Austin is a Great Place to Start Your Company

  • February 9, 2010
  • Scott

Congratulations to Bryan Menell for landing an interview with Fast Company about Austin’s startup ecosystem, as well as the background contributors to Austin being a great place to start a company.

I’ll boil it down to what I think matters most:

  1. Great quality of life.
  2. Abundant educated workforce
  3. Abundant housing
  4. Access to funding
  5. Great ecosystem to support entrepreneurs (especially first-timers) and startups

Great quality of life is in the eye of the beholder- some like Austin for the weather (and some hate it), some like Austin for the music (and some hate the noise), some like it because it is “Weird” (and some hate the weirdness), some like the abundant water recreation (and some people prefer dry land).  Some people even like UT sports events!  (And some really really don’t)  Almost everyone likes the food in Austin.

The point is, there’s something for everyone, and usually more than one something. I think the quality of life in Austin retains people who otherwise might move: when they get laid off, when they pursue another job opportunity, etc.  In fact many people return to Austin after flirting with the Bay Area or Boston.

Bryan’s list of startups only scratched the surface.  What I find interesting about Austin is the diversity of businesses that have been started: furniture,  groceries, consumer websites, enterprise software, chips, food and beverage firms, ad firms, music venues, ticket sales, music promoters, manufacturing, biotech, batteries, green building.  And I’m still just scratching the surface still.  I think you get this diversity in Austin because of the background support for entrepreneurship, and the willingness of the workforce in Austin to bet on startups and work in them. Well that, and because you can work at a startup and then play with your band at the Saxon Pub.

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