Swag and Swagger: The 5th Annual Startup Games

This past Saturday, Boundless was once again a participant in the annual Austin Startup Games! For the past five years, this community event has brought together Austin’s premier tech startups to compete in a number of social events from trivia to darts and even flip cup. Boundless has been involved in the Startup Games since their inception in 2012 and were honored to be amongst the first group of Austin’s elite startups to participate. In fact, our CEO, Henrik Johansson, was one of the event founders. Since then, Boundless has established ourselves as a fierce competitor, taking home a silver medal last year.

Boundless’ Henrik Johansson on the left, posing with Chuck Gordon, CEO Sparefoot; Shawn Bose, CEO Deily (Co-Founder, uShip); Josh Baer, Founder/Executive Director, Capital Factory; and Jay Manickam, CEO Everfest (Co-Founder, uShip)

But it’s not all about winning and reputation. Since 2012, the Startup Games (a nonprofit organization) has raised a total of $225,000 for local charities. This year alone, the participating companies contributed to raising a total of nearly $57,000 for good causes in the Austin area. Boundless represented one of our favorite charities, Meals on Wheels and More, for the second year in a row. The organization does amazing work the Austin area, where there is great need―they prepare thousands of hot meals every day which volunteers deliver to individuals who are unable toMOWAM-logo feed themselves due to economic reasons or physical handicaps. We are proud to support such a critical charity in our community. Thanks to the Boundless team, we will be donating $1,500 to Meals on Wheels and More after this year’s event.

While we love doing good in our community, we have to admit that we have a lot of fun while we’re at it. With over 20 employee “athletes” competing for Boundless and about 40 cheering from the sidelines, this is one of the top annual traditions among the Boundless team. One of Boundless’ core values is “embrace the fun,” and the Startup Games really helps us live up to that value every year. All of our core values were identified “for the people by the people,” and “embrace the fun” is intentionally defined differently from the cliché “work hard play hard.” It’s not about working hard all day and partying all night―it’s about coming to work every day and recognizing the fun in everything we do, and the fun we have with great people we work with. So while we can have fun during the week at work, we also enjoy being a team outside of the office walls.

Boundless showing our team spirit!
Boundless showing our team spirit!

Our team spirit is always on point thanks to our awesome Boundless gear. With the new branded red shirts specially made for the event, it was easy to spot all the Boundless supporters throughout the Games. We even had Boundless converse-style branded sneakers for the athletes, which rallied excitement among the team. Spectators were armed with Boundless eye blacks and cow bells to make sure everyone could hear us cheer and let them know we were there to give them a fierce fight for the gold.

Team spirit, however, is not something the Startup Games is short on. It’s always fun to see how our trade―branded merchandise―plays such a big role in events like these. Every team has their own theme and outfit that represent their brand and culture. It brings employees together as one which shows how powerful promotional products can be. Everyday employees transform into proud brand ambassadors by putting on a hat or a shirt that represents their company. You could see and hear the passion people have for their teams when competing and cheering for their coworkers. It really is a perfect example of what we aim to do with promotional products every day―create Brand Love.

Clockwise from left: Henrik on darts, Me & Kenny on Beer Pong, Ethan & Aron on foosball, and Sarah on shuffle board
Clockwise from left: Henrik on darts, Me & Kenny on Beer Pong, Ethan & Aron on foosball, and Sarah on shuffle board

Armed with our Boundless gear, athletes competed in a wide range of events including darts, ping pong, flip cup, shuffle board, foosball, trivia, and a mystery event which turned out to be a human-sized version of the game Hungry Hungry Hippos. Our CEO, Henrik Johansson, brought home the bronze medal in darts while we managed to take 4th place in many of the other events.

In addition, the 2016 Startup Games were highlighted in the local NBC news―and Boundless is front and center in our red shirts. Check out Sarah representing Boundless in shuffle board!

While we didn’t take home gold this year, we had a great time and want to congratulate our friends at uShipSpareFoot, and LawnStarter who took gold, silver, and bronze this year. Startup Games always provides a unique vehicle for having fun competing with fellow Austin startups, and at the same time giving back to our community. In the end, that makes us all winners.


2 responses to “Swag and Swagger: The 5th Annual Startup Games”

  1. You are right on the money RW! It’s not always about winning. The cool part is when you get to have fun, raise some money and then give it away! But when you keep score it is fun to win!

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