took twists, turns and pivots...but Q had determination and perserverence to pursue his vision. I'm proud we played a small part in that.

And those stories repeat over and over. Sparefoot was a big hit, and the first company who moved from another state into Capital Factory. Years later, we'd get hundreds of applications outside of TX, bringing new ideas and talent to Austin. For that, and a much larger role CF plays in accelerating the startup community, I"m thankful to Josh and everyone involved in such a great engine for our city and our passions.


  • 178 |
    Joshua - 3 years ago
    It's been an awesome ride, Sam. And we're just getting started!
       -   view 0 replies    -   hide replies
Marcelo Vieira
3 years ago

I came to Capital Factory back at SXSW 2012 through a friend's invite to check out some cool start ups. I was working for a Fortune 500 company and was looking for innovation and investment opportunities. At that time I wasn't quite sure what CF was all about and how it can help start-ups, all I knew was that it was the best and most effective event I attended at SXSW! Fast forward to 2014, I left my job, started a company with a professor at UT Austin, joined CF and moved my family halfway across the country to Austin! As Josh says "Test Your Vision"!


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