Working With Austin
As SXSW creeps upon us, I’ve spent the last few months considering how exceptionally Austin has communicated to the world that this is the place to live and work. It’s not just hard to disagree, it’s downright impossible: with exceptionally low unemployment rates, incredible business incentives provided by the city and state, a creative and experienced workforce that will not just architect, but design, the future, and an evolving economy to capitalize on and serve the innovations of the next generation. Indeed, where once the titans of hardware technology (IBM, Applied Materials, Dell, National Instruments, Advanced Micro Devices, Samsung, 3M, Freescale, Tokyo Electron) served to affirm why you should work with Austin, the new titans, Google, Facebook, Visa, GM, and Apple name just a few that are flocking to Austin to capitalize on the bleeding edge work being done, and talent emerging from, clean tech, health care, gaming, consumer mobile, eCommerce, advanced manufacturing, and big data.
It’s easy to see why companies are moving here. Aside from those economic benefits, while most of the world wrestles with 8 months of cold weather, Austin has only a few months, in the summer, where the weather is overwhelming, so we all spend it in the water.
But why should the world be working with Austin?
Having been here for merely a couple years, it’s clear that Austin is attractive to businesses from not only all over the U.S. but internationally. Events like the Austin Grand Prix and the South by Southwest Conference and Festival bring in guests from all over the world. Central Texas currently has nine different Foreign Trade Zones as well as International Trade Services.
As cities around the world become increasingly expensive and prohibitive to innovation, only places like Austin, where we’re poised to accommodate and encourage growth, economically situated to encourage taking the risk it takes to create industry, fully investigating and embracing how to scale globally, efficiently, and attracting the best talent from around the world to consider Austin home.
Fostering Collaboration Among Global Innovation Hubs
In April, Austin will host innovators from around the world for the 2013 North American Division Workshop looking into the the role of science cities, areas of innovation, and technology and research Parks with the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASPs).
Leading up to the global conference in October in Brazil, the April event will bring together the resources of the City of Austin, the Texas Entrepreneur Network, the State of Texas, and IASP’s first Science City to explore opportunities for international collaboration between global innovation hubs, observe a funding forum with pitches to Austin investors, and, of course, listen to local music!
Companies located in IASP member parks have the opportunity at the event to participate in a Funding Forum to pitch their company to Austin investors. Five companies will each have the opportunity to give a ten minute pitch for funding followed by investor Q&A from the audience including angel and venture capitalists, private equity, and family offices. Companies seeking $250,000 to $2,000,000 in funding are invited to submit a one-page Executive Summary – there is no submission fee, but applicants chosen to present will pay $125. In addition to the five presenters, two applicants will be chosen as alternates. This forum will be organized by the Texas Entrepreneur Network. At their past funding forums, on average ½ of the companies presenting receive follow-up meetings and 1/5 receive funding. Email email@example.com for an application now (they’re due March 6th!). To register for the IASP workshop, click here.
Validating Austin as the International Hub
So why work WITH Austin, rather than simply in Austin? I started pointing out that SXSW is upon us, and so I will close. The world is looking to Austin; and the work that Mirko Whitfield, SXSW’s lead in Europe & Int’l Business Development, and the City of Austin are doing is exceptional this year…
March 8th, Enterprise Ireland and Innovation Ireland are hosting Mr. Richard Bruton, T.D., Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, to introduce Ireland as a trading partner with Austin’s entrepreneurs. Through the 12th, the Borough of Hackney in London, will be hosting a Hackney House at 119 West 6th, with events including an opening party with Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, a forum on opportunities for Austin companies at London’s Digital Shoreditch festival, and showcases of London companies. Sounds a bit like an embassy of entrepreneurship and as Austin is the epicenter of collaborative work spaces, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised when the Hackney House is an incredible success for both communities. The experiences at the Hackney House are free and open for registration.
More than that, the night of the 8th caps an all day seminar at Austin’s City Hall, for the over 12 foreign delegations attending SXSW to gain insight on how to effectively do business in the US. Speakers throughout the seminar include Gemma Craven, Executive Vice President and NY lead at Social@Ogilvy, Aziz Gilani, partner DFJ Mercury, Harper Reed, Founder of Harper Rules LLC and ex-CTO Obama Campaign, Robert Scoble, Start-Up Liason Officer at Rackspace, Saidah Nash Carter, is Vice Presdent of Strategy and Business Innovation at Thomson Reuters, and Jason Seats, Managing Director of TechStars Cloud.
The “Doing Business in the USA” reception from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. is Cosponsored by ChinWag, the focal point for global digital media practitioners. Austin entrepreneurs and over 150 international companies are invited by the city to RSVP to the reception to speak with international companies about our experiences in Austin and why the world should work with Austin.
Perhaps most exciting about the SXSW conference is that world is in Austin for a few days. Keeping up with everything going on, not just internationally but throughout the distinct conference events, parties, and opportunities is a challenge. The kind of challenge to which Austin rises; Austin based innovators are on the bleeding edge of the technology that will make your experience in Austin exceptional. Whether the work of CanWe Studios and their CanWeNetwork app, Next One’s On Me and their app that will make it easy to treat a new contact to their next drink in town, the exciting possibility of FoTacts which will change the way you meet, for the first time, or the quintessentially Austin D.W.M.C. (which you’ll need with all the cars in town), their success, their ideas, are evidence of what’s possible with Austin, and why SXSW, this year, seems to me to be kicking off the fact that global innovation is about to explode through Austin.
One Response to “Working With Austin”
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Paul is hands down one of the best people to work with in the startup ecosystem in Austin, TX.
Hit the ground running and has been a great contributor to the polishing of our business. His expert knowledge of SEO, strategy and marketing will enable VChain Solutions to gain even more traction than we are currently experiencing.
Easily one of my favorite people in tech. Passionate, knowledgeable, connector and tenacious are the words that come to mind if I were to label him. Paul’s a constant hustler (in a good way) who always has time to talk about anything related to technology, marketing and all things startup related. He’s a great person to have on your team and an even better person to just simply know.
Providing Marketing and Strategy through the Clean Tech Open accelerator, Paul was readily available for a helping hand and opened his extensive network to us helping us connect with thought leaders in our industry. I would recommend Paul as a mentor and definitely use him again.
Paul provided a much more comprehensive strategy to our marketing and branding. He’s an expert in his field and knows how to deliver results. He took the time to understand our business and forge a multi-faceted approach to marketing our brand. We continue to leverage Paul’s talents and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.
Paul is a true Go-Giver! His willingness to share his expertise in Digital Marketing is priceless. I highly recommend anyone who is starting a company or who is starting to invest in marketing read his Startups articles on his website and then make sure you meet with him. I only wish I had met Paul earlier when I first started my company.
In the startup world, everything is rough waters. Paul came to us a couple years ago when he found out what we were building. He believed in our idea and wanted us to achieve our goals. In the past two years I’ve known Paul, he has always been there to mentor and guide me through the rough waters he’s seen through having once been our shoes. His advice is rock solid, practical and most importantly – executable. As an individual, he holds to his word, he’s dedicated and he’s one of the few wh…
Paul has been an advisor on numerous initiatives over the years. His knowledge and experience in all the aspects of digital marketing and media product strategy is matched with a creativity unique in the industry. Time spent “talking shop” with Paul has effectively become the foundation for my understanding of how digital marketing works and how to navigate an increasingly.
Paul has been an invaluable adviser to our start-up. His experience in the events space as well as his knowledge of today’s marketing stack has taken us a long ways from what we started with. His honest assessment of both our company and the Austin start-up scene has proven to be immensely helpful in guiding our strategy and direction.
Paul has the great ability to juggle 8 balls at once and is a jack of all trades. He is not only helpful on everything related to press, PR, marketing and social media, but has also added value by providing strategic direction/advice and even gets his hands dirty with technical development. He can be relied upon as a trusted partner and project manager.