Austin boasts seven winners at WeWork Creator Awards

AUSTIN BUSINESS JOURNAL | By Mike Cronin  –  Staff Writer

June 29, 2017

Seven winning Austin organizations emerged from 34 finalists at the WeWork Creator Awards.

They collected a total of $846,000 in grants and will compete in the November 30 finals in New York.

GrubTubs Inc., a company that collects leftover food from restaurants to create chicken feed at local farms, came away with the top prize.

The event, held June 27, was part of a global initiative by WeWork Companies Inc., a New York-based co-working business, to provide $20 million dollars to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, artists and “other creators.”

Tuesday’s winners featured 11 other organizations that hail from locations other than Austin. The overall haul for the 18 honorees was $1.5 million. Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater hosted the event.

Contestants pitched their business ideas in front of a live audience. Here's who walked away winners in the three categories:

Scale: Businesses and nonprofits with proven success that are ready for the next level

• Robert Olivier, founder, GrubTubs: $360,000.

• Samantha Snabes, co-founder, re:3D Inc., a nonprofit that creates large, affordable 3-D printers: $180,000.

• Abianna Falla, co-founder, CatSpring Yaupon, a company that cultivates the yaupon plant for tea: $180,000.

Launch: Businesses and nonprofits launched and still learning

• Deven Hariyani, founder, Kwaddle LLC, an online platform that supplies information on children’s camps, classes and other educational activities: $72,000.

Incubate: Ideas and projects that need funding

• Murphy Anne Carter, co-director and creative writing instructor, Freehand Arts Project, a nonprofit that brings creative arts to Texas prisoners: $18,000.

• Piper LeMoine, director of communications and technology, Rancho Alegre Radio, a nonprofit that documents the history of Tejano and Conjunto music: $18,000.

• Roberto Rivera, board member, Successful Smiles of Texas, a nonprofit that teaches students healthy dental habits: $18,000.