Here is an article that was posted online in the Dallas Morning News about a partnership between Startup Texas member companies and SoftLayer Technologies. For more information on how you can sign up for this program you can sign up here: Catalyst Program.
For the past year, Dallas-based cloud platform provider SoftLayer Technologies has been providing free hosting services and mentoring hundreds of tech startups from around the world under the company’s year-old incubation program.
SoftLayer has now taken a special interest in developing tech startups in their home state, where the company will announce today a partnership with Startup Texas, a regional chapter of entrepreneurship advocacy group Startup America.
“We want to focus on this market,” said George Karidis, SoftLayer’s chief strategy officer based in Dallas. “We think we could have an impact.”
Under the partnership, members of Startup Texas can apply to be part of SoftLayer’s Catalyst program, which provides entrepreneurs with access to the company’s top executives and technology team as well as marketing resources.
Catalyst members also receive free hosting services, which can cost up to $1,000 a month.
In the Dallas area, SoftLayer is also making available co-working spaces for a small fee at its large data center on Stemmons Freeway.
The SoftLayer-Startup Texas partnership is the latest initiative to support entrepreneurs in the state and the region. Last week, Baylor University and Addison announced the creation of an incubator just for students of a business creation course called Accelerated Ventures.
Trey Bowles, a serial entrepreneur who is chairman of Startup Texas, said SoftLayer is an example of a company that believes in nurturing startups in their communities and sees the “longterm value of that relationship.”
“My hope is that by doing this now it will benefit them far in the future because some of these companies will grow and be really successful,” Bowles said. “Companies like SoftLayer putting time and effort and giving good deals at their own expense should be rewarded with loyalty.”
The partnership with Startup Texas made sense on several fronts.
For starters, Karidis said, the company has its roots in Dallas where it was founded in 2005. Since then, the startup has evolved into a $400 million company with more than 700 employees and 20,000 customers around the world, Karidis said.
In a region with numerous Fortune 500 headquarters, universities and startups, Karidis said SoftLayer would like to see Dallas as a major hub for entrepreneurship.
Since Catalyst’s launch last year, it has accepted about 500 tech startups from the United States and abroad.
Catalyst works with U.S. and international accelerators and incubators to identify technology startups and early-stage companies with Internet-dependent services or products that would benefit from the program. It also takes general applications.
SoftLayer has also hired eight people to work with startups in the Catalyst program, Karidis said.
The company has provided such financial backing for Catalyst because the program makes business sense, Karidis said.
For instance, SoftLayer can gain insights into early technology trends as well as access products that could benefit its customers.
And the company’s betting that many of these Catalyst startups will become successful and become paying customers down the line, Karidis said.
Siphon Labs, a cloud technology startup in Dallas, has been a member of the Catalyst program for the past year.
The company co-founders said the mentoring, the connections and access to SoftLayer’s executives have been instrumental to its development. John Corcoran, James Bohan-Pitt and Kevin Marvin also have been working out of SoftLayer’s office.
“They really helped us shape our strategy for Siphon Labs,” said Corcoran, Siphon’s chief executive officer.