What is an Axon?
noun: axon | plural noun: axons
- The long threadlike part of a nerve cell along which impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells – the bridge of collaboration for nerve cells.
- An engineering consultancy focused on bridging the technical gaps that keep founders from succeeding. Axon Collective works collaboratively with expert consultants & agencies to solve specific technical problems for founders while building world class engineering organizations.
“Axon took my concerns seriously and answered my many questions respectfully in a non-judgemental way. I honestly feel delighted! I can bring something up, ramble somewhat incoherently, think we’ll revisit at some point, but then they will be on it, and when it’s finished it will be better than I imagined. This has been a very positive experience!”
“Marcus is sharp and attentive. He has a good grasp on the various elements present in software geared towards manufacturing. They may be young and scrappy but they have the experience and I am completely satisfied.”
“I was impressed with the quality of service that was provided, and even more impressed by the multiple talented folks such a young firm has attracted.”
Honesty and transparency are the foundation of good business. We do what we say we will do.
People > Profit
We put the wellbeing of our team members, collaborators, and clients before company and owner profits, because we believe that leads to long-term wins.
Progress is not Zero-Sum
There is enough business for all of us to succeed. We will always seek collaboration over competition.
We consider the impact of how and what we build, choosing not to participate in wasteful or harmful practices.
Social Impact is not Optional
We strive to create a business that practices inclusivity, promotes diversity within our network, and pursues social impact work.
CEO | Board Member
His Why: To improve the world’s inefficiencies & deficiencies through innovation and technology.
Marcus is a software engineer by trade and entrepreneur at heart, Marcus grew up with a passion for innovation and business. Selling handfuls of pistachios and designing hoverboards in elementary school, nothing deterred his creativity. Marcus went on to be a software engineer with a sweet tooth for business. This led to an industry job purely meant to pay the bills and a mind whirring away on creative new ventures. Following the final payment on his student loans, Marcus left his stable job to pursue entrepreneurship full time. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Mikalah and their Bernedoodle, Moana.
COO | Board Member
His Why: To enable things that wouldn’t happen otherwise in the lives of everyone he interacts with, and changing the paradigm of how we view work in the 21st Century.
Owen is the “get stuff done” side of Axon. Coming from a background in aviation as both a pilot and a mechanic, Owen is an expert in operating and maintaining large machines – from airliners to companies. His hobbies range the gamut from historical reading and research to riding motorcycles to acting as dungeon master for his D&D group. He lives in Houston with his wife Elizabeth and their two cats, Nemo and Marlin.
CTO | Board Member
His Why: Putting people over profit while becoming a thought leader in DevOps and software design.
Daniel has been programming since he was ten years old, and it shows. He has an intuitive understanding of system architecture and DevOps that enable him to both spin up new cloud instances and troubleshoot existing problems without breaking a sweat. Daniel also has a deep business sense that couples with his experience in a variety of markets to generate near-prescience for seeing new opportunities around the corner before anyone else. He lives in Dallas with his partner David and their three German Shepards, Tolkien, Odin, and Vinnie.
Dir. of R&D | Board Member
His Why: To build cool stuff that makes people’s lives better.
David is a jack of all trades when it comes to making stuff. By formal training he is an electrical engineer and he has been tinkering since he was a kid. The thing he likes most is a well defined problem to solve and he has been rapid prototyping since the beginning of engineering school; everything from mechanical design, to electrical and PCB design, to firmware. Between building drones, audio equipment, repurposing existing systems with new circuits, and more, David has continued to hone his craft wile he worked his industry job until he made the jump to work with Axon full-time. He fabricates almost everything in the home workspace he runs with his wife Rhetta. They live in Greenville, Texas, and have two cats, Link and Murdock.
Her Why: Raising the status quo of startup culture; striking down harassment, abuse, and discrimination; creating space to cultivate connection, collaboration, and creativity.
Ashley has been a business growth leader since 2007, serving as the glue between executive leadership, stakeholders, teams, partners, and communities. She has worked in various industries, building and optimizing teams and systems to be streamlined and grow through collaborative success. Her approach is people-driven, focusing on process optimization to enable teams to reach their goals while experiencing fulfillment and joy in life. Ashley lives in Austin, TX, with her son, Aaron. She loves camping, gardening, cooking, playing poker, exploring dungeons, and slaying dragons.
Christian is a software engineer with deep experience in DevOps, test automation, cloud integration, and backend systems. This expertise couples with his passion for helping companies reach their potential as a consultant and positions him as an excellent lead engineer for projects ranging from single-day execution to multi-year implementations. Christian lives in Central Texas (yes, he says howdy a lot :P) but loves to road trip to exotic locales in his RV – living the dream of what remote work can be at its best.
James is a 20 year Naval Aviation veteran. His aptitude for jumping in and learning new things, that he cultivated during his long career, makes him the perfect fit for an environment where there’s some foreign concept to learn nearly every day. He’s “from Oregon” but has been all around the world, and worked with hundreds of people from nearly any culture you can imagine. He currently lives the remote dream in San Diego, CA with his beautiful wife and two talented children (He says: “they get it from mom!”). He enjoys cars, trail-running, and reading.
Director of Content
Andrew is a design and marketing professional with content-creation experience in videography, photography, audio engineering, and design. He handles all of Axon’s content creation and management. Andrew lives in Atlanta and spends his free time hiking, camping in his converted Subaru, or enjoying anything outdoors.
Open Bookkeeping LLC
Mari Ramirez is an experienced CPA who has been in public accounting in the greater Austin area for over 10 years. She wrote a chapter on financial empowerment in ìThe Better Business Book, Volume 2î and is owner of a paperless CPA and bookkeeping firm in Austin and has helped many small to medium businesses by consulting using financial metrics, budgeting, teaching accounting procedures and helping businesses sell to other businesses for long term growth. Mari has received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Accounting and received Humanitarian of The Year award from TAMIU for her efforts to educate students on the political process. She has spent many years also helping non-profits at her practice and as a volunteer, including Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education and Gwenievere Mann Foundation where she served as treasurer for both organizations. She has spoken at various events and panels for different industry and freelance groups, coaching how to start businesses, grow businesses and speaking on tax strategies, including Indie Pub Austin and Women Communicators of Austin. Mother of four, ranging from ages 21 to 3 years, Mari is also one of the 10 founders of Lark and Owl Booksellers, the only indie bookstore in Williamson County as well as a co-owner of Valentine Bar, a little bar outside of Marfa, TX.
Culture Management (heristic)
Mercedes Ballard (she/her) is a Talent Management specialist with a successful track record in talent acquisition and culture. Mercedes specializes in talent management programs and technologies that showcase holistic employee engagement strategies that lead to high-performing, agile, happy organizations. As a tenured Talent Management professional, Mercedes is motivated to inspire individuals to master connection with others and their own purpose. This philosophy has guided Mercedes through her career and ultimately to Co-Found heristic, a consulting firm dedicated to helping growth stage companies build inclusive and scalable talent strategies. Mercedes lives in Philadelphia where she can be found dancing to all kinds of music and enjoying the high caliber of dining options available in the city.
Talent Acquisition (heristic)
Kristin Bonds (she/her/ella) has a long history of recruiting and building Talent Acquisition infrastructure inside organizations of all sizes, and now she most enjoys helping startups create efficient talent programs that build inclusion into the bones of organizations from day one. Her longtime activism and community work serves as her guide in advising companies on inclusive strategies that will make a tangible difference in the communities they intend to serve. She believes that with intention, we can reach the future of work where inclusive, fulfilling practices of belonging are normalized and everywhere. Kristin lives in Austin, TX, where she catches live music a few times a week, enjoys the incredible food scene, and plays D&D.
Deena Shelton, PhD, LPC-S, ACS is Assistant Director of Counseling Programs at the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine. She earned her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Walden University and her MA in Community Counseling from Stephen F. Austin State University. Dr. Shelton specializes in higher education administration, counselor supervision, online education, career counseling, couples and families, and community/agency capacity building. Her research primarily focuses on foster and adoptive family systems, effective training and supervision practices for online higher education programs, and qualitative research methodology. She serves as a leadership consultant, trains individuals and groups in healthy systems dynamics, and produces practical content to encourage healthier family functioning. Her most recent projects include producing support videos for foster and adoptive families and producing a weekly podcast (Remodel Parenting). She lives in East Texas with her husband and they are tackling their most dynamic position to date, being the parents of two teenagers.
Shortly after college, Phil Burks began a rising career in sales with Motorola. An oilfield client offered a new position and opportunity for Phil to start a tower rental company and in 1980 Jecca Towers was born. Jecca owned towers and sold and installed towers for MCI, AT&T and various communication firms. Jecca grew to 65% cash flow and in 1988 Motorola made an offer that was accepted to purchase all assets of Jecca Towers, and The Genesis Group began. In 1989, Genesis grew from a single DOS based billing software product that Phil wrote in his bedroom, to now over 30 Windows and browser-based software products that are designed to enhance Motorola critical two-way radio systems. Genesis software is globally installed for clients like: Motorola Australia, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bell Mobility Canada, the States of Florida, Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Illinois, South Carolina, Cities of New York, San Francisco and many, many others. Genesis has grown to include over 60 full time employees at their Tyler, office; an office in London and close affiliates in Melbourne and Mexico City. In April 2013, Phil stepped down as president and promoted Jim Nipp (VP of Business Development) to President. Phil remains as owner and CEO of the software enterprises. Most recently, along with another tech entrepreneur, Phil created and is the managing member of Phirst Technologies, LLC to develop and market a specialized drone for police, fire, and ambulance called FIRST iZ (pronounced First Eyes). http://FirstiZ.co Phil sits on many local non-profit boards and is a founding member of the Tyler Innovation Pipeline. He’s also a trustee at LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas. Phil defines his management style as first being a servant. ìI want to set an example that others will follow. If I have a problem doing that, then I have no business leading others. I give responsibility and authority for each person to run their areas, and I stand behind their decisions – right or wrong. If there is an occasion where an employee has made a bad decision, I will correct them in private and give them a chance to make it right, he says. Phil works hard to empower his employees with responsibility and freedom to do the tasks that are present and will only do follow up as needed
Cecilia Wessinger is an entrepreneurial ecosystem builder and founder of Mass Collaboration. Her work is centered on collaboration, equity and community culture. As a certified Cultural Competency and Unconscious Bias facilitator, she moves conversations beyond diversity and inclusion to connecting, engaging, and belonging. Her entrepreneurship path led to winning start-up competitions, a consulting role as ESHIP Community Activator with the Kauffman Foundation supporting ecosystem building practitioners, SXSW Pitch Advisory, SBA and GIST judge, and a multiple year delegate to the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. In addition, she serves on the board of the Institute for Work and the Economy and executive board of Startup Champions Network, and advisor to several startups and entrepreneur support organizations. She is a former travel industry professional who has lived, worked and traveled throughout the world. Her favorite person is Ivy Elizabeth who is just embarking on her own adventures having recently arrived in the world; though Bruce Springsteen is high on her list.
Adam serves as an advisor and mentor to the Axon team. Here’s a snapshot of his expertise: 25 year tech veteran with a background in project management, customer advocacy, operations improvement, frontend architecture (C/C++, JS/React, more), M&A software due diligence, and technical writing. He holds degrees in Math and CS. is a Scrum master, public speaker, and options trader. He loves complex board games, RPGs, and Brandon Sanderson.
Join Our Team
Do you have a passion for both learning and teaching, and do you believe in mentoring those who report to you and improving their lives? Are you unafraid to get your hands dirty if the job requires it, and do you have a deep passion for technology and what it can do when used creatively and responsibly?
Do you value work-life balance, you believe that mental and physical rest lead to superior results, and do you thrive in an environment of remote work and asynchronous communication?
We believe that excellence begins with those who make up our team, resulting in success at all levels.
Are you ready to Catalyze Possibility?