In blistering Texas heat, hundreds of representatives from eight Austin-based tech start-ups congregated at the Krieg Softball Complex to compete in the Summer Start-Up Olympics. The summer games tested the athletic prowess of SpareFoot, Boundless, Adlucent, WhaleShark, BuildASign, MassRelevance, SpredFast, and UShip as they fought with tug-of-war ropes, burlap sacks and egg-filled spoons. The kickball fields, basketball court, tetherball arena, and race tracks were covered in blood, sweat and beer by the end of the day.
SpareFoot took home the silver this year, earning $5,000 for Kure It Cancer Research. Our charity of choice was founded by a self-storage business operator to support kidney cancer research. BuildASign nabbed the gold, and AdLucent took bronze.
Despite being one of the smaller companies, SpareFoot, which is 1/5th the size of BuildAsign, came out guns blazing. The SpareFoot basketball team won their first two games, both in overtime. Players Jesus, Rob and Josh banged down jumpers and crashed boards, while an ambidextrous Kyle made key left-handed layups to take SpareFoot to the Finals. In the championship game, SpareFoot held their own as they went up against uShip giants with rather intimidating seven-syllable last names.
The Summer Games came to a dramatic finish on the Advanced Relay Race grounds, where contestants chugged beers, carried precariously balanced eggs, and hopped around in burlap sacks. To be sure, the roars of crowds at the Advanced Relay Race were deafening, but nothing was as intense as the scene at the Tetherball Finals.
Surrounded by screaming fans, SpareFoot Sales Manager Ryan was forced to take competitive tetherball play to a whole new level. In the most grueling tetherball match in the history of the game, Harmon battled a tether-legend from Boundless for what felt like a half-hour. Under a relentless sun, both players were soaked in sweat, desperate to see the match come to a close. They only had two brief breaks, both of which came after Harmon hit the ball so hard that the rope flew off the pole. When Harmon finally defeated the tetherball prodigy from Boundless, he was surrounded by a sea of yellow shirts and pumping fists.
Toni, drummer in the SpareFoot band, threw his drumsticks in jubilation, and SpareFoot cheers were heard for miles. When interviewed after the match, a barely audible Harmon said, “I wouldn’t have been able to keep going had it not been for these fans.” With Olympian laurels around their heads and medals around their necks, an army of SpareFoot onlookers watched this tetherball battle in awe, knowing full well it would forever be etched into the Startup Olympics history books.