Catalysts for New Startups in Austin

Scott Francis
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[One of the really interesting things we’re all waiting to see in Austin is how the success of several startups here spills over into new startups – and hopefully further economic success and growth. When you couple a fertile ecosystem for startups with seed corn (cash/liquidity), you expect to reap a good harvest down the road… ]

Here is an article that could have just as easily been written after HomeAway went public – but in this case Lori Hawkins’ target was Bazaarvoice:

“One thing that IPOs do is let people see what’s possible, and they say, ‘Hey, wait a minute, I could do this,’ ” said Martin Neath, an Austin tech veteran and general partner at venture firm Adams Capital Management. “They go through a startup and see it go public, then they realize, ‘I have a great idea; I could go do this myself. Why don’t I go start a company?’ That starts the next wave.”

Hurt, 40, said the possibility that his company’s IPO could help create a new wave of entrepreneurial activity is among the most rewarding aspects of the public offering.

“My prediction is that a lot of great people will go off with a real sense of purpose and start a lot of great companies,” Hurt said. “When that happens, it can become an engine for the next cycle of Austin growth. It’s all about the ripples you create.”

Brett deserves a lot of credit for his open attitude toward startups.  It reflects a mature entrepreneur, who understands the value of a great ecosystem even to his own firm.  He’s also a good cheerleader for other people’s startup efforts.

I have no doubt that the recent run of IPOs in Austin will fuel more startups – for a variety of reasons – and will fuel more angel investing (thanks to IPO money sloshing around Austin).