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!
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.
Last week, money.cnn.com released their list of the 10 fastest growing cities in the country. We were not surprised to learn that Austin, TX ranked as the #1 city in terms of population growth. That explains the burst of traffic on our commutes!
According to their numbers, the city now sits at a population of 1.9 million, which supports the previously stated notion that we’ll be a 2 million person metro within the next year or two (statistic originally found on Austinist.com).
After residing here for over 20 years, I’ve watched the city grown leaps and bounds. It always felt like we were growing quickly, and the CNN Money ranking showed that we added nearly 48,000 new residents as of mid-2013. That is a heck of an impressive number given that it measures “net new” residents, meaning there are more people actually moving here, but some of that volume is offset by departures from Austin. You can see exactly how much we’ve grown just by comparing the skyline today vs. old pictures.
Just to put that “net new” number in perspective, it adds up to a 2.6% annualized growth rate. That means we probably have around 4% of the total population moving here each year, minus the folks who move on for new pastures (a complete guess on my part, so don’t quote these numbers for anything more than casual conversation).
Why Are All of These People Moving to Austin?
Great question! The article speculates that our “cultural vibrancy” (whatever that is) contributes heavily to the appeal. I’d wager that this relates to our outstanding art / music / creative-friendly scene, dedication to holistic healing like acupuncture and chiropractic care (among others), and our general weirdness as a metropolitan area.
Of course, it also calls out the big motivator: J-O-B-S. As mentioned on the piece, we have an unemployment rate of 4.7%, which is the lowest such rate among cities of 1M residents or more. Pretty impressive, even to someone who lives and breathes Austin like myself.
There are a few more reasons. Check out our last post Why People Are Moving to Austin for a more in depth review of the Austin allure.
What brought you to Austin? What keeps you here? Please share below!
Today we came across the following infographic by way of the ABJ. As we all know, the population of Austin has been growing at a rapid pace over the past 20 years, and has seemed to accelerate the last 5 years.
Local Web Design company Complete Web Resources recently published the following image, summarizing their take on why people are relocating to Austin and the central Texas area as a whole.
As you can see, the high tech and internet industries are toward the top of the list for industries that attract new talent. The infographic also includes some interesting data about our cost of living and cost of housing, which are apparently independent. One is going up but the other is shown as being low / competitive. Not sure how that plays out in the long run, and we think it makes sense to check out their sources.
Anyway, here’s the infographic for your viewing pleasure. If you want to see the original post, go to their page Why Everyone Is Moving to Austin. Enjoy!