Where are all the Austin Startups?
An Economist said yesterday that Austin will create 20,800 new jobs over the next 12 months.
That’s great, we are still creating lots of jobs. Excellent. But there does not appear to be a lot of start up activity. That is the area of the economy that I am most interested in. That’s what brought me to Austin in the first place. I can remember driving down Mopac and seeing Dr. Koop on one side, Garden.com on the other and feeling like I was at the center of something.
There is another dot.com boom going on. Some might call it a bubble. Some might call it rational exuberance. Whatever you call it, it does not seem like Austin is one of the major hubs like it was back in 1.0. Sure there are Austin start ups being formed, raising money, and being bought, but it seems like much more activity is in other cities.
If I look down the industry job board at 37 Signals – one of the de factor poster children of Web 2.0 – I don’t see any Austin companies on the list. O’Reilly ranked Austin number 7 for online startup jobs, behind San Diego, Seattle, and Washington DC, all cities I thought we would be ahead of.
So what’s the deal? Have we slipped? Moved on? Is it a good thing? What can we do about it?