Over the last 30 hours I’ve had the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Austin, TX startup community and partake in the Capital Factory Demo Day 2011. Jason Cohen of WP Engine (great WordPress hosting) treated me to an early dinner last night followed by a Capital Factory event in the evening. Today was packed with great speakers and pitches by over 20 startups.
Here are a few observations:
- Startups congregate downtown taking advantage of great nightlife and proximity to UT Austin
- UT Austin hasn’t had much influence on the startup community but that’s starting to change as of late
- SXSW is the most amazing gem of the city with respect to startups by bringing in people from all over and exposing them to what Austin has to offer
- There are many comparisons between Austin, TX and Boulder, CO
- Austin startups lament the lack of capital available locally
- Mobile apps are especially hot with many consultancy success stories
- Dell, based in the suburb of Round Rock, is completely absent from the startup scene (it isn’t the anchor tenant people think a startup community needs, in fact I heard it referred to as a logistics company and not a technology company)
- Capital Factory’s speakers were world class and told great anecdotes about building their billion dollar startups
- Engineers are in demand and startups are trying to recruit more to move to Austin from the West Coast
- HomeAway and BazaarVoice are two big recent success stories
Overall, I’m very impressed with Austin and Capital Factory and have several items to take back to Atlanta.
What else? What do you think of Austin’s startup community as well as Capital Factory?