What is it about the Austin startup community?
Austin, Texas, is a vibrant city – as evidenced by its slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.” The city adopted this slogan to show its support for local businesses. Residents and the city as a whole, with its music venues, restaurants, stores and businesses, all contribute to the unusual and eclectic vibe that is Austin.
With a unique, friendly entrepreneurial ecosystem, Austin is a hub for innovative technology, talent and successful startups. Entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes flock to Austin, and the city continues to grow: in 2013-2014 it was the fastest-growing city in America and in 2016 it was recognized by Forbes as America’s fastest-growing city for the fifth time in six years.
Aside from the weird factor, what is it about the Austin startup community and what keeps them there?
- Low taxes– To successfully run a business and watch that business grow, pay close attention to your finances, living expenses and taxes. Entrepreneurs who are doing this have found that the cost of living in Austin is lower compared to San Francisco, Boston or New York. Texas also has no personal income tax and a corporate tax rate of zero, making it a desirable location in which to start or run a business.
- Innovation community – Austin has students, startups and spaces to work, making it a melting pot for innovation. Its University of Texas has more than 50,000 students. There are more than 4,000 technology companies including behemoths such as Apple, Dell, Facebook, IBM and Samsung, which contribute more than $21 billion to the local economy and attract technical workers, innovators and investors. For startups, there is plenty of co-working space, including WeWork, Createscape Coworking and Orange Coworking. All start at a low cost base and are buzzing hives in which to network and collaborate with other like-minded businesses.
- SXSW – Austin is home to one of the most innovative and startup-friendly conferences in the world. South By Southwest is one of the most famous and showcases innovation, opinions and trends, as well as connecting startups with potential investors (for example, two companies you may have heard of, Twitter and Foursquare, secured major funding after attending SXSW).
Plus, Austin is just a fun place to work, live or visit. Anyone who has been to the city knows that it has a vibrant and colorful attitude. It’s hard to leave without wanting to stay — or at the very least hoarding a week’s worth of Gourdoughs, a tattoo and some cowboy boots. We certainly feel that Austin has a unique tone and marches to the beat of its own drum.
Want to join us at an Austin workshop? Check out what’s coming up on our events page.