Recent Coverage

Call for smart phone apps answered in Houston

Want to count calories, diagnose car trouble or kill time fighting an imaginary war? There's a Houston-made app for that.

As sales of smart phones continue to grow, local technology advocates hope to make Houston a hotbed for developing mobile applications.

“It's where all the new innovations are happening,” said Kurt Stoll, co-founder of Startup Houston, a local blog that promotes Houston technology, and an organizer of an upcoming app development camp. “Houston is not going to establish itself as the next Web 2.0 or social media hub. That boat's already sailed to several other cities.”

Nationwide, developers have already produced more than 100,000 apps for Apple's iPhone and 20,000 for the Android platform.

And the market for apps is poised to grow. Research firm Gartner predicts 38 percent of all mobile phone sales will be smart phones by 2012, up from 14 percent in 2009.

Early mobile apps in the U.S. came from Silicon Valley, New York and Boston, according to Gartner.

But because Houston also has a large software development community, especially around the energy and health care industries, creating phone apps here makes sense, said William Clark, a research vice president at Gartner.

“You have that skill base, and it's a logical way to train your developers,” he said.

Locally, individual entrepreneurs and established firms are banking on everything from games to health care to engineering apps.

Development costs

Multimedia firms like Houston-based Softway Solutions also have added mobile app development to their repertoire as they see more businesses set aside marketing budgets for customized apps.

“Ten years ago, everyone had to have a Web site. Today, everyone has to have an app,” said Mohammad Anwar, president of Softway Solutions, which sells apps including a war game and a news aggregator.

Low development costs help level the playing field for Houston, said Blair Garrou, a managing director at DFJ Mercury, a local venture capital firm that's invested in several companies creating mobile apps.

Houston may not be any more unique than other cities, but its size alone should give it a large talent pool, he said, adding that many local software developers work for larger, established companies.

“It's just taking a little longer here to coax those people out of big companies,” he said.

It may become easier as developers see there's money to be made.

Paid apps will account for about one in four downloads in 2013, according to research firm Yankee Group. Revenues from apps will grow to more than $4.2 billion in the next five years, according to the firm, as consumers grow comfortable paying more for valuable apps.

Both Apple and Google, which runs the Android Market, take a 30 percent cut of sales made through their app stores.

Locally, there's also a huge market to sell niche apps within the Texas Medical Center, said Ioannis Pavlidis, who teaches an iPhone app design class at the University of Houston.

Such targeted apps include the Blausen Human Atlas, which lets users access narrated animations of more than 100 common medical conditions and treatments.

The tool, developed by Houston-based Blausen Medical, is meant to help doctors quickly explain medical issues to patients. The $19.99 app has already been downloaded more than 29,000 times, the company said.

Apps camp plans

Local techies hope an upcoming iPhone app development camp, the city's first, will help foster a sense of community. A local iPhone development group founded a year ago has 150 members.

The camp is modeled after those held in California, called iPhoneDevCamp, where developers attend sessions on creating apps for Apple's hand-held devices, the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Houston event will also include an overnight “hackathon,” a lockdown of sorts in which developers try to come up with an iPhone app, from idea to working software.

Whether Houston makes a name for itself as a development hub may not really matter, said Tyson Weihs, a Houston private equity investment adviser and founder of ForeFlight, which has developed seven apps for pilots.

“I'm not sure we need the affirmation outside of Houston, or Texas for that matter, to inspire people here to do really great things,” he said. “Since all you need is a laptop, a couple co-collaborators, and an Internet connection to build and publish mobile apps, you can really do that from anywhere.

"I think Houston's a great place to do that from -- low cost of living, great food, great culture, great people, successful people, access to the outdoors, a direct flight to almost anywhere, and a supportive technology community."

Softway Solutions Design Team Places Second for American Design Awards

HOUSTON, Texas, Oct. 11, 2012 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Houston-based strategic digital solutions firm Softway Solutions announced today that it won second place for logo design in the American Design Awards (ADA). An internationally-recognized independent awards program, the ADA recognizes designers from around the world who produce innovative and creative design pieces.

Art Javid, co-founder of the ADA said in article released by the ADA, "From first-time participants representing small agencies, to large and elite design firms, to individual freelance designers from every corner of the globe, this event saw brilliance at many levels."

Softway Solutions' design team submitted to the ADA Summer Quarterly Design Awards the logo they created for YetiCars, an online used car search engine. Entries in 20 major categories are judged against a stringent set of standards. Judges graded submissions based on creativity/originality, font/space usage, marketability and ethics. Mauel J. Jose, director of Creative Marketing, said, "This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of the designers working here at Softway Solutions."

Lauren Feehery, the main designer who worked on the logo, said what inspires her to design unique yet effective logos is collaborating with the client to learn about their business and then spending much of her time sketching. Logos are one of the main sources of brand identity and should capture the overall essence of the business; they need to be unique, memorable, distinctive and timeless.

The YetiCars logo is one of many expertly designed logos Softway Solutions has created for companies in all types of industries. The design team understands the goals and image the client wants to achieve and delivers an expertly crafted logo that meets their expectations.

Softway Solutions provides a wide range of services including multimedia, creative marketing, website design and development and mobile application design and development.

Meet Houston’s Fast 100: Wells Manufacturing and Softway Solutions

The Houston area has a large collection of fast-growing companies that compete for employees and profits. However, only 100 can make the Houston Business Journal’s 2012 Fast 100 list, which ranks companies based on their revenue percentage growth between 2009 and 2011.

Every day, we are profiling members of the list, however, the final ranking of the fastest-growing companies will not be revealed until Sept. 7 at our Fast 100 event.

To qualify for the list, companies must have generated more than $1 million in revenue last year and be at least 5 years old.

Today, we’re giving you an inside peek at two members of the list: a manufacturing services company and a website design and multimedia company.

Softway Solutions, led by President and CEO Mohammad Anwar, passed the $1 million mark in 2011 by reporting $1.6 million in revenue. The company, which was founded in 2003, offers a range of digital solutions, such as Web design, Web application development and multimedia solutions. With 18 employees, Softway prides itself on being able to work with both startups and Fortune 500 companies, it said.

Molly Ryan covers manufacturing, technology, the Port and logistics.

Softway Solutions Experiencing Record Growth, Now a Houston Fast 100 Company

HOUSTON, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Houston based technology firm, Softway Solutions (, is ranked number 40 on Houston Business Journal's Houston Fast 100 list. The Houston Fast 100 is ranked by two-year growth and a minimum of $1 million in revenue. All of the companies on the list are headquartered within the Houston metropolitan area and have been doing business for at least five years.

The sold-out event was held on Friday, Sept. 7 at the Hilton Houston Post Oak. Mohammad Anwar, the president, and six of his associates who attended the Houston Fast 100 event were pleasantly surprised by their ranking. Softway Solutions landed on the list at the number 40 spot because of its 2009-2011 growth rate of 116 percent.

Anwar's excitement to be in the top 100 companies turned to joy when he realized Softway was in the top 50 companies. Khalid Hakim, operations manager, said he and the other associates "had huge smiles on our faces when the announcer started calling out the top 50 companies and we still had not heard our name yet."

Anwar, who makes it a point to recognize and appreciate individual employees for their hard work, said, "The employees are the reason for our success and the reason we received this award." The firm posts a record growth rate number for the years 2010 through 2012, with Anwar estimating it to be more than 200 percent.

Besides their own, another company's name sparked pride and excitement for Anwar and his associates: Potentia Energy. Potentia Energy topped the Fast 100 list in the number one spot with an impressive growth rate of more than 19,000 percent. Softway Solutions and Potentia Energy are neighbors in the same office building and do business together. Three years ago the Softway team redesigned Potentia Energy's website and continues to regularly maintain the site.

Being ranked number 40 after nine years in business signifies a turning point for Anwar and his team. The past nine years of experience has allowed Softway Solutions to evolve from being just a contract software company to a full fledge product and solutions engineering firm that builds technology products/solutions with a multifaceted approach. Anwar is positive about what the future holds for Softway, saying "next year, we will break the top 25!"

Being a product and solutions engineering firm is what sets Softway Solutions apart from its competition. It has three departments that specialize in the areas of Creative Marketing, Web and Mobile and Multimedia that are seamlessly integrated to operate as a well-oiled machine. Together, the three departments offer clients complete turnkey solutions that seamlessly integrate all of the different mediums of digital media. Many of its competitors opt to approach digital media development using pre-packaged, "off-the-shelf" systems, which can hinder the flexibility, lessen the adaptability to the client's requirements and result in unmet needs.

Contrary to its competitors, Softway Solutions' approach to customized digital media development results in all of our clients' needs being met by one service the first time around. Its team of skillful programmers, developers and designers are able to employ a variety of tools and methods to ensure that every individual request is not only achieved but, also, in-line with the expectations and goals of the client. The comprehensive and complete solutions Softway Solutions builds is the reason why it is one of the most flexible and fully encompassing strategic digital solutions firms in the industry.

Softway Solutions is Ranked by SourcingLine as a Global Leader in Web Development

HOUSTON, Texas, Aug. 7, 2012 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- Houston based Softway Solutions was recently selected as a global leader in web application development by the IT services research firm, SourcingLine. Softway Solutions was one of only 15 firms selected out of several hundred companies around the globe. The Washington D.C. based SourcingLine develops this publication to help companies effectively select web developers offering popular services such as Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, .NET, JavaScript and more.

SourcingLine uses their proprietary technology to perform both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of IT services companies from around the globe. They select the top-ranked companies for inclusion in the Leader's Matrix, which has comparable data points for each company's portfolio based on their areas of focus and ability to deliver services.

Softway Solutions provides strategic digital services to small enterprises and to Fortune 500 companies. They serve clients in various industries throughout the world, including oil and gas, automotive, health care, graphic design, architecture and gaming development.

Their skilled software developers fully encompass state-of-the-art technologies to create customized digital and marketing solutions for web development, animation, mobile applications, architectural illustrations and simulation training software. Softway Solutions also specializes in web promotion services, Search Engine Optimization, Internet and social media marketing, web analytics and e-commerce. Additional corporate services include identity and branding, trade show displays, video production and multimedia presentations.

Softway Solutions Develops Award-Winning Health App for Texas Heart Institute

HOUSTON, Texas, June 20, 2012 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Softway Solutions development team has received a Bronze Web Health Award for their development work of the iPhone / Android application Auscultation Primer. The award was presented during the 14th annual Web Health Awards program, which recognizes America's top digital health resources.

Softway Solutions is a premier website design, mobile applications and multimedia services company in Houston, Texas.

The app was developed for the Texas Heart Institute in collaboration with doctors from the organization. Its purpose is to provide auscultation (the ability to hear sounds from within the body) of an array of sounds the heart makes as related to physiology, anatomy and diagnosing cardiovascular disease. More about THI: .

Doctors and developers of Softway Solutions included 10 live recordings from real patients which demonstrate many of the most commonly-occurring heart sounds and murmurs. Video recordings include crystal clear audio along with detailed phonocardiograms and EKG tracings to assist with timing. Softway Solutions' app designers also added descriptive text segments to enhance and improve the learning experience.

In addition to developing award-winning applications for mobile devices, Softway Solutions also provides a variety of strategic digital solutions for their clients. Since its launch in 2003, Softway Solutions has received recognition for its excellence in the following digital resource categories:

  • Business strategy development for websites
  • Web design and development;
  • Web application development and programming;
  • Game development and programming;
  • Flash and multimedia design and development;
  • IT solutions.

Softway Solutions hopes to remain an important part of healthcare in America by continuing to pioneer digital resources related to health and fitness.

Softway Solutions partnering with Blazing Forge Games

HOUSTON, Texas, Sept. 20, 2011 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Softway Solutions, a web design, web and mobile application development and multimedia company in Houston, Texas, has announced its plans to invest in and grow Blazing Forge Games (BFG), a leading developer of popular video games for multiple platforms, including Xbox Live and the Windows Phone 7.

Softway Solutions is partnering with Blazing Forge Games, a game development company that specializes in console and mobile games. Softway and BFG plan to combine their multimedia development knowledge to expand Softway’s extensive offerings to include larger, more feature rich gaming components on 2D and 3D games for the web, game consoles, mobile devices, and social media. BFG’s offerings will also benefit greatly from Softway’s expansive team of developers and artists that will facilitate a higher level of quality that comes from years of experience and success in a highly competitive software market.

Founded in June 2010, BFG produces high performance console and smartphone games. It focuses on creating classic gameplay that the nostalgic gamer desires while integrating innovative and modern gameplay. With a dedicated team actively engaged in expanding the quality of its downloadable content, BFG has been able to quickly release three successful and popular game titles in its first year.

Following the success of “Blurball,” BFG moved into mobile development with “Redd: Mobile” for Windows Phone 7 and “Redd: The Lost Temple” for the Xbox Live Indie Market, which has won a spot in the top ten of the Indie Games Summer Uprising competition, coming in at 2nd place in the fan vote.

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