The Metal Wizard Turns Talent into a Growing Business

By: Hye June Park

Jason McClain and his wife, Silvia Solorzano, had a vision four years ago to start McClain Metal Works.  From a modest beginning in 2014 working from their garage with one client, Jason and Silvia now have a shop, a team of six employees working full time, and lots of ideas to grow in 2019.

Over the years, Jason grew a reputation in Austin as “The Metal Wizard”. Jason learned on old school 1940 machinery and his talent earned him recognition which in turn encouraged him to open his own business.

Jason and Silvia manage the business together from fabrication to office paperwork. “We are constantly learning from our projects. Every project is unique. Some are designed as a piece of art or as décor, some are designed for industrial or commercial purposes. Sometimes both architectural and art are integrated to meet functionality and décor at the same time. We never get bored with this kind of challenges. McClain Metal Works’ goals for the business 2019 is to expand their services.”, explains Silvia.

Currently, they have a nice variety of clients, from interior designers, architects, construction companies, to DIY homeowners.

The McCain’s story is one with lots of sweat and hard work combined with training, coaching and support from Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) . Silvia took classes at EGBI years before the two of them met. “The people at EGBI are there when we needed them the most, not only with the classes but during the process of the business growing, and to help us to find the solutions that we need.”

“We are so happy at how fast we have expanded our capabilities.  Today, we are a team of six people working full time in our shop. The more we grow and expand, the more help we need on operating the business.  We always go to Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) when we need help, they provide us the coaching we need.”

For more details on McClain Metal Works, visit


Couple Sells Business to Employee of 20 years


Gabriel Orozco Goes from Technician to

Proud Owner of S.T.A.R. Windshield Repair

Austin, TX:  After working at S.T.A.R. Windshield Repair for more than 20 years, on January 2, 2018, Gabriel Orozco bought the business from the retiring owners, Eileen and Larry Smith.
Larry and Eileen are happy to see Gabriel take over the business that has been serving the Austin area since 1986. “We wish nothing but the best for Gabe,” said former owner, Larry Smith. The Smiths will be helping Orozco through a three-month transition period, to prevent any disruption in service as Orozco makes the transition from technician to owner.
For the last 6 months, Gabriel Orozco has consulted with Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI), an organization that provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners. He completed EGBI’s business workshop series and will continue to be coached by EGBI staff to sharpen his business skills through the changeover.  EGBI helped Orozco qualify for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan from PeopleFund for the purchase, and connected Orozco to the University of Texas School of Law Entrepreneurship & Community Development Clinic for legal support.
Orozco looks forward to providing the same excellent service S.T.A.R. Windshield Repair clients are accustomed to.  “As a longtime customer, we are excited to hear Gabriel will be taking over the business and preserving the excellent customer service he has always provided us,” said Roy Reyes at Double R Sport Imports.
About S.T.A.R. Windshield Repair: S.T.A.R. Windshield Repair has served the Austin area as the rock damage repair specialist since 1986. Their mobile service has a lifetime money-back guarantee and provides insurance deductible waivers. For more information, contact the new owner, Gabe Orozco, at 512-576-5154.

EGBI Client Answers, “Where’s the beef?”

Sitotaw Degefaw, EGBI’s recent graduate of the Emerging Enterprises Training Progam, wanted to open a butcher shop similar to his family’s shop in Gonder, Ethiopia.  His desire was for a place where his customers could get fresh, high quality beef and also a place of community for people from East Africa that now live in the Austin area.  In October, Sitotaw made his dreams come true with the opening of Salam’s International Mart & Café at 10009 North Lamar Blvd, Austin Texas 78753 (less than a mile north of Rundberg Ln).
Salam’s offers grass fed beef perfect for people who are looking for a healthier option or who delight in a raw meat cuisine. According to the American Grass Fed Beef Organization, this meat is lower in total fat than grainfed animals, lower in calories and contains extra Omega-3s, which may reduce cancer risks.
Along with his butcher shop, Salam’s has a dine-in area where visitors can enjoy traditional Ethiopian food such as Injera, Kurt, Tibs, Kitfo and Ethiopian coffee. Visitors who can’t stay to eat can pick up their favorite Ethiopian spices to prepare their own meals at home.
Sitotaw graduated from EGBI’s program in June, which propelled him forward to meet his business goals. “Taking the classes helped open my mind. I knew having enough money wasn’t enough to open a business. Studying at EGBI gave me the info to move in the right direction.”  Sitotaw described how Joni Foster, EGBI’s Program Director, helped him face his many hurdles in their one-on-one coaching sessions. “She connected me to the supplier that slaughters the specialty meat according to my countries custom.”  The advice Sitotaw shares with other entrepreneurs is to save money, as financing a business can be a big challenge when starting a business.

Ice Cream Cone or Fruit Cup?

Las Mangonadas opened it’s doors in December of 2016 to serve customers a variety of their forty homemade flavors of ice cream,  cakes and pastries made daily, fruit cups, and other tasty snacks.  Claudia Sanchez, the co-owner of Las Mangonadas, learned about the business from her uncle, Alfredo Sanchez,  who was already an entrepreneur. Claudia gained experience through a similar business she helped her uncle with in Illinois until she decided to move back to Austin.  Both created the Austin business to provide the assortment of sweet to salty munchies that also include corn cups, smoothies, Doritos locos, and so much more.  In business for less than a year, they have already started to see growth in sales.
Claudia first became connected with Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) when she attended Curso Empresarial, EGBI’s series of workshops taught in Spanish by local subject matter experts who have years of experience dealing with start-up businesses.  “The workshops helped with the general vision of business and learning from the experience of other attendees and instructors.  I was motivated that running a business was not going to be easy, but with tenacity it was going to be possible.” Claudia continues, ” I continue to receive assistance from EGBI anytime I contact them. They are always ready to help with resources, their knowledge, and encouragement. ”



Do you have a Tamale Addiction?

Tamale Addiction is famous for being fresh, organic, local, and delicious! Since it first set up at a farmer’s market in 2010, these tamales have managed to collect a following of Tamale Addicts and in the process increasing their production from 80 tamales their first week to now 9000 tamales on a Monday through Friday work week. Their flavors have spread fast through markets and coffee shops around Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, and major events as ACL Music Festival, Old Settlers Music Festival, Food and Wine Festival, Formula 1 at COTA, etc. Recently these savory meals have made it into local retail stores.  Now their product can be found in Wheatsville Co-op, Royal Blue Grocery, People’s Pharmacy, Fresh Plus, and Thom’s Market. You may even be lucky enough to spot a Tamale Addiction food truck in an office campus near you!
Owner Adrian Paredes and his wife Mariana’s experience in the food industry started in 2009. After a failed venture with Mexican desserts, a new opportunity randomly aroused when a farmer’s market director asked them if they could make and sell tamales (they didn’t know how, but they said “yes”). Over the next days, Adrian and Mariana called every family member they knew to collect recipes, tips, and tricks about making tamales. They worked all week to prepare 80 tamales for their first market. Those tamales were sold out within an hour. The couple rose to the task before them: going organic and local and create vegan and vegetarian options for their customers. They had found the magic!  This is when Tamale Addiction was born.
Due to rapid growth,  Adrian Peredes sought out training and consulting services from the Economic Growth Business Incubator to develop a business plan and financial projections.  “I  am so grateful for the training, support and networking EGBI has given my business.  The business has been such a great adventure for my wife and I.”  – Adrian Paredes.

El recomendado de EGBI: Wester, dando soporte administrativo a pequeños negocios

¿Abrumado por el trabajo administratico de su pequeño negocio?, ¿Necesita ingresar y organizar la información de los clientes, archivar  gastos/recibos y subirlos a la nube y que no se pierdan?, ¿Requiere ayuda para enviar facturas a tiempo? ¿Ha decidido que es tiempo de diseñar una página web que se destaque más allá de la competencia? ¿Le gustaría  que lo acompañaran en una presentación o reunión de negocios en inglés? Wester proporciona apoyo administrativo a las empresas que necesitan estos servicios. La conveniencia de tener este tipo de colaboración con paquetes asequibles para elegir, es una valiosa fuente que permite a los propietarios de pequeñas empresas la posibilidad de concentrarse en el crecimiento de su negocio.

Verónica Trevisan, dueña de Wester  cree que ser empresario es tener la visión de ver una oportunidad de negocio detrás de una buena idea. Ejercitando su perspicacia empresarial, fundó Wester para dar apoyo administrativo a otras pequeñas empresas.

Como cliente graduado de EGBI, Verónica ayuda a la organización cuando se necesita personal adicional en eventos y exposiciones y ha trabajado en proyectos para traducir la currícula  y comunicaciones en español. También ha trabajado en otras tareas administrativas de la organización. Verónica ha sido reconocida por esta incubadora de negocios como voluntaria del año en el 2015. Ella también fue una de las 3 finalistas del Premio Capital de Texas bajo la categoría  Rising Star de Facebook en 2016; entregado por la Cámara de Comercio Hispana de Austin.

Para mas información, contacta a Veronica en o llámala al 512.576.6637

Client Highlight: Wester, Providing Administrative Support to Businesses

Overwhelmed managing your home office like data entries, organizing information or receipts on cloud data sources, or filing paper work? Can’t seem to get your invoices out on time? Are you needing a web site that will stand out beyond the competition? On a deadline and need to create a PowerPoint in a hurry? Wester provides administrative support to businesses needing these services. The convenience of having extra assistance with affordable service packages to choose from is a valuable to source that enables small business owners the ability to focus on the growth of their business.
Verónica Trevisan believes that being an entrepreneur is to have the vision to see a business opportunity behind a good idea.  Exercising her business acumen she founded Wester to give administrative support to other small businesses.
As an Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) graduate client, Verónica assists the organization when additional staffing is needed at events and expos and has worked on projects to translate curriculum and communications into Spanish. She has also worked on other administrative duties for the organization.  Verónica has been recognized by the EGBI as 2015 Volunteer of the Year. She was one of the finalists of 2016 Capital of Texas Award under the Facebook Rising Star category; recognition granted by the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

ATX Co-op Taxi In the News

ATX Co-op Taxi splits the difference between traditional taxis and ridesharing. ATX Co-op Taxi ride-hail app is up on the iTunes store: “ATX Taxi”. The app is modeled much like your standard TNC template. Should it ever fail, as happened with Fasten and RideAus­tin during SXSW, the co-op can fall back on its full-time dispatch system – staffed with call-takers at an office just like any taxi franchise.
We are proud of our clients, ATX Co-op Taxi. Read more in the Austin Chronicle here.

Client Highlight: APSCO & It's Cleaning Time!

For the month of February, we are highlighting two of our clients APSCO (Alva Property Services Companies) and It’s Cleaning Time!
Last year, both of them were selected for the FastForward Progam, a small business growth initiative powered by the City of Austin and the University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 Institute. We are proud to share that out of the 13 businesses that were accepted and completed the program, two of them were EGBI clients.
APSCO provides property maintenance and general contracting services to individuals and companies in the Greater Austin Area needing services fitting any of their business units:
*Pro Lawn Cut – Landscape maintenance and installation services
*Pro Maid Clean – Cleaning and janitorial services
*Pro Handy Home – Remodeling and general contracting services
Mynor Its cleaning time
Itscleaningtime logo
It’s Cleaning Time! LLC is a residential cleaning service company serving the Austin and surrounding areas since 2003. They also offer some commercial cleaning services: janitorial cleaning for small offices and after construction cleaning.
We look forward to continue encouraging our clients to apply for future FastFoward Program opportunities, as we believe this program provides great exposure and valuable training for our small business community.
You can find APSCO and It’s Cleaning Time! contact information along with all of our graduates who are in business by visiting our web directory.

Client Highlight: Smiley's Junk Removal and Recycling

With the beginning of the New Year, you might be thinking about getting more organized and decluttering your home or your office. If that is the case, we have the perfect ally for you: Smiley’s Junk Removal & Recycling.
Spencer Costley is the Owner of Smiley’s Junk Removal and Recycling, who has been serving the community for over five years. They were ranked one of the Top Junk Removal Companies in Austin in 2016 by
If you have any junk laying around, a garage full of stuff filling up the space, any trash or unwanted items that need to be removed, Smiley’s Junk Removal and Recycling can assist you. They serve both residential and business locations… always with a smile!
Not only that, but Spencer will try to save and recycle your items in various creative ways.
Spencer graduated from the EGBI entrepreneurial program in 2011, he continues to attend workshops, participates in our BizCoaching groups, is actively involved with EGBI and is one of our most loyal clients when we need volunteers.
“The EGBI classes give me an outlet to bounce my ideas off of and experts that will answer any questions that I have about my business, and to me that is priceless… I’ve grown quite a bit since taking the class; I have more clients that I serve now on a regular basis. I’m their go-to person when they need junk that needs to be removed, and that’s a great feeling.”
Smiley’s Junk Removal and Recycling is insured under the State of Texas. Please consider using Smiley’s if you are in the process of decluttering your home or office. Click here to visit their website and support them by following them on social media!
You can find Smiley’s contact information along with all of our graduates who are in business by visiting our web directory.