Austin Startup Games is an annual event that takes place in January and includes 16 Austin-based startups that come together to compete in casual sporting events. It’s always a fun Austin tradition for Boundless, and we are heavily involved in the event aside from just having a team participate. Our CEO, Henrik Johansson, has been on the Board since the Startup Games came to Austin in 2012. I am the Team Captain, in charge of organizing our team, holding tryouts, and, importantly, creating and managing our team swag.
Startup Game events are rather “non-traditional,” with tons of fun options for everyone at Boundless to take part in. Activities include: darts, connect 4, pop-a-shot, ping pong, beer pong, flip cup, shuffle board, foosball, trivia, and a mystery event. This year’s mystery event was a gladiator-style competition, and included a celebrity participant—Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, the actor who plays “The Mountain” on Game of Thrones. Needless to say, it took a brave competitor to face him in the gladiator challenge! We didn’t get a chance to face him directly in competition, but we at least took advantage of the photo opp.
For Boundless, an important aspect of the Startup Games is that each team represents an Austin-based charity of their choice, and winning teams are awarded funds to donate to their selected charity. This year, Boundless decided to represent Meals on Wheels and More because of the crucial work they do to help make sure home-bound people in our community don’t go hungry.
With a first place finish in both darts (Henrik Johansson) and beer pong (Rasmus Wendt and myself), Boundless placed in second overall which meant that we were able to bring home a check for $12,000 dollars for Meals on Wheels and More. When we presented the check to the charity, their Director of Development informed us that with the money they would be able to prepare approximately 4,200 meals.
Meals on Wheels and More prepares thousands of hot meals every day which volunteers deliver to individuals in the Greater Austin area who are unable to feed themselves for economic reasons or physical handicaps. The meal delivery is often the only human connection the recipients have to the outside world and typically is the highlight of their day. The “and More” aspect of Meals on Wheels comes from the fact that aside from delivering food, the organization also provides help with household repairs, grocery shopping, problem-solving therapies, pet food, and pet health care.
It’s a great feeling to be a part of a company that believes in giving back to its community while partaking in great team-building events like the Startup Games. It is such a fun way for everyone to get to know each other while fighting for the same goals and raising money for a good cause. Next year we will go all the way!