As someone who has lived in and around the Austin entrepreneurial scene for nearly the past decade, I am very excited about this announcement. In all the companies that I’ve managed while living in Austin from SolarMetric to SpringSource to Lexcycle, this is the first time a company I’ve been involved with had a real physical presence in Austin. I am thrilled about this. I feel like Austin has given me so much over the years but for whatever reason, I’ve generally been a solo flyer in Austin in all of my previous companies. At SolarMetric, we had one other person in Austin but with SpringSource and Lexcycle, I was the only one here. When I joined Vancouver-headquartered Tasktop on a day-to-day basis 2 years ago, most of my fellow ATXers rolled their eyes as I had yet again managed not to work for an Austin company.
As it turns out, Tasktop is different, and this announcement of our new office is evidence of that difference. I am excited to have launched the new office with a couple of fabulous women prominent in the local scene, Nicole Bryan and Melanie Wise. We plan to grow the office in coming months and years as we build out our business development, marketing, sales operations, solutions and the other areas of the company that I get to work with on a day-to-day basis.
Austin also has a little known Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) mafia with many of Tasktop’s partners who participate in the software value chain having a presence in Austin making Austin a perfect place for Tasktop’s US Headquarters.
Austin has been a big part of my growth as an entrepreneur, a businessman and a person. For those familiar with my time in Austin especially in the local tech start-up scene, I am grateful to:
|Brett for his timely and very important advice|
|Josh letting me squat in his offices and including me in Capital Factory as mentor helping me re-engage in Austin|
|Jonathan and our never-ending search for the ultimate breakfast taco|
|Lisa being so supportive of Tasktop, helping us grow out our presence in Austin|
|Kyle’s big heart and soul|
|Mark and Greg and being able to reconnect|
and so many more people that I apologize I am not mentioning.
One of the biggest influences on me during my nine years here in Austin has been Bijoy. I learned about Bootstrap Austin and met Bijoy right after we moved. Bijoy and I have debated and imbibed and debated. Those debates (is it really a debate when 1 person keeps being right?) have challenged me and caused me to assess and reassess. Although my crazy hair has come and gone, Bijoy and his hair have been one of the constants. I’m very proud of the fact that Tasktop is still bootstrapped since its founding in 2007, and I suspect that fact gives me a little cred with my friend who has gotten me to care far more about the journey than the destination.
My very first Bootstrap meeting was at the IC2 Institute in 2003 – I believe Dr. Darius spoke. If I am not mistaken, that is where I met Chad Jewell who 9 years later, helped us find our new office (even though I hadn’t spoken to the guy in at least 5 years). That’s Austin.
Also, I’d like to thank Lynn at Expero and look forward to spending time with her team in our shared location.
There is nothing like leaving a place to really appreciate it, and I had the fortune of doing so when we did our brief 1 year dalliance in Seattle. We made many good friends in Seattle but it probably wasn’t fair. Had I moved to Seattle from other places I’ve lived e.g., Boston or Morristown or Chicago, I may have fallen for Seattle. But unfortunately, my foil was the ATX and that is a tough act to follow.
And of course the family. Austin is home – its where Sharon and I decided to pitch our tent, its where my kids were born, and its where I plan on spending my twilight years wearing bad shirts and someday, even worse pants.
So, if you get a chance stop by and check us out.
About Neelan Choksi
In 2010, Neelan Choksi joined Tasktop as the President & COO and continues to serve Tasktop on its board as he has done since 2008. As President, he oversees sales, sales engineering, marketing and business development, helping Tasktop get its innovations into the hands of those who need it the most.