Progress of WomenBy Sheri Parr

Laura Lorek is the founder of (SHN) –a start-up technology news site covering entrepreneurs and companies in the Austin and San Antonio region, known as Silicon Hills. Founded in 2011, SHN won a New Media Women Entrepreneur grant to provide seed stage funding to launch the site, which now has a staff of ten freelance reporters.

At the second Progress of Women Salon, Laura discussed what it takes to bootstrap a new media news site. The biggest obstacle, she says, is raising enough money to grow the business. “It is a tough industry. The Austinist closed after eight years and it had 111,000 unique monthly visitors. We are around 30,000 unique monthly visitors.”

The innovator that Laura is, she turned to crowd-funding to publish her first print magazine – a field guide to Silicon Hills News. She successfully raised $9,300 through a Kickstarter campaign to fund in two weeks. She plans to publish a biotech issue in June.

“We are focused exclusively on tech in Central Texas and we meet an unmet need here.” Austin ranks fifth in the country for the number of technology start-ups per capita and is ranked number two in the country for tech start-ups.

Laura plans to expand operations this year. Her dream is to host a tech summit in Austin. SHN is currently looking for a publisher and strategic partner to take the site to the next level. Laura can be contacted at