City Spotlight: Austin

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WHAT TO KNOW

People have been living on Austin’s soil for thousands of years, even as far back as the Paleolithic era. But the city itself wasn’t officially established until the 1830s when Anglo-American settlers came to the area. They decided to call it Austin after Stephen T. Austin, “The Father of Texas.”  

Since then, the city has become one of the nation’s hubs for education and local government. But this didn’t happen overnight. Like many other cities around the country, Austin was devastated by the Great Depression.

However, due to the growth and notoriety brought to the city by the University of Texas at Austin, Austin emerged in the late twentieth century as a center for technology and business. It continues to be a booming metropolis, and is currently one of the nation’s most populated cities

WHAT TO DO

In Austin, you really can’t go wrong. Whether you’re a lover of the arts, music, gastronomy, or theater, there’s something here for you. You can check out the First Photograph at the Harry Ransom Center, catch an outdoor concert at a city park, stroll around the world-renowned Blanton Museum of Art, or dine at one of the city’s two hundred restaurants.

Sports lovers can golf at one of the seventy-seven golf courses in the Greater Austin area or enjoy cycling and hiking on the city’s many paths and routes. There’s no shortage of sports teams, either. The city is home to Ultimate, roller derby, minor league hockey, and baseball teams as well as the nation’s first Grand Prix facility.

STARTUP SCENE

Over the past few years, Austin has quickly become one of the nation’s most vibrant startup ecosystems and most celebrated technology hubs. The city hosts Amazon, Google, and Facebook offices as well as Whole Foods’ headquarters. Since 2015, STEM jobs in Austin have increased by over thirty percent, and nearly 100,000 Austinites work in the STEM field. Clearly, there’s no denying that the city is crawling with tech talent.

But, experts say that the city’s startup ecosystem isn’t even close to being saturated and overpopulated. In fact, many say that for Austin, this is just the beginning.

The city has a lower cost of living than other large cities in the country, making it an ideal location for millennials and recent graduates; they are able to live in a big city without the price tag that usually comes with an urban lifestyle. The state government continues to keep taxes low for businesses, which incentivizes entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses in the city.

Entrepreneurs are also encouraged by the growing number of accelerators and incubators in Austin, including Tech Stars, Launch Lab, and Capital Factory.

These favorable economic and business conditions, paired with the good weather and high quality of life Austin provides, make the city an ideal spot for hopeful entrepreneurs.