The buzz about the startup culture in Austin is making it one of America’s fastest growing cities. From 2010 to 2015, the city’s population grew significantly, a total of 8.2 percent, according to census estimates. The city’s tech startup scene is certainly one of the major reasons for the growth, as aspiring entrepreneurs choose Austin as the location for launching their startups.
Notable Austin startups
Founded in Austin in 2004, Indeed allows job hunters to use one search to access numerous databases. Indeed surpassed Monster in 2010 to become the most popular job site in the country.
For the first half of 2015, the company reported a 57 percent year-over-year revenue increase, while 2016 brought its services (formally exclusive to Austin) to eight new countries. The company’s service area now includes a total of 60 nations, with more than 2,400 direct employees on its staff. The company’s headquarters remain in Austin.
Listing more than 1 million vacation rentals in 190 countries, HomeAway offers people a comprehensive selection of houses, condos and cabins across the globe. The site launched in 2006 after the merger of several companies, and HomeAway later settled in Austin. HomeAway went public in 2011 and was valued at $2.9 billion. The company remains a fixture in the Austin tech scene and boasted $446.8 million in revenue in 2014. As a testament to its profitability, Expedia acquired the site for $3.9 billion in 2015.
What makes Austin so attractive to startups?
Investors and accelerators
One of Austin’s biggest strengths is the wealth of capital available for potential startups. The 2014 Austin Startup Report lists the amount of funding invested in Austin startups as $993 million, a 123 percent increase over the previous year. These funds are coming from a wide variety of angel investors and venture capitalists, most of whom are constantly on the search for possible additions to their portfolios. Austin includes several investor groups based in the city, with several others that have satellite offices in the metro area.
South by Southwest
Begun in the 1980s as a music festival in Austin, SXSW has since evolved into one of the most important interactive festivals worldwide. SXSW Interactive brings tech moguls and minds to Austin to talk about emerging technologies and growth in the industry. The event always has a special focus on startups. As a result, several companies like Twitter, Foursquare and GroupMe began their journeys to popularity there. SXSW is now the crown jewel of the Austin startup scene, and a week where all eyes are on Austin.
Cost of living
If it’s cheap to live somewhere, then talented people will be far more likely to relocate there. The cost of living index for 2015 shows Austin to be more affordable than most major metropolitan cities, including other tech hotspots like San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles. Suburbs of the city are consistently listed by Kiplinger as among the cheapest places to live in America, and Austin is regularly among the highest rated by young professionals.
Even though Austin attracts an influx of talent from other cities and states, the city maintains a strong local talent pipeline. Graduates of Concordia University Texas possess the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in Austin’s economy. Many Austin startups have been founded by the alumni of local schools, and the presence of institutions of higher learning is recognized throughout the community.
Concordia University Texas offers an online B.A. in Business, an online MBA and an online B.A. in Computer Science for students seeking a quality education that leads to a successful career in the startup world.
Content sponsored by Concordia University Texas