At the age of 23, Camilo Nova started Axiacore, a software development firm in the South American country of Colombia.
But Nova taught herself to program in python at the early age of 14. He was lucky to have access to the Internet and a computer in a place where those resources weren’t readily available, he said.
“I grew up in the right neighborhood, in the right place,” Nova said.
He went on to study engineering and spent time at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. He also worked in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and Miami.
Through his travels, Nova realized that most small and medium-sized businesses do not have access to software development firms. That’s why he created Axiacore, founded in 2007. The company’s Austin office is located at Galvanize in the Second Street District downtown.
“Most companies fail because they’re trying to walk in someone else’s shoes,” Nova said. Axiacore is able to create customized technology solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, he said. So businesses can get a pair of shoes made to order, he said.
Most companies think they can buy some software online or sign up for a subscription software service and have all their technology needs solved, Nova said. But one-size-fits-all solutions often don’t work, he said.
Axiacore consults, designs and engineers digital products that solve a specific problem, Nova said. The firm even works with nonprofits like Saint Louise House, founded in Austin 21 years ago to help mothers and children experiencing homelessness.
Axiacore created custom forms and online software in Spanish and English for Saint Louise House that allows staff to communicate in Spanish with its clients, said Robin Kamperman, director of operations at Saint Louise House.
“It gives our residents the ability to communicate more easily,” Kamperman said.
Saint Louis House operates two apartment buildings, and residents have to call maintenance for issues ranging from clogged plumbing or garbage disposal, she said. Online forms give them that ability, she said.
“The software’s greatest asset is its simplicity,” Kamperman said. “It’s easy to use.”
Axiacore was able to design and build the software that helps Saint Louise better serve the people it serves, Nova said.
“If you take the time and effort to understand the business, you can build something just for them,” he said.
Companies that can’t afford to invest in technology have a much lower growth rate, Nova said. The same is true for countries, he said. Colombia is known for its agricultural exports of bananas and coffee, sugar cane and cotton, Nova said. But it is difficult to be competitive with food exports alone, he said. That’s why he’s focused on tapping Columbia’s knowledge workers to create software projects for companies, he said.
“Companies improve if they embrace diversity — not racial diversity, but diversity of thought,” Nova said.
Axiacore is a remote-first company with two employees in Austin and another 30 in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Honduras and Costa Rica.
“We’re almost able to hire people from anywhere,” Nova said.
Steve Ward, an entrepreneur who runs two businesses in Austin, including SailATX, a sailboat rental company, hired Axiacore to help with his businesses. He then joined the staff as head of business development.
“Axiacore has tremendous depth and knowledge of software development,” said Ward.
“The biggest value I think I got from Axiacore is really the peace of mind. Kind of trust who I’m working with.”
Axiacore also receives tangible benefits for its customers such as saving time, improving efficiency and making them more effective.
“It’s hard to put a dollar figure on this,” Ward said.