Austin Startup Games trophy

Who needs the Winter Olympics in Russia when you’ve got an amazing gold-medal-winning team deep in the heart of Texas, where it’s typically warmer and safer?

On Jan. 25 at the Austin Music Hall, SpareFoot crushed—as in crushed like a champagne grape—the competition at the third annual Austin Startup Games to grab our second consecutive gold medal.

Evan Huston

Evan Huston revels in the glory after he and Michael Wright took gold.

“SpareFoot’s incredible team spirit was on display Saturday, when we absolutely dominated the Austin Startup Games,” said co-founder and CEO Chuck Gordon, who could hardly contain his post-triumph excitement. “While last year was a close 26-23 victory, this year we pulled ahead and won 31-15. SpareFoot bleeds gold!”

Aside from capturing gold in five of the 10 “sports” at the Startup Games, SpareFoot took home a $23,000 check for cancer research charity KureIt. The second-place winner (uShip) and third-place winner (Capital Factory) also collected money for their favorite charities. In all, 16 startups participated in the games.

SpareFoot Austin Startup Games

SpareFooters cheer for our team at the Austin Startup Games.

Here’s a rundown of SpareFoot’s gold medal winners:

  • Flip cup: Geni Glynn, Stuart Maynard, Andrew Reese, Matt Stites, Josh West and Jenny Zhang.
  • Beer pong: Evan Huston and Michael Wright.
  • Foosball: John Durrett and Mario Feghali.
  • Pop-A-Shot: Jacob Kouhana.

Here’s a rundown of our silver medal winners:

  • Connect 4: Rob Gonzales.
  • Shuffleboard: Itzett Romero and Kyle Shelton.

SpareFoot Austin Startup Games

John Durrett and Mario Feghali’s intensity pays off with gold in foosball.

Richard Pedersen represented us well in darts and Benoit Baudon de Mony in ping pong, while Michael Balagia, Tyler Chamberlain, Storie Cunningham and Elena Savastano put their collective brainpower together in the trivia event.

Hats off to every SpareFooter who competed in the Startup Games, and to every non-competing SpareFooter who showed up to lend vocal and fervent support.

Austin Startup Games

SpareFeet rally before the start of the Austin Startup Games.

“I did not compete, but I wanted to say that even though some teams saw us with a target on our backs, many competitors were very cordial about how we acted at the games in relation to other teams,” said Albert Hood, a member of SpareFoot’s Amazing Customer Experience (ACE) Team. “So I was happy to hear that many of us SpareFooters represented SpareFoot well.”

Two of our competitors, Evan Huston and Michael Wright, went up against the same two beer pong rivals (representing Boundless Networks) they faced last year.

Austin Startup Games

SpareFoot’s Juan Torres dons our foot costume to celebrate the win.

“It was tough. They took us to overtime, and the crowds on both sides were going nuts, but we pulled out the win for a third straight beer pong gold!” Huston said. “There is such camaraderie between the teams within your sport. During the game, you’re kind of hard on each other, but afterward it’s just hugs and ‘We got you next year.’”

Speaking of next year, we’re already preparing to defend our title and bring home gold once again. Watch out. You’ll have to pry the Startup Games trophy out of our talented, gold-medal-glorious hands.

Photos by Roger Ho