The Austin Tech Scene is Growing Up
Austin, Texas—it has been called the oasis of Texas. It’s a surprising gem located in the heart of Texas and home to world-famous restaurants, down-to-earth celebrities, talented musicians and a booming economy. Austin is the third-fastest growing city in the U.S. and is also currently ranked third by Forbes as the best city to launch a startup. It’s hard not to notice that many people have been won over by Austin’s charm (have you noticed the traffic lately?), but for INKers, we’re completely enamored by the tech scene.
According to the Austin Technology Council, more than one-fifth of Central Texas’ GRP is attributed to the tech sector, contributing $21.5 billion annually to the local economy—the greater Austin area also is home to the world’s largest “start-up,” Dell. Other tech giants, such as IBM, National Instruments, Samsung, VMware, AMD and Apple, have headquarters, major investments or operations here in town.
INK is lucky to have worked with some of Austin’s most exciting tech start-ups and established brands. We’ve helped companies like CSID, Center for Identity, Wisegate, Gemalto, MapMyFitness, Nuventix, InReach, Mutual Mobile, Mozido, Tabbedout and Volusion find their voice in a competitive market. There are so many interesting people and companies lighting up the tech scene in Austin who are willing to share their experiences and coach new entrepreneurs and leaders. We’re honored to work with the Austin Technology Council to shed light on the industry’s priorities (capital, talent, market development, life sciences) and innovation success stories. Here are a few brands that have been contributing greatly to Austin’s tech growth.
Bazaarvoice, the customer reviews powerhouse that leads the retail industry in social- and digital-based customer engagement tools, reported a revenue growth of 15 percent from last year. Bazaarvoice has some of the world’s most social-savvy customers — at the company’s 2014 Bazaarvoice Summit, I heard from brands such as Clinique, The Gap and Whirlpool about how they were able to strengthen their relationships with consumers via Bazaarvoice tools. The talent it cultivates in the Austin area is impressive, and it has a high-profile customer base to match it.
Spredfast, an Austin-based social media marketing company, made headlines when it merged with Mass Relevance, and raised more than $32 million in series D funding earlier this year. With its impressive executive hires and numerous service launches this year alone, this innovative company has some high growth years ahead of it.
Who can forget RetailMeNot’s exciting IPO last summer? RetailMeNot, which connects consumers to deals and coupons from their favorite retailers based on preferences and location, raised $191 million in its IPO last July. Since then, the Austin-based company has reported a net revenue increase of 37 percent and a 160 percent increase in total app downloads among its portfolio.
IT professionals all over the world have discovered Spiceworks, a high growth Austin company that has built an online network for IT professionals and vendors to exchange IT information and learn about tech products. More than 5 million IT professionals and 2,700 technology companies, including Dell, Samsung, IBM, HP and Microsoft, are a part of its network. Spiceworks closed $57 million in funding in February and plans to add 90 employees to its 250-person team this year.
Included this year in Forbes’ list of America’s Most Promising Companies, BuildASign is a true Austin staple. With over 280 employees, $57 million in revenue in 2013 and operations in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Germany, BuildASign leads the online custom signage printing industry. CEO Dan Graham is one of Austin’s top CEOs and dedicates much of his time to serving on the board of community organizations and mentoring up and coming Austin executives.
I could go on and on. There are so many great things happening in the tech space in Austin, and INK is proud to take our small part in helping to shape the industry’s growth and visibility. I feel lucky to have joined a team of communicators, writers, and social enthusiasts who are just as passionate about the tech industry as I am. What tech company in Austin has captured your attention? Let me know in the comments!