The Entrepreneur Scene in Austin

Scott Francis
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Bijoy Goswami – a good friend from Stanford and fellow transplant to Austin in the 90’s – has been involved in the entrepreneurial scene in Austin for more than a decade.  It started with his first startup, Aviri, from which he became interested in starting up in general, and bootstrapping in particular.  He founded the group Bootstrap Austin in 2003 (it spawned a series of Bootstrap chapters in other cities), and it has become a support network of sorts for Austinites with the particular illness that leads to them to want to start their own business. Bijoy and others in Austin have helped articulate and define stages of starting up, giving people a common terminology and phraseology for what they’re doing, despite the fact that they might have startups targeted at substantially different markets.  For example, Bijoy was an advocate of the terms Maven, Relater, and Evangelist personalities – helping entrepreneurs understand why one person may not be able to “do it all” without help.  And terms like Ideation, Valley of Death, and Growth took on real, concrete meaning. But in the last year or two, Bijoy has refined his talking points to focus on Austin’s “startup scene” – a set of complementary organizations and events and startups that all combine to create an environment that encourages and supports entrepreneurship in Austin.  In Austin, you’re not strange for wanting to start your own company.  You’re also not unusual if your startup dreams don’t extend to building the next Google. In a teaser for SXSW-interactive coming up, Bijoy has put out an article in the Austin Business Journal reminding readers about Austin’s great support for startups and new ventures.  I’m looking forward to SXSWi – one of the seminal events in the Austin entrepreneurial scene – there are few events that pull so many of our community together in one place – and yet mix in entrepreneurs from all over the country as well.

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