Austin is a bootstrapped kind of technology startup scene, says Joshua Baer, entrepreneur and co-founder of Capital Factory.
He gave an overview of the Austin Startup scene last Friday at Capital Factory, the downtown coworking space and technology incubator.
He says technology entrepreneurs move here not just for the technology industry but for the quality of life.
“Austin is a great place to be poor,” he said.
San Francisco and Silicon Valley are not great places to be poor, he said.
Social capital is also important here. People help each other out, Baer said.
The tide is also rising in Austin. It’s not just one thing. Everyone does better when everyone wins. Multiple successes create a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem, Baer said.
During a talk Monday night at Capital Factory, an audience member asked him what it would take for Austin to become a huge technology center like Silicon Valley.
“I think Austin is kind of number three,” he said. “Silicon Valley and New York are the top two.”
They are followed by Austin, Seattle and Boston, he said.
Silicon Valley is at its peak, he said.
“There’s pretty much an established hierarchy,” he said. “If you know people it can be great.”
But if you don’t, it can be a tough place to break into, Baer said. Austin’s entrepreneurs are much more accessible, he said. They hold office hours and meet with new entrepreneurs in coffee shops around town. They want to help out, he said.
In the video on the Austin Startup Scene, Baer provides some history of the technology industry in Austin with companies like MCC, Dell, Tivoli and Trilogy.
Recently he points to the success of BazaarVoice and Homeaway, which both went public and which was sold to a Japanese company.
He says to keep an eye on WhaleShark Media. He thinks they are the next big Austin Initial Public Offering.