The Austin Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its new A-List, which highlights local startups that the chamber says have breakout potential.
The goal of the list is to recognize Austin’s most innovative and promising high-growth startups. Entries are judged by a group of entrepreneurs, local investors and other business leaders. Any stage startup in any industry was eligible to apply.
The 11th annual A-List awards event was produced as part of a partnership with South by Southwest.
The chamber said the awards are a “recognition of homegrown companies in various growth stages, investors who help support these companies, and the Austin community that supports entrepreneurship.”
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The awards come as investors are pulling back on investing in startups nationwide.
Deal activity worldwide dropped 23% between the first quarter and second quarter of this year, according to market research firm CB Insights. The total funding going to startups for the second quarter dropped 27% compared to the first quarter.
“People are really pulling back,” David Steakley of Texas HALO fund told the Statesman.
Steakley, who is an investor in a number of Austin companies, including motorcycle rental platform Riders Share, said: “It’s going to be a harsh winter for a lot of companies. If you needed to raise funds now and you don’t have it lined up, you are in danger. People are pulling back term sheets. People are getting pretty nervous about an impending recession.”
Here is the 2022 A-List:
Bootstrapping: Kungfu.AI, which helps businesses determine how to use artificial intelligence for product development.
Angel and seed stage: Afia, a maker of frozen Middle Eastern food that recently rolled out in 400 Whole Foods stores nationwide.
Early stage: FloorFound, developer of an e-commerce software platform that facilitates returns and resales oversized products for retailers
Later stage: Affinipay, which provides professional services payments to legal, accounting, architectural, engineering and construction firms.
Investors of the year were Andrea Kalmans of Lontra Ventures and LiveOak Venture Partners.