Message from Our Newest Partner: CodeLaunch

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Tech Wildcatters and CodeLaunch are symbiotic amenities in the North Texas entrepreneurism ecosystem, which is one reason why CodeLaunch is thrilled to be partnered with Tech Wildcatters. CodeLaunch is an annual seed accelerator which pairs embryonic stage software technology startups with software developers and entrepreneurs. CodeLaunch was created and is produced by Frisco, TX based Code Authority and a family of entrepreneurial minded sponsors and partners.

CodeLaunch is for great people who have intriguing startup opportunities that need their first round of funding, developers to build their MVP, a needed introduction or exposure to downstream incubators. The process begins at the annual application deadline May 31 when hundreds of embryonic stage startup proprietors, and their ideas, go under our microscope. During that process the finalists are selected, coached, mentored and prepared for Pitch Day.

At Pitch Day the finalists have an opportunity to pitch to a panel of distinguished entrepreneurs and an audience of hundreds made up of developers, community leaders, and people from the community interested in entrepreneurship. Each has an equal opportunity to earn accolades from the judges, seed capital or equity stake conversations from software developers like Code Authority. The CA team chooses one or more winners from the finalists at the Pitch Day and makes an offer to build the “MVP” for an equity stake, which the CA employees share in.

In contrast to many other accelerators, competitors are not required to agree to equity deals to compete. Through at least 2016 it will remain free to enter and Pitch Day attendees who RSVP gain complimentary entrance. CodeLaunch is an open marketplace for startups, capital partners, and developers to start discussions which lead to launched companies.

When the pitches are complete and the awards given out, the real fun begins. The Deal Making Reception is a short exhibition of vendors, startups, partners and sponsors who enjoy the energetic vibe of ground level innovation, invention and community engagement. Food, drink, music and the spirit of opportunity are enjoyed by all.

2016 CodeLaunch Dates

  • May 31 – Applications Due
  • Aug 17 – Pitch Day. Dr. Pepper Arena Frisco, TX

Together with Tech Wildcatters support, CodeLaunch will continue to be the embryonic stage startup amenity that serves our North Texas community and the nation at large. We look forward to meeting you at the Tech Wildcatters Pitch Day “VIP Reception” May 26.

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Newsletter - DHG

NOTE FROM OUR SPONSOR: Dominion Harbor Group

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We are excited to be partnering with Tech Wildcatters to provide members with the kind of exceptional insight and guidance on intellectual property (IP) that only Dominion Harbor Group’s (DHG) singular experience in IP portfolio value optimization can provide.  DHG is one of the most respected integrated patent advisory and optimization firms in the U.S., with decades of experience among its seasoned team of licensing, legal, technical, engineering and financial professionals. The firm manages, helps protect, and leverages intellectual property portfolios, maximizing their value and helping owners and investors achieve appropriate returns from their investment in innovation.

In addition to its expert services, DHG also facilitates access to its affiliate, the Monument Bank of Intellectual Property (MBIP), the world’s first “IP Bank” for startups.  The MBIP exists to provide a resource for owners of high-quality but underutilized patents to invest those patents in innovative young companies.  As a result, the patent owner gains the opportunity for a return on the investment made in their patents while the startup benefits directly from an immediate strengthening of its IP portfolio.

We look forward to working with the Tech Wildcatters members to help you identify, protect and fully leverage the innovations that make your business unique.  Through that process you’ll be able to distinguish your business in the market, protect yourself from unlicensed imitations that devalue your brand and threaten your growth and increase the probability of your market success.  In a knowledge economy, a company not only needs a great product, but must also own the intellectual property rights to that product as well.  DHG is uniquely positioned to help you ensure that your company develops and acquires those critical rights.


Note from Our Partner: Whitley Penn

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It’s that time of the year again! If you’re reading this, there’s a very good chance that you and your company are working on taxes. There’s also a good chance you’ve gotten confused or frustrated during the process. Good news, we have word directly from tax experts at Whitley Penn explaining what’s new this year. Here’s what you need to know. 

On Friday, December 18, President Obama signed into the law the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016” including the “Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015” (“Act”, “law”).  The new law ends months of uncertainty regarding “tax extender” provisions that Congress enacted only on a temporary basis in prior years.  The Act makes several of these provisions permanent and also temporarily extends other provisions for a limited time period.  Note that the effective date of the changes varies for each provision and the expiration period for each temporary provision also varies.

Some of the key provisions that were made permanent by the Act include:

  • Deduction for state and local sales tax.
  • Research and development credit.
  • Increased Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 179 expense limitations.
  • 100% exclusion for gain on qualified small business stock.
  • Reduced built-in gain recognition period for S Corporations.
  • 15-year recovery period for qualified leasehold improvements.
  • 15-year recovery period for qualified restaurant buildings and improvements.
  • 15-year recovery period for qualified retail improvements.
  • Tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes.
  • Enhanced child tax credit.
  • Enhanced education credits and expenses.

Various income tax, excise tax, and fee provisions that were modified or extended on a temporary basis by the Act include:

  • Bonus depreciation on qualifying property. The applicable recovery percentages are 50% for property placed in service in 2015 through 2017, 40% in 2018, and 30% in 2019.
  • Increased first-year depreciation limitation for automobiles and light trucks.
  • Certain employer tax credits such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and the New Markets Tax Credit are extended and modified on a temporary basis.
  • Various energy and alternative energy credits and incentives are extended and modified on a temporary basis.
  • The 40% “Cadillac” excise tax on high-cost employer health plans is delayed until tax years beginning after December 31, 2019.
  • The medical device excise tax is delayed and will not apply to sales made in calendar years 2016 and 2017.
  • The annual fee assessed to health insurance providers is delayed one year.

The passage of the new law eliminates much of the uncertainty that taxpayers encountered for several years while trying to develop a long-term tax plan.  We recommend that you contact your Whitley Penn tax advisor to discuss how these new developments impact your tax position and to implement the provisions into your overall tax strategy.


Note From Molly: Go, Go, Go!

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Just yesterday, we brought in some of our key mentors and investors to help us take those precious second and third looks at the hundreds of startups who have applied to be part of the Class of 2016. It’s a fun tradition for us to review applications with people who are smarter than us (and those who will ultimately invest and mentor the upcoming class). We walked away having identified the coveted list of startups that will be invited for Finals, the last step in the application process, which takes place in February.

After that meeting with our investors, I went downstairs to our event space to meet some of our major sponsors for the 2016 program. They were at HQ to attend our first annual Sponsor Luncheon with our Chief Revenue Officer, Clarisa Lindenmeyer. What a pleasure it was to meet everyone in the room — and as they all introduced themselves, it was made very clear why they’re partnered with Tech Wildcatters and why we’ve chosen to do business with them this year. Each brings a level of professional acumen to our program, and ultimately our portfolio of startups, that adds so much value to what we’re doing here. You’ll be meeting each of them throughout the year too, especially if you’re selected into the next class or have graduated from our program in past years.

12544723_10205128417959482_882572845_oNext week, our alums, mentors, sponsors and investors will be joining us for a private New Year’s party to kick off the year and share more about how we’re changing our program in 2016. Events like this are some of my favorite — because it’s when we get the entire TW Family together to talk successes and goals, but also let loose and relax. Because we work hard. Everyone surrounding Tech Wildcatters works hard. And that’s something to celebrate.

Like I said, it’s an exciting time to be around Tech Wildcatters — there’s so much going on. Like the Gauntlet, which you’ll hear more about very soon. Or the changes to our investing structure. And then there’s our precious secret sauce, the Tech Wildcatters program.

I’ll leave you with a big hint about one of the biggest changes we’re making to the program in 2016. Unlike past years, our application is not closed. The opportunity to enter our program in March has passed, but, the next chance to enter Tech Wildcatters is in May.

Until next time, I look forward to hearing from any of you if you have interest in getting involved this year. I assure you, this is the year to do it.

Did you know? We're accepting program applicants on a rolling basis! Next deadline is June 22nd. APPLY NOW