Real estate

How Kip Lewis Became a Startup Pioneer in Austin, Texas

Kip Lewis is a Texan who dared to take risks and start his own business. After working for decades, he was laid off by IBM in 2000. The following year, he founded Austin-based Compudyne Corporation with his wife, Peggy. Since then, Lewis has been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young and Crain’ Chicago Business Magazine.


Lewis’ first entrepreneurial venture was Round Rock-based Compudyne, a provider of information technology and system integration services that would grow into one of the largest privately-held businesses in Central Texas. With his business overgrowing, Lewis decided to sell it for $110 million cash plus an earnout worth millions more. He and his wife then used part of the proceeds to purchase a large tract of land, developing Round-Rock Research Park.


Lewis’ success allowed him to pursue greater dreams related to entrepreneurship. Round Rock-based Round Rock Research Park is part of the strategy to transform into a thriving tech hub in Central Texas.


Lewis was born and raised in Round Rock, where he attended public schools and earned his bachelor’s degree from Abilene Christian University. He has served on the ISD Education Foundation boards, Austin Community College, the Economic Development Corporation, and the Chamber of Commerce.


Lewis is the founder of Round Rock-based investment firm Lewis Investments. He began his career as an electrical engineer at IBM in 1978 before starting his own computer consulting business. He became a full-time angel investor and advisor to start-up companies in 1992 and invested $60 million into more than 50 early-stage technology companies. The city in the U.S. state of Texas, located within Williamson County, about twenty miles northeast of Austin and thirty miles north of San Antonio.