Look out Silicon Valley, there’s a new Sheriff in town—and he’s got a reputation for scouting true underdogs in the world of business.
Austin may be known for its subtropical climate, eclectic live music, the Texas Longhorns, and breakfast tacos. Beyond these mainstream attractions, however, lies a hub of talent acting as a magnet for multinational corporations.
With Silicon Valley giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook setting up offices in the heart of Texas, entrepreneurs and tech geniuses now have a reason to chase their dreams in Cowboy City, instead of flying all the way to California or New York.
According to the Kaufman Growth Entrepreneurship Index, Austin’s start-up culture witnessed an impressive growth of 81.1% in 2016—the highest after Washington DC. This is incredibly promising for aspiring entrepreneurs, seeing as the report takes into account 40 of the biggest metro areas in the US.
Here’s what’s contributing to these changes.
With relatively lax tax laws that include exemption from corporate income tax, as well as personal income tax, residents have more liberties to start a new financial venture—or alternatively reinvest in their business.
This, alone, is reason enough for many to turn their passion into a successful enterprise.
One the biggest reasons why Silicon Valley investors are growing increasingly interested in Austin is its dynamic pool of talent. From technical engineers to marketing maestros, the city is blessed with professionals and institutions like University of Texas, where individuals can hone their craft and work independently to find success.
With a vibrant culture that thrives on music festivals and academic discourse, Austin ultimately offers an intellectually stimulating environment that feeds on innovation—an invaluable tool that fuels entrepreneurial success.
If you’re skeptical about Texan hospitality, consider the role that Austin’s community has played in catapulting the careers of budding entrepreneurs.
Besides being the epicenter of technical talent and innovation, the city boasts an enthusiastic community that enjoys attending trade shows and tech conferences, networking and making introductions.
Consider the case of Capital Factory, an Austin-based co-working space (launched in 2009) that offers an accelerator program for emerging businesses. After joining the program last year, start-up company Aceable managed to recruit 60 employees and raise $4.2 million with the help of an unprecedented, passionately supportive community.
Furthermore, start-ups also have the luxury of consulting some of the nation’s best recruiters, who are based right here in Austin. Professional headhunters can direct them to suitable candidates for key roles with the necessary experience and right attitude.
Thanks to Austin’s diverse population, there’s a market for virtually everything you could possibly want in the city. Not only does this help to create significant opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, but adds meaning to the city’s popular motto “Keep Texas Weird”.
This unique environment results in offering business graduates a unique chance to brainstorm ideas, allowing them to feel comfortable in experimenting and offering different ideas and ways of doing things, as well as the opportunity to meet investors and start their entrepreneurial venture on the right foot.
At the end of the day, Austin isn’t just an ideal place for start-ups; it’s an ideal place to share great ideas. And in a competitive industry, that’s what brings home the money.
For help with staffing start-ups for key roles, please consider reaching out to International Search Consultants. ISC has been in business since 1999, and is based in Austin, TX.
Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, a leader in Executive Search since 1999. Ann can be reached directly via e-mail at or direct dial at 888-866-7276.