As the country’s fastest growing city, Austin has a reputation for being an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors alike. The city’s affordable cost of living, combined with its presence in a pro-business state makes Austin an ideal choice for bootstrapping startups. When compared to more mature markets such as Silicon Valley and New York City, Austin is a perfect attraction to those who want to be a part of the “rising tide”. The presence of UT Austin serves as a pipeline of globally sought after talent. A recent partnership with video game icons Warren Spector and Paul Sams has created the first video game program taught by the industry’s top executives. Unique among most American cities, the Austin city government and the chamber of commerce both have been helpful in improving the atmosphere for startups in the city. That said, startups in Austin face difficulty raising capital after seed rounds, and often have to look outside the city for upstream capital.
These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.
IPO'd at $3B on
IPO'd at $1.35B on
Acquired for $150M by
Up and coming startup
Josh Baer is an entrepreneur and staple of the Austin startup community, having founded Capital Factory, one of the city’s premier accelerators. He is an innovator in email, founding OtherInbox, as well as a prolific investor. He works tirelessly to grow the Austin tech scene, co-founding We Are Austin Tech, among other initiatives.
Jason Seats is a Venture Partner at Techstars, where he was formerly Managing Director. Previously, he led Techstars Cloud, a San Antonio accelerator targeting cloud technologies. His expertise in this area derives from his experience co-founding Slicehost, a pioneer in cloud computing tech purchased by Rackspace in 2008.
An entrepreneur since 1994 with a record of several successful startups, Kevin Koym is an enthusiastic proponent of the Austin’s tech potential. He is the CEO and Founder of Tech Ranch, an early-stage accelerator that helps educate the city’s entrepreneurs and develop their projects. Kevin is also a frequent writer and avid speaker on the subject of entrepreneurship.
Jacqueline Hughes is an entrepreneur and a staple in Austin’s startup community. She founded Austin Startup Week as well as the Made in Austin Career Fair, both of which have become landmark events convening the city’s entrepreneurial community. Her acumen in event organization has made her instrumental in building Austin’s tech scene.
Bob Metcalfe is best known for co-inventing Ethernet and founding networking firm 3Com. In addition to his roles as Partner Emeritus at Polaris Partners and as Professor of Innovation at UT Austin, Bob is also a pillar of Austin’s entrepreneurial community, mentoring the next generation of startups through the university’s Longhorn Startup Lab.
Damon Clinkscales is a software developer heavily involved in strengthening the Austin tech community. He established Austin on Rails in 2005 to convene the city’s Ruby on Rails developers. Since then, Damon has continued to engage the community as a mentor for startups and through his weekly tech meet-up, Café Bedouins.
Brett is the former CEO of Bazaarvoice where he lead the company to a $114 million IPO. He left to to become a partner at Austin Ventures in 2012. In 2016, he founded data.world to make it easier to find and share large data sets.
Mellie is the Executive Director of Technology Innovation at the Dell Medical School, in addition to being a General Partner at Capital Factory where she is a founding mentor. She is the co-founder of SoftMatch, which connects enterprises interested in innovation to the highly fragmented global startup ecosystem.
Heather is the CEO of WP Engine, in addition to being a Partner at Capital Factory. She has served as COO of Bazaarvoice from its early stages to its IPO. Before Bazaarvoice, Heather served as president and CEO of Nuvo, a wholly owned subsidiary of Trilogy.
Tom is a former venture partner at Austin Ventures, leaving after they stopped early stage investments in 2015. He has since partnered with former ServiceSource CEO Mike Smerklo to create a new venture capital fund called Next Coast Ventures, with plans to raise $50 million.
Dell's IPO was a major early milestone for Austin tech and has acted as a cornerstone for the local industry to this day.June 1988
Trilogy will go on to be a consistent talent anchor for the Austin area, with many of its employees weathering the dotcom bust and making Austin home.1989
The Interactive Festival will become one of the largest technology conferences in the world, perennially attracting massive attention and thousands of entrepreneurs to the city each March.1994
Austin is home Samsung Electronics' only two semiconductor fabrication plants outside South Korea. The first plant, called Fab 1, was built in 1997. The second plant, Fab 2 is the size of nine football fields and is the largest single chip manufacturing plant in North America.2007
Capital Factory is a major component to Austin's startup scene. It's opening created countless opportunities for area entrepreneurs.March 2009
HomeAway is one of Austin's biggest startup success stories in recent history. The company is also reinvesting in the local community, supporting a variety of startup events and initiatives.June 2011
The arrival of the world-class accelerator to Austin bodes well for Austin's future.May 2013
Already a strong hub for game developers, this initiative by UT Austin will inject more high-quality talent into the Austin economy.Summer 2013
Foundercon brought hundreds of experienced entrepreneurs to Austin for several days, an opportunity for local startups to learn from others and for Austin to showcase its burgeoning tech scene.September 2014
Google Fiber has started to be implemented. This gives Austinites incredible internet speed (1,000 Mbit/s), and the infrastructure upgrade will also give startups a great deal of support.2015