People are drawn to Austin in a mystical way, pulling up roots in far-flung places, and settling there – secure in their choice. A star of the Lone Star State, Austin attracts the business elite and startup ventures, artists, and the tech-focused. It is a magnet for the visionary and laid-back lovers of the outdoors. Austin has a thriving film industry too, and is home to Richard Linklater, the director of “Bernie,” Oscar-nominated “Boyhood,” and “Fast Food Nation.”
Moneyrates.com recently ranked Austin the best city for young entrepreneurs. It has a cultural landscape attractive to the inventive, like the young tri-athletes who created a low-carb, grass-fed, animal-protein snack called the Epic Bar, which was featured in the Los Angeles Times as a trend in healthful snacks. In 2014, the company posted sales of nearly $7 million before being scooped up by General Mills.
A walkable city, and the capital of Texas, it is home to many government agencies and the University of Texas-Austin. These institutions, and their offshoots, provide a stable backdrop for its ever-burgeoning business sector that includes companies in finance, health care, and tech. It’s old school, and yet crowded with niche industries, the homegrown and homespun.
Tech has been a driving force in the growth of the city, and has become known as Silicon Hills. Its long roster of tech companies includes the Austin campus of publicly traded Advanced Micro Devices, and the headquarters of Dell. It’s attractive to tech startups too, and there is an online community called Built In Austin that is a hub for tech news, info on startups, job postings, and details on industry-related events.
Forward thinking, and focused on the quality of life of its residents, the city established an Office of Digital Inclusion in 1995 with a goal of ensuring that 100 percent of its residents have access to high quality internet. The ambitious plan includes outreach, and bi-lingual trainers, to demonstrate technology’s relevance to daily life, including the ability to apply for services and jobs.
Hot, hot, hot, Austin caught the attention of Forbes magazine in 2015 as the city with the greatest number of people flocking to it. Between 2010 and 2014 it added 126,296 residents from within the U.S., bringing its total population to 1.94 million. Taking the number two spot was Raleigh, North Carolina with 55,920 newcomers.
It’s not all business and ambition in Austin. City planners and dwellers alike prize balance. It is possible, in Austin, to quickly transition from corporate life to recreation enthusiast with a wide assortment of trails, waterways and city parks. The city of Austin offers an ideal balance of outdoor activities, culture, technology and business – no matter what stage of your career or business venture you are in, it is a city worth looking into.