(Community Matters) Startup Austin – it’s all about jobs. At yesterday’s luncheon, John Price cited a statistic I didn’t know, nearly every job created since the 1990s is from a company less than 5 years old.
Startup America is a private-public initiative launched by Steve Case (AOL), Scott Case (Priceline) and the Obama Administration. The board’s a big deal and includes Austin’s own, Michael Dell. It’s about bringing together a coalition of mentors, advisors, funders, major corporations and service providers to deliver strategic and substantive resources to help entrepreneurs start and scale companies. It’s especially focused on leading existing firms with high-growth potential (what they call “speedups”).
John believes we can replace New York as the #2 city from which to launch a startup. He believes “Austin has an unfair advantage as a place to go to start a company if you can’t afford San Francisco.” The initiative in Austin will immediately focus on the Entrepreneurial Eco System: 1) Talent, 2) Services, 3) Expertise, 4) Customers and 5) Capital.
My good friend and npo/entrepreneur-world colleague Bryan Jones hosted yesterday’s luncheon as Greater Austin Chamber SIG Chair. Lots of entrepreneurs, organizational leaders and potential major sponsors of the initative in the room. Certainly telling that superstar entrepreneur and scholar Bob Metcalfe was in attendance.
The launch team is undecided whether we’ll be Startup Austin or Startup Texas. Evidently Startup America would like to see Texas. I think rightfully, this team is cautious and looking at one step at a time. I’d stick with Austin. Even the entrepreneurial communities in the our major metropolitan areas are different – Austin is unique; the brand value for the name Austin is precious, why wouldn’t we take advantage? The only pause I have is my belief that Austin and San Antonio will eventually merge into a super metropolitan area. That’s a long way off and we can deal with that when it gets here.