Austin: the fastest-growing tech hub in the U.S. is a far cry from the small town it once was.
Austin’s long been known for a lot of things – its live music, laid-back vibe, and no-nonsense approach to barbecue, to name a few – but over the last two decades, its foothold as a tech hub has grown at a steady pace, and lately, that growth has sped up exponentially.
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This year, Austin’s tech startups raised $993 million in funding, while 31 of them collectively made $437 million from their exits — 29 through acquisitions and two through IPO’s. The funding increase alone marked a 134 percent increase over the year prior, leaving behind no doubt that the city’s tech scene is booming at an unprecedented rate.
“There’s a big draw to Austin for big thinkers” says Joshua Baer, Executive Director at Capital Factory. “Austin’s just a great place to live for anybody. That’s why it’s been one of the fastest growing cities for a while. It’s an attractive place for companies. They’ve got to be where the people want to be. Austin is attracting educated, motivated people and therefore has a great base of talent.”
With companies like Oracle, General Motors, USAA and Walmart building next-generation tech and design campuses in the city, Capital Factory boosting Austin’s startup culture and others like Bigcommerce, Mozido, Silvercar, Spiceworks, Spredfast and Volusion on the rise, developers and other tech professionals are flocking to the city in droves — more than 150 new residents per day, to be precise.
While the new tech sector grows by leaps and bounds, the “old guard” who gave it its start are thriving as well. Dell, the computer company that famously got its start in Michael Dell’s University of Texas at Austin dorm room, went private in 2013 and still employs more than 100,000 people, raking in more than $57 billion last year.
As for the continued presence of other tech giants, Austin is home to more than 5,500 tech companies including household names like Facebook, Apple, Google, Samsung and IBM which aren’t going anywhere either; in particular, Google maintains offices in a development in the Seaholm District downtown.
University of Texas at Austin's largest and most intense construction project in decades, the Dell Medical School, is redefining the face of medicine. The brand new school (opened in 2017), built from the ground up at a top-tier research institution, is transforming the way people get and stay healthy, catapulting Austin into a model healthy city.
With the hustle and bustle of SXSW® rumbling through town every year and bringing with it some of the brightest minds in technology today, Austin remains a melting pot of innovative new ideas often shared over breakfast tacos and between songs at late-night music shows. Its easy lifestyle appeals to both young upstarts with big ambitions and seasoned pros who want to enjoy their weekends off. As a result, it’s nearly impossible to walk a block downtown without running into a handful of industry luminaries, all enjoying the place they call home.
Some Examples of Tech Organizations That Have Met in Austin