Austin, TEXAS: The Silicon Hills
This blog post comes from INK intern, Vi Tran.
Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley and Silicon Prairie – we’ve heard all the popular names, but in the past few years, our very own Austin, Texas has found itself wearing the nametag: “Hello, my name is the Silicon Hills.”
A few months ago, Forbes ranked Austin as the no. 3 best place to launch a startup in 2014, and I can’t agree more. After spending a summer hanging out in the Silicon Valley, I found that while the resources in the Valley are high, so is the cost of living. But it’s not just the relatively low cost of living that makes Austin the next hub, it’s the combination of resources, mentorship and passion in the city that keeps entrepreneurs flocking to start a business, grow a business or beta-test their newest innovation.
Small Businesses are Always Welcome
When developing a new business or expanding on your latest idea, there is often a fear that you’ll simply be pushed out of business by the big dogs in the game. The saying goes, “Keep Austin Weird,” and if being weird means supporting local businesses, then Austin loves being weird. Resources such as the Small Business Development Program provide counseling and assistance for new and existing small business owners.
Let’s Work Together
Like many Silicon top names before us, Austin provides collaborative spaces for startups to not only work together, but to be mentored by seasoned serial entrepreneurs. Organizational resources such as former INK client Austin Technology Incubator at The University of Texas at Austin, has helped local startups for 25 years, Capital Factory’s working space has nurtured startups from infancy to IPO, and INK client Austin Technology Council increases access to thought leadership and connectivity across the Austin tech industry
Smart People Like Startups
I might be a little biased when I say that The University of Texas at Austin has some of the brightest students available to the Austin startup community, but the statistics also prove opinions. UT-Austin has a top-ten computer science program and top-ten engineering programs. According to U.S. News, more than 40% of the city’s population holds a Bachelor’s degree or higher. If you’re building a startup and you’re looking for smart talent, Austin has it.
If you’re still not convinced the Austin startup scene is where it’s at, attend some cool events at next week’s Austin Startup Week – yes, there’s a week dedicated to startups. Kick off with the Battle of the Bands opening party hosted by Austin Technology Council or attend the Intro to Austin Startup Scene event hosted by Capital Factory.
Austin is no longer only known as a BBQ hub, it is now also a center for entrepreneurship and collaboration, and it’s going to keep getting better.