Austin-London Connection: New Nerd Bird?
The Austin Business Journal has a great article about the increasing business ties between Austin and Britain – but specifically London – thanks to the new direct flight service on British Airways. Having just made this trip, I can attest that it is a game-changer to make a single flight of approximately 10 hours rather than two flights with a layover. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an amazing aircraft as well – and despite losing all cell signal on the plane (apparently it is almost a Faraday cage), the increased air pressure makes a huge impact on how you feel at the end of the flight. I found it more restful in some respects than a 4 hour flight to the Bay Area.
As you might have heard, BP3 recently acquired the team and interests of Modexe in the UK – so the topic of Austin-London business is more relevant to us than ever. I found the reception in the UK from our software partners to be incredibly welcoming. And our new team members in the UK are excited to be part of BP3 as well. All in all it is a great beginning in the UK for what may now be the biggest independent BPM consultancy in the world.
Typically, it rained the whole time I was in London, but I was prepared with the right shoes and coat. I’m impressed with how dedicated our BPM professionals are in Europe and with what a great fit they are going to be, and reinforcement of, our BP3 culture. You don’t expect to find kindred spirits a few thousand miles away but sometimes you do.
From the ABJ article:
Expect British businesses — and more of them — to boom in Austin, and vice versa. That’s the goal of the British Consul General’s office in Houston, which has installed a head of technology and creative industries in Austin to meet the demand from British companies looking to set up shop in Central Texas.
Apparently Haleigh Meyers is the person to know – assigned to Austin by the UK to help connect local businesses to London and vice versa:
We’d been working with businesses in the tech and creative sectors for years and it had gotten to be that we were spending one week each month in Austin. During last year’s F1 weekend we had a director here to meet with the British motor companies, and while he was here he heard the great story of the Austin tech scene and the way Austin embraces new ideas. From that he looked at whether it made sense financially to have someone here in Austin to head up tech and creative efforts.
One challenge for companies going to the UK that isn’t obvious – it is really hard to open a bank account over there. Much harder than in Austin, TX. It would be great if they established some kind of concierge service to help you through this process.
Also, interesting note, but no surprise, SXSW has had a big impact on the relationship between these two fine cities:
Why do you think the creative sector has grown so much between Austin and the U.K.? A lot of that has come from the popularity of South By Southwest, when we bring 40 tech and creative companies to Austin both to be seen and to look at setting up shop. People see what a great environment Austin has, and that makes them want to come here.
It also doesn’t hurt that the weather is usually pretty amazing in March…
So count us on board for this Austin-London connection. Is it the new “Nerd Bird“? Time will tell. In the meantime, I hope to be a frequent flier on this route in the future!