Silicon Hills News

Silicon Hills News’ First Print Magazine

Silicon Hills News’ first print magazine was a huge success at South by Southwest Interactive in March. The magazine did so well that Silicon Hills News is planning to do another one on the biotechnology/medical industry in San Antonio and Austin. The new edition is scheduled to be published in June. So if you want to advertise or support that venture, please email LauraLorek@gmail.com.

Read an interview with Laura Lorek from IJNET.

View the magazine online

Silicon Hills News

UPDATE: Silicon Hills flies past Kickstarter goal

With a total of 89 backers and $9,300 pledged, Silicon Hills News has surpassed its Kickstarter goal by almost $2,000. Its first paper product will feature about 32 pages of content, with profiles of technology companies in the Austin/San Antonio area, regional resources, and advertisements. The magazine will be distributed at the South by Southwest festival in Austin. (Check out their SXSW event – a startup competition).

Congratulations, Silicon Hills News!

Silicon Hills News

Kickstarter Crowdfunds SiliconHillsNews.com Print Magazine

Having overshot its Kickstarter funding goal, SiliconHillsNews.com will launch a print magazine this spring to showcase Texas startups at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin.

SiliconHillsNews, which launched in 2011 with the help of a J-Lab Women Media Entrepreneur grant, had raised $7,909 as of Feb. 3 – $564 more than its initial goal and it still had 12 days to go in its crowdfunding campaign.

Silicon Hills News

Silicon Hills News Tapped for Top Accelerator Program

I just got accepted into the Avinde Accelerator Program for Female Entrepreneurs at Texas State University and the preeminent accelerator program for women entrepreneurs in Austin and Central Texas. I think this will be a huge next step for us in growing Silicon Hills News.

The accelerator program starts in September and runs through February. It’s a series of workshops and meetings with experts in sales, fundraising, business plans, social media, marketing, advertising and more. The program, in its eighth class, will also teach us how to pitch to investors and plug us into a network of investors. It’s focused on helping early-stage ventures raise capital to take the business to the next level. 

I also just hired another freelance reporter, Clarisa Ramirez, a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism and a McCormick Fellow, to report out of Austin.

Silicon Hills News

Revenue Goal is Met

Silicon Hills News has reached its fundraising goal for the year and has brought on board a part-time reporter and two freelancers to help with its reporting and sponsorship activities. A weekly video show will launch soon.

“We’re in the process of closing sponsorships with Newtek, ZippyKid, a local hosting company for Wordpress blogs, a local gym, a law firm, a bank and a major computer company – CDW,” said founder Laura Lorek. “Once we have those agreements signed and checks collected, we will have exceeded our goal and raised close to $110,000.” More deals are in the works.

In addition, the site – which covers the tech communities in Austin and, now, San Antonio – has formed alliances with Innotech San Antonio and Innotech Austin, two major technology shows. “We’re helping to raise sponsorships for the show and we get a cut of each new sponsorship,” Lorek said.

Silicon Hills News is also sponsoring the Beta Summit at Innotech San Antonio in April, and it will select the start-up to participate and then moderating the panel. Lorek is also moderating a panel on Central Texas Technology Media at SXSW’s start-up village in March.

The site is sponsoring a day-long blogging conference, BlogItSa!, in January and has applied to be the organizer of Start-up Grind San Antonio. “We should find out on that shortly,” Lorek said. “That would entail holding a monthly meeting with a technology founder from San Antonio or Austin.”

In addition to hiring University of Texas grad Andrew Moore as a part-time reporter, Lorek also has added two new freelancers, one in San Antonio and one in Austin.

The next few weeks will see the launch of a weekly Silicon Hills News show. Geekdom, one of the site’s sponsors, has just established a new video studio. “We’re going to interview technology movers and shakers there as well recap the local technology news of the week,” Lorek said.

Full Court - Inside Women's Basketball

InsideWomen’s Basketball Comes Full Court

FullCourt.com, which grew by merging with NMWE winner InsideWomen’sBasketball.com, has taken great strides towards becoming a leading web site for national news coverage of women’s basketball.

It recently hired a new editor and a three-person ad sales team to keep pace with its increased traffic and following on social media, and it’s is about to launch a new feature ranking the nation’s top 50 women’s basketball players, said co-founder and NMWE winner Kelly Kline.

The WNBA has also come to recognize the site as a reliable media source and has invited Kline and business partner Lee Michaelson to be part of its post-season awards panel.

Silicon Hills News

Happy First Birthday to Silicon Hills News

Silicon Hills News recently celebrated its one-year anniversary and the site continues to gain momentum with the central Texas technology community.

Readership in Austin and San Antonio topped 10,000 monthly visitors in June and continues to grow. The goal is to hit 50,000 monthly visits in the next six months.

On the business side, the site recently landed a big sponsorship deal from Geekdom, a co-working and collaborative space in downtown San Antonio, which recently branched out to San Francisco. Geekdom also plans to set up sites in South America and Asia in the coming months. That sponsorship will allow Silicon Hills News to hire a reporter in San Antonio.

Also I’m working on finalizing additional sponsorships and ads from a variety of companies including a law firm, a gym, a bank, a realtor, and a high-tech company. I’m still working on landing a telecommunications and computer sponsor too. All in all, it looks like Silicon Hills News will meet its goal of $100,000 in sponsors by the end of the year. Still working to meet the $50,000 goal in ads. I’m 20 percent there. That may take a bit longer. But the good news is that it’s definitely an attainable goal.

Visualizing Economics

The Final Leg

I have shut down my old site and fixed the issues with the new Squarespace site. Not that the site is done but I now have a foundation to build on with all of my old pages/post moved over. Adding new projects pages, interactive galleries or even another blog is a pretty straight forward process and now that they are opening Squarespace 6 up to the developer community I expect to see more features and templates to integrate in to my site. The switch also saves me nearly 90% on the cost of hosting my blog while still keeping my site reliable regardless of how big or how much bandwidth I need.

As for the Guide, I am planning to work with a private label publishing firm (Worthy Shorts) to not only print the copies I need but also create and sell an e-book version via Apple iBookstore and/or Amazon. This will make my guide more accessible to more people while let me test-the-waters to find out if I can reach an audience beyond my blog. The ebook markets is growing at a spectacular rate but until very recently it was not set up to accommodate a “picture” book in color. So with the sales of color tablets increasing, I hope to find out if my data graphics have a place in the ebook market place.