How’s it going Austin-ites?
As you’re surely seen by now, we have a directory of internet related companies in Austin TX included right here on the InternetAustin website itself. We truly appreciate everyone who has allowed their company to be added or volunteered to join the site on their own.
As we stay on top of the movers and shakers in the Central Texas and ATX area, we are always on the lookout for quality lists of startups, agencies, and other relevant business types. This has led us to find a range of resources (and really, Austin is rich in these types of resources).
Most recently, we were introduced to agencylist.org. It’s a pretty darn impressive national list of links to various marketing agencies, with the links sorted according to core strength (marketing, branding, SEO, or whatever the niche of choice is for each firm).
Earlier today, we came across the Austin list after someone shared it with me directly on Twitter, and I must say, the list is great!
Of course, there’s a “top option” link at the top, and our guess is that the position is available for a fee. So do your own research to find the right partner, but this should serve as a solid and useful resource for you to start your research. When you select the right agency, ask direct questions about their methodologies, tactics, and typical approaches to problem solving. You’ll find that some agencies will focus more on results and outcomes, while others may be more focused on hourly billing. You’ll have to decide what works best for your own needs.
So take a look at the page below. Hopefully you find it as useful as we did. Cheers.
There’s a war going on in Austin, and it’s not over who serves the best breakfast taco or which music festival has or hasn’t gone mainstream. It may in fact be the fiercest fight going on in Austin right now, with the outcome deciding the future of this growing city in ways that eclipse virtually every other issue.
It’s a war waged over a single word. A word that has become a dirty word in some circles and a mantra in others.
It’s the ‘D’ word, for density.
Austin is growing fast. With an average of 157 people moving to Austin every day, those people need to go somewhere
That’s where the battle begins. Pro-density urbanists want to direct that growth into Austin’s core, densifying neighborhoods that are more suburban in character, creating walkable environments based around vertical construction and public transportation. They argue that density is more sustainable than car-oriented suburban sprawl. They also argue that it reflects the current demand for urban lifestyles, a demand which has pushed the price of centralized housing out of the reach of many Austinites.
Those against increased density, on the other hand, argue that packing more people into central Austin neighborhoods will decrease the quality of life in these areas and ruin the character that’s existed there for decades. They cite conflicts over parking, noise, crowding, and a lack of investment in infrastructure as examples of how more density leads to more problems.
With the City of Austin currently undertaking a major rewrite of its land development code, the fight has reached a fever pitch. While both sides clearly have legitimate arguments, their disagreements often revolve around a lack of clear communication.
One question that neither side seems to have expressed is their vision of how dense Austin should be.
In order to give some more context around this question, SpareFoot looked at how Austin’s density compares to other cities in the US and around the world, mapping out how much of Austin the population would occupy if they lived as densely as these other cities.
Via SpareFoot Austin
Today, I was approached by representatives of Free to Breathe, a local nonprofit that focuses on driving advances in Lung Cancer including research advocacy and more.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone that cancer has yet to touch, either directly, through friends, or within their own family. I myself have had run ins with it in both immediate and extended family, as well as close friends.
In doing our part to help promote the cause, we are sharing the following press release. Come out and take part in the run or walk activities on Saturday, November 7. Your time and effort will help the cause, and who knows, this could very well benefit you directly at some point in the future if you find yourself dealing with this debilitating disease.
Austin Locals Rally to Support Innovative Lung Cancer Research
Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk on November 7th to Fund Research and Double Survival
Austin, TX – The lung cancer community is on a mission: to make surviving lung cancer the expectation, not the exception. Hundreds of local residents will join in that mission by participating in the Austin Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk on November 7th at Richard Moya Park.
All proceeds from the event support Free to Breathe, a lung cancer research and advocacy organization dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by 2022.
“Fundraising for lung cancer research can help families think of survival in terms of years, instead of months,” said volunteer event chair Lissa Bentley of Austin. “By taking action in the Free to Breathe movement and fundraising, you’re bringing hope and empowerment to all those touched by the disease.”
United in the belief that every person with lung cancer deserves a cure, the Free to Breathe community has helped raise more than $12 million to fund groundbreaking research, enroll more patients in clinical trials and provide free educational resources to those living with lung cancer.
Community members, teams and local businesses came together during the 2014 Austin Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk to raise over $22,000 for a disease that touches over 224,000 newly diagnosed patients each year. Event chairs hope to reach their goal of $40,000 this year, which will go a long way in supporting lung cancer research and educational programs.
The 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk will be the main focus at this year’s enlivening event. Face painting, a kids’ dash and a great local DJ will accompany an already invigorating day that the entire family can enjoy. Special recognition will be given to top finishers and fundraising heroes. Help double lung cancer survival by 2022. To register and begin fundraising, visit http://www.freetobreathe.org/austin.
Those who aren’t able to attend the Austin Free to Breathe 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk can still have an enormous impact by registering and fundraising as a virtual walker in the event. Or, those who wish to create their own unique fundraiser can access tools from Free to Breathe that will help turn any passion into a custom fundraising opportunity. The possibilities are endless but the end result is certain — improving the lives of everyone affected by lung cancer. To get started today visit www.freetobreathe.org/community-fundraising.
Free to Breathe
Free to Breathe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a partnership of lung cancer survivors, advocates, researchers, healthcare professionals and industry leaders dedicated to doubling lung cancer survival by
2022. For more information, visit www.freetobreathe.org.
One of our favorite networking events in the entire city of Austin is BASHH (Big Ass Social Happy Hour). What started out as a means for Twitter users in the local market to meet IRL (original name was Big Ass Twitter Happy Hour, or BATHH), later evolved to be more inclusive. After all, not everyone finds their voice on Twitter. But many of them use social networking platforms, so the event became BASHH around 2010.
Today we are sharing with you an interview with Lani Rosales, who cofounded the event with her husband Benn Rosales. Take a few minutes to learn more about the event itself and Lani – they’re both worth your time!
Q: Please introduce yourself to our audience
I’m the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius (news, tips for entrepreneurs) and The Real Daily (news for real estate pros). I’m also the Co-Founder at the Big Ass Social Happy Hour and the Austin Digital Jobs group.
Q: What are three of your favorite things about Austin?
- The helpful business environment – no other city is as generous with fellow professionals as Austin. For example, do you need a specific contact? My Rolodex is your Rolodex. That’s the Austin way.
- I’ll offer a controversial perspective here and say that growth is one of my favorite things. As a native Austinite, I’m used to everyone complaining about the growth, but it is the very reason that we have so many interesting places to eat, things to do, startups to watch, and so forth. Plus, it’s fun to drive around town and say of a high rise, “I remember when this was just a shack.”
- Kayaking on Lake Austin. I’m a high-strung person, and it’s one of the few Zen things I do that I really enjoy.
Q: What is BASHH?
Founded in 2007, first as a tweetup, evolving to BASHH, it is a popular networking event that happens every month for people that hate networking events.
The goal is to bring people together offline that have met online. It’s a laid back social gathering where friends come first and business happens organically.
Q: Why does BASHH stand out in a city with so many networking opportunities?
BASHH skips anything that strokes an ego. There are no speakers, no one is allowed to float around the room and hawk their wares.
The culture is relaxed in a way that if someone walked from person to person handing out business cards and rushing to the next person, they would rub everyone the wrong way. BASHH culture promotes organic connections which is a huge differentiator.
Q: What types of people can get the most from BASHH?
Ooh, good question.
I think people that embody the Austin spirit manage to squeeze the most out of the events. People that are generous with their time and resources, people that want to be better professionals, and people that are tired of snake oil sales, that is who benefits the most.
From tech startup founders, fashion bloggers, financial analysts, and coders to executives, politicians, and builders, the job matters less than the attitude.
Q: Share your #1 Money Tip for newcomers to Austin to tap into the networking scene.
Find your niche. Go to as many networking events as you can possibly find, and whichever one(s) you’re most excited to attend the next time, go there.
When you’ve found a niche, you’ll thrive naturally, and you’ll discover lead generation becomes effortless.
Feature Image taken via screenshot of the Annie Ray website. Prints are for sale on the site, and she would surely appreciate your support!
Well, South by Southwest 2015 (SXSW 2015) is upon us, with the interactive portion of the festivities kicking off 10 days of parties, presentations, concerts, film screenings and more.
The weather is not very conducive to a festival just yet, but we are expected to start seeing glimpses of the sun by the time SXSWi starts. It looks like we’ll have a fantastic weekend by the time the week plays out.
The festival brings hundreds of thousands of tourists to the Texas capitol city each year, and it sounds like 2015 may be the biggest year of attendance ever. If you are coming to town, you need to be ready for a logistical challenge.
At least you get to deal with that amidst some amazing activities and music, and in one of the best cities in the world. Yes, I’m biased as a local resident, but then again, there’s a huge reason I live here. It’s pretty awesome.
Anyway, for the folks who are coming to visit, we came across the following infographic from Space Chimp Media that is a great basic survival guide for all of the various SXSW assortment of attractions. And of course, while in Austin, you absolutely have to eat some breakfast tacos, so that’s included as well.
Enjoy, and welcome to Austin for the next week or so!
Enjoy this guest post and infographic from John Egan of Sparefoot.
Need evidence that Austin is a popular place for transplants? Consider this: From 2010 to 2013, Austin was the fastest-growing city among the 25 largest U.S. cities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a 12 percent population hike in just three years.
Put another way: During that period, Austin essentially gained a city within a city, as the population rose by more than 95,000. By the way, that figure doesn’t include booming suburbs like Cedar Park, Georgetown and San Marcos.
“It’s not much of a mystery why Austin has fared so well,” Jordan Weissman wrote on Slate.com. “The city was only lightly affected by the recession, thanks in part to the fact that Texas was generally spared a housing bust, and its local economy is anchored by a state government, a massive university, and a tech scene.”
That helps explain why Austin is the envy of so many other cities, and so many people, around the country.
For years, business professionals from places like Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Wichita, Kansas, have descended on Austin in an effort to replicate at least some of our city’s economic magic. But the real proof of the level of envy regarding Austin rests with the number of people who have moved here, who are planning to move here or who are longing to move here.
In a recent piece for the Wall Street Journal, former Austin resident Tom Davenport, a professor at Babson College near Boston and a former professor at the University of Texas, succinctly captured the allure of Austin. He wrote that Austin is “quite interesting and fun. It’s got a funky, laid-back vibe and there are plenty of informal restaurants with outdoor seating, a river (that they call a lake) to run and bicycle around, and huge quantities of live music.”
Given that description, who wouldn’t be envious of Austin? If you still aren’t sold, this infographic from Austin-based SpareFoot offers 16 reasons why everyone has a case of Austin envy.
Over 150 people move to Austin, TX every day, making it the fastest growing city in the US. With warm weather, friendly dogs, a great business climate, and more breakfast tacos than you can shake a stick at, there’s no wonder why.
Located in Central Texas Hill Country, Austin, TX is a unique reservoir of arts, education, and eclectic people. Though the city has grown from a sleepy college town to one of the country’s largest city, its residents have still managed to “Keep Austin Weird.” Referred to as the Live Music Capital of the World, it’s not hard to walk down any given street on any given night of the week and see a great band playing.
Austin also hosts some of the country’s foremost festivals, including SXSW, ACL, and Fun Fun Fun Fest, all of which contribute to the growing amount of talent relocating to the city. Its business climate enjoys the open policies and low taxes that the rest of Texas has, but it also includes the innovative and hustling nature of the slew of technology startups moving here. ‘Silicon Hills’ is quickly becoming a hotbed for entrepreneurial talent.
At the center of Austin is the University of Texas, which now enrolls over 50,000 students. Saturdays in fall are electric events marked by huge crowds dressed in burnt orange. The school world renowned, topping national rankings in computer science, accounting, and engineering.
Austin is also a unique culinary experience. With events like Truck by TruckWest, the city is heaven for food trailers, with over 1,400 food trailers registered in Travis County alone. Of course, you can also find some of the best barbecue and breakfast tacos in the world in Austin.
There are many reasons people move to Austin, TX. An Austin-based startup, LawnStarter, points out six of them:
Texas has quickly earned a reputation as one of the most profitable states to do business in the US. It deserves this title for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest contributing factors is the flourishing tech industry in its capital city, Austin.
Home to the University of Texas, Austin regularly graduates a plentiful supply of eager students ready to join the workforce and put their knowledge to use. A large number of people visit Austin and never want to leave, and UT students are not impervious to the city’s magnetic pull either.
The University of Texas supplies all areas of the world with accomplished graduates, but a lot of them fall in love with Austin to such an extent that they decide to remain and launch their careers in the same city they received their degrees. This on top of the daily migration of 150 potential employees helps explain why Austin has such a large number of thriving businesses.
One of the biggest reasons Austin is such an attractive spot to start a career is because of the high tech wages provided to workers and the relatively low cost of living. The average tech job in Austin pays over $93,000, but the average housing cost is barely $200K. Not only are homes in Austin affordable, but so is office space, which currently rents at about $25 per square foot.
The venture capital provided by the companies listed in this infographic — over $300 million in the first quarter of 2014 alone — ensures that startup businesses in Austin continue to grow and provide its residents with valuable services and job opportunities.
This infographic acknowledges the companies and supplementary resources that come together to make the existence of startups in Austin possible.
To view the original post, click here.
For those of us who live in Austin, TX, we already know how great of a city this is. How many times have we all seen the memes and blog posts on the theme of thanks for coming visit, now go home and don’t move here?
Some of the allure of the city is more focused on the culture or entertainment options / night life. Surely, those are amazing aspects of the city and the surrounding areas.
Another amazing feature this city offers is a consistently growing economy. One that contributes to both the state and national economies lucratively.
As a city that started out “weird” and cut our teeth with high tech startups, Austin is in fact a truly unique locale. Tech continues to be a driving force, both through local startups, large companies such as Apple and Facebook opening offices here, and via several well known tech conferences such as South By Southwest Interactive.
Hand in hand with that growing tech scene, we have one of the best job markets in all of the United States. We regularly find that our unemployment rate is a couple of percentage points below the national average. In fact, as of March 2014, Austin had the lowest unemployment rate among metro areas in the country!
Forbes: Austin is #3 in Job Growth
The logical conclusion of such a low unemployment rate is that we are also creating jobs, and a lot of them. This was validated by Forbes in late April in their article titled The Best Cities for Jobs 2014.
First, let’s review how Forbes has chosen the frontrunners in their analysis, by way of the excerpt below:
Our rankings are based on short-, medium- and long-term job creation, going back to 2002, and factor in momentum — whether growth is slowing or accelerating.
So in other words, this isn’t just a measure of how “hot” the market is today. The low unemployment rate covers that measure. It looks at how we have done in the past 12 years, reaching all the way back before the huge recession hit us a few years ago.
It also takes into account momentum. Cities with negative job growth would have a downward drag on their ranking in this system, even if they’ve seen massive job creation in the past.
Here is the list of the top 10 metro areas they called out, in rank order.
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California (aka Silicon Valley)
- San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, California
- Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, Texas
- Raleigh-Cary North Carolina
- Houston, Texas
- Nashville-Franklin-Murfreesboro, Tennessee
- New York City
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida
- Dallas-Plano-Irving, Texas
- Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
Texas Shining Across the Board
In looking at this list, what jumps out at me immediately is that Texas sports three of the top 10 metro areas for jobs. While there are a variety of reasons why these cities are so successful, we can attribute the success at least in part by the business friendly climate in the state of Texas as a whole.
Considering how the Bay area has rebounded so aggressively to land in the top two spots after floundering for several years during the downturn, it is quite impressive to see Austin holding strong at #3 overall.
So on behalf of the locals, “Awesome, but shhhhh…don’t tell anyone how great it is. The traffic is already stacked up enough.”
If you’re stuck for a job and don’t mind relocating, though, Austin is one of the best places without having to pay Bay Area prices for cost of living that you can consider. And if you have experience fixing major traffic problems in a city growing at amazing rates, we’ll welcome you with open arms.
Thanks for reading!
Although it will come as no surprise to most of us, mobile usage finally surpassed online browsing from desktop platforms back in February of 2014. This is a monumental development, and one that means we all need to get our websites optimized for mobile immediately (for those of us who have been putting it off). Logic suggests that mobile couponing and location-based marketing efforts are now poised to explode moving forward.
Geolocation and Mobile Couponing
We’ve seen a variety of mobile and geolocation based offerings come and go over the past few years. Some of the bigger players, like Foursquare, have undergone multiple business models in search of the one that will best pay the bills. All-in-all, no one company has jumped out very far ahead of the pack.
In recent years, a range of couponing models have also come onto the scene. From Groupon to Tippr to several others in market, we’ve seen some great experiments and hits. All of these couponing companies do a decent job of logging your location via IP address or manual submission. With that location data, they can best tailor which coupons you might want to consider. The model works great, so long as the customers don’t mind using a desktop platform to find the coupons in advance.
To my knowledge, the same holds true for the smart phone apps. The offerings are primarily based on metro area or other provided information. But what if I am 50 miles away from home and want to find a great deal on a car wash nearby? That’s not an easy question to answer. But it might be soon.
In-Market Test of Location-Based Mobile Couponing
Austin-based RetailMeNot brands itself as the world’s largest digital coupon marketplace. They claim to have contributed to over $3B in retail sales as a result of their mobile couponing offering, which illustrates just how massive this industry has become.
Always looking ahead, RetailMeNot recently announced that they plan to test location based mobile coupons at the upcoming spring game for the University of Texas Longhorns men’s football team. If this test goes well, they may scale out the model to a much wider range of mobile couponing clients.
The concept is pretty simple, and surely one that will require some specialized logic to execute in the real world. Since the experiment will happen at a single location, this isn’t a true dynamic geolocation test. But on a smaller scale, as you would expect for a live market test, they should get a good idea of how much incremental business they are able to drive for the businesses involved based on targeting this precise location.
While this is a smaller use case, the potential to flesh this out into a large scale offering is rather exciting. I can envision a day where a range of coupons are available, and the user can choose to have any good deals in certain product or service categories pushed to them based on proximity. This is the long term dream of mobile marketers worldwide, so I’ll be watching to see how it turns out.
It seems some Austin company is out there doing something amazing nearly every week. We’ll look to chronicle the most interesting activities on here as we build out the site. Keep a watch on RetailMeNot and the upcoming test. Who knows; this could be the start of a huge push for mobile marketing nationwide before too long.
If you want to take part in the test, be sure to download the RetailMeNot app to your smartphone first. You can find more information about the Longhorns’ spring game at http://texassports.com/news/2014/4/14/FB_0414145724.aspx.