It was good to see the announcement in Austin’s paper of record, the Statesman, today about the launch of Catapult Systems‘ mobile business.
Last Thursday, at the Austin Tech Happy Hour, I caught up with founder and CEO Sam Goodner for a few minutes and he talked about Mobile Alchemy and the expectation of making the announcement official this week. (By the way, as if you needed it, this is another reason to attend ATHH – to get the news about what’s happening in the greater Austin tech scene, before it’s printed.)
Key members of the Seed Labs team, which has carved a solid niche producing apps for festivals and events, are former Catapult colleagues, so a joint venture conversation and cultural fit were easier to have than sometimes occurs when parties are unfamiliar and lack shared history.
Sam’s no dummy (I say that with serious tongue in cheek because I consider us longtime friends). In fact, far from it: he’s managed to build a successful, long-lasting tech services business that continues to excel. Less than a month ago, for example, his flagship firm, Catapult, was awarded the Microsoft Digital Marketing Worldwide Partner of the Year award.
But, with so much momentum around mobile apps, it was important that his firm not miss an opportunity to respond to customer inquiries about mobile design and development – especially with the success of other cross-town, friendly rivals like Mutual Mobile and BestFit Mobile.
Even further, because of Catapult’s long-time, productive affiliation with Microsoft, it’s equally important to provide a mobile solutions brand that is appealing to prospective customers that don’t count themselves as Microsoft shops. So, Mobile Alchemy’s cross-platform appeal – for Android, iOS, and other non-Microsoft-platformed apps – is a pragmatic strategy on Catapult’s part to preserve and grow business in the one segment in which serious money is being made, week-in and week-out – services!
In fact, Austin has become, as we’ve written before, a center of gravity for mobile apps design and development. With the addition of Mobile Alchemy – which is styled as a Catapult division, but positioned with a free-standing identity – I count no fewer than 20 mobile apps design and development companies that call Austin their headquarters, as we’ve been capturing with the Mobile Scene maps around the country…and I’m certain we’re leaving some out.
NOTE to readers: If your company isn’t on the Austin map, then please let us know or, better yet, add it yourself, as the map is a shared wikimap!
So, congratulations to the Mobile Alchemy team. I’m looking forward to hearing about some of the large-scale, innovative enterprise solutions that they are able to mobilize, given the significant amount of Microsoft Sharepoint business that Catapult has implemented for several years. It’s one of the areas that many predicted (including us) that would begin to see real progress in 2011 – a year of mobile in the enterprise.