Top Tech Companies in Austin - From Startups to Established Giants
In recent years, Austin has established itself as one of the preeminent tech hubs in the United States. In fact, in 2018, Fast Company named Austin the fastest growing tech city in America for the second year in a row. As a result, it should come as no surprise that over 200 technology companies have set up shop in Austin. Many are startups with big ideas and small budgets, but there are also established corporate behemoths with offices here. This article covers some of the best tech companies in Austin: from new startups to thriving corporations headquartered here. If you’re interested in learning more about the latest and greatest tech companies located within 40 miles of the capitol city of Texas, keep reading to discover more about these notable names.
What Startups Are Doing Well in the Lone Star State
Startups are transforming the way we live, work and play. With the rise of digital technologies, nearly every industry is now a tech industry. Companies that leverage technology to solve problems efficiently and effectively are thriving. But what about Austin? The city is commonly known as the “Silicon Hills” with its growing startup ecosystem, filled with digital companies and innovation centers in almost every sector you can think of – from gaming to artificial intelligence, biotechnology and even virtual reality. However, not all tech startups are thriving in Austin. Many startups fail to launch because they don’t have a complete business plan or their market research has flaws. Others fail because they lack funding or support from investors who don’t see enough potential in the company. But there are some great examples of successful startups thriving in Austin as well. Let’s take a closer look at how startups are faring in Austin:
There’s no denying that Austin is famous for its barbecue. So, why not start this list of the best tech companies in Austin with a couple of startups that have a Texas-fried flavor? Froot Loops is an AI-powered chatbot that helps brands engage with their customers on Facebook Messenger. Froot Loops has offices in Austin, New York City, and San Francisco. Brilliant is an online marketplace where companies can outsource research and translation services. Founded in 2012, Brilliant is headquartered in Austin and has offices in New York City, San Francisco, and Berlin.
Google’s presence in Austin goes back to 2004 when the company opened a sales office in the city. Since then, the operation has grown steadily and now employs around 2,500 people. In addition to advertising sales, Google Austin is also home to a variety of research and development projects. In fact, the company has grown so big in Austin that in 2014 it built a brand new campus to accommodate its growing workforce. Since then, the Google Austin campus has housed everything from an employee “Ideas Lab” to a full-scale marketing team. It’s also become a hub for events, welcoming visitors from all over the world.
Like Google, IBM has been doing business in Austin since 2004. In fact, this partnership between IBM and Austin first started in the 1950s, back when IBM was based in New York City. Since then, Austin has become the main hub for IBM’s cloud computing efforts. It has also been the birthplace of a number of groundbreaking technologies, including Watson. In fact, Watson is so deeply embedded in the Austin community that it has even collaborated with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. On top of that, IBM Austin has also nurtured a number of startups, helping them to commercialize their technologies.
Dell got its start in Austin in the 1990s, and in 1998 it established a large manufacturing plant in the city. In fact, the plant was the largest single building in Texas at the time. Since then, Dell has stayed in Austin, even after its acquisition by private equity firms in 2013. In fact, the company still employs around 3,000 people in Austin, where it continues to make most of its products.
When Amazon announced plans to open a second headquarters, it received proposals from more than 200 cities across North America. Surprisingly, Austin made the short list. Since then, Amazon has added around 5,000 jobs in Austin, with most of them being warehouse positions. This has helped Austin maintain its reputation as one of the fastest growing tech cities in the U.S. Even though Amazon has a major presence in Austin, employees in the city are kept busy with other projects. In fact, Amazon employs thousands of software developers in Austin, many of whom work on Alexa.
One of Austin’s longest standing tech companies, Dropbox was founded in 2007. In fact, it was the first company to operate out of Capital Factory, a startup incubator located in Austin. Since then, Dropbox has grown significantly, both in terms of its workforce and its footprint in Austin. In fact, the company has helped to transform the city’s historic SoCo neighborhood into a thriving tech district. Dropbox has also been involved in a number of partnerships with Austin schools, with teachers using the Dropbox software to share and store digital content.
AT&T has had a presence in Austin since the early 20th century, when it operated a switchboard in a local drugstore. Since then, the company has grown exponentially and now employs thousands of people in Texas. In fact, AT&T has been such a fixture in Austin that it has been the official “Telecommunications Sponsor” of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference since 1995. And, although AT&T’s headquarters are located in San Antonio, Austin is home to many of its research and development hubs. This includes AT&T’s “lab-in-the-cloud”, which was first launched in Austin in 2014.
The Past and Current State of Austin’s Startup Ecosystem
Austin has a rich history and culture of entrepreneurship, but the city has truly flourished as a technology hub in the last decade. The city’s high-tech scene has grown significantly since the Great Recession, when Austin gained global attention for its thriving technology economy. University of Texas at Austin is one of the leading universities in the U.S. that is home to top-notch computer science, engineering, and other technology-related programs. UT Austin also boasts one of the biggest technology incubators in the world — the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Austin is also home to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, which every March attracts tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, and other tech-focused people from around the world.
What’s Working in Austin?
Austin’s tech scene is well-known for its internet of things (IoT) industry. To give you an idea of just how large and profitable the IoT industry is in Austin, companies that specialize in IoT make up roughly 20% of the city’s tech start-ups. Austin’s tourism and hospitality industries are also experiencing an influx of tech companies and new innovations thanks to Austin’s tech scene. Other industries that are thriving in Austin include: - Biotechnology - Austin is home to the world's largest biotechnology industry. The city is home to many research labs, biotechnology incubators and biotech firms. In fact, the city is known as "Biotech Capital of the World" and "Biotech Silicon Valley". The biotechnology industry in Austin employs more than 81,000 people and is worth over $40 billion. - Virtual Reality - Austin is one of the top cities in the U.S. for VR and AR startups. The city has a thriving VR/AR industry thanks to its strong university and government presence, as well as its vibrant tech scene. - Gaming - Austin is a rising star in the gaming industry thanks to its strong university presence, government investment and a vibrant tech scene. The city is home to many gaming companies and hosts one of the world's largest gaming conventions, SXSW Gaming. - Artificial Intelligence - Austin is a top city for AI startups, research labs and innovation thanks to its vibrant tech start-up scene.
Existing Companies That Are Thriving
- Hired - Hired is a marketplace for companies to find software engineers and for job seekers to find tech jobs. The company was founded in 2012 and is valued at $1.9 billion. - HomeAway - Austin-based HomeAway is a travel website that offers rentals and vacation properties globally. The company was founded in 2005 and is projected to bring in more than $800 million in revenue in 2020. - Indeed - Indeed is one of the world’s largest job search engines. The company was founded in 2004 and is projected to bring in $1.8 billion in revenue in 2020.
Start-up Culture in Austin
Austin has a strong start-up culture with events and meet-ups happening regularly across the city. Some of the biggest events that promote Austin’s tech scene include SXSW and Austin Startup Week, where Austin’s tech community gets together to exchange ideas, network and learn from one another. Austin also hosts several other events throughout the year, including the Austin Investor Alliance, Austin Technology Council and the Austin Technology Incubator. Austin’s start-up culture generates over $10 billion in yearly revenue and employs more than 130,000 people.
What’s Not Working?
Austin’s real estate market is extremely competitive, and it’s estimated that only 10% of tech companies in Austin are profitable. The city’s start-up culture relies heavily on government funding, which could dry up if a new administration takes power in Washington, D.C. and changes funding priorities. Austin also lacks diversity in its tech scene, with a lack of African-American and Hispanic employees in the industry. One solution to this problem that has worked in other cities is a government push to create more affordable housing in Austin. With more affordable housing, Austin would be more attractive to a wider range of people, including those who cannot afford to live in cities with a high cost of living.
Other Notable Tech Companies in Austin
- In Conclusion Austin is one of the best cities in America for aspiring entrepreneurs and established tech companies alike. It boasts an educated workforce, affordable living costs, and a business-friendly environment that has helped it to become one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the U.S. Now that you know more about the best tech companies in Austin, you can use this information to make an informed decision about where to start your next business venture. Alternatively, you can use this information to find your next place of employment.
The tech scene in Austin is booming, and it’s always easy to find the latest and greatest companies in the city. From time to time, we receive inquiries about the best Series A funding opportunities for new technology startups that are developing products under specific focus areas. Since there’s so much activity in Austin and other leading tech hubs across the country, we thought it would be helpful to create a list of the top venture capital firms investing in technology and digital media. Since launching our research initiative last year we have been tracking new investments made by top venture capital firms. In light of these recent discoveries, we are releasing a new list of the best Series A funding opportunities for emerging technology companies.
Posy Series A Companies to Watch in the Live Music Capital
A Series A round has several key differences from the first round of financing that occurs when a startup raises seed capital. The amount of capital received during a Series A round is generally much larger and, as a result, the valuation of the company is higher.
Why is Fundraising So Important?
While fundraising is not necessarily a sign that a company is in trouble, it is a significant financial milestone and can be a good indication of future success for a startup. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind the implications of a fundraising round for the startup and the investors. Entrepreneurs and investors alike heavily rely on fundraising to gauge the health and future of a company - so it’s important to do it right. For entrepreneurs, a successful fundraising round can be a great indication that their company is moving in the right direction. Likewise, investors can use the same round to validate the potential of the business.
As the largest and most diverse venture capital market in the world, Silicon Valley continues to be the most active area for technology fundraising. A number of promising consumer technology companies have closed rounds within the last year worth more than $100 million. These include the likes of Epoxy, a subscription-based beauty products company; Tixit, an off-campus events booking platform; and Moksha, a wellness platform for employers.
Data and Analytics
Austin is quickly establishing itself as one of the top cities for data and analytics companies to receive Series A funding. These types of companies are increasingly important for enterprise businesses and high-growth startups looking to improve decision-making and performance. We’re seeing promising examples of this trend in Austin, including the likes of Alteryx, whose data analytics solutions help businesses automate their data management; Cascade, which provides data and analytics solutions for the cannabis industry; and Visage, which specializes in facial recognition software.
Digital Media (Ad-tech)
The online advertising industry is expected to generate more than $100 billion in revenue in 2019, suggesting that investors are continuing to feel optimistic about its growth. In Austin, we’ve seen some promising Series A funding rounds in the digital media sector. For example, Hyperfish, a cloud-based automation tool for the IT sector; TGIFriday, an online ad platform for targeting consumers through social media, email, and text messaging; and Wiper, a platform for personalized advertising through AI chatbots.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things, or IoT, is an industry that is expected to grow substantially in the coming years. With that in mind, we’ve seen a number of Series A funding rounds for promising IoT companies in Austin. For example, Storability, a data storage solution for businesses and individuals; and Tasty Labs, a kitchen appliance that allows users to cook food remotely.
Robotics and Automation
As automation continues to make its way into the mainstream, we’ve seen an increasing number of Series A funding rounds for robotics and automation companies. For example, Autoliv, a fully automated car safety solution; and iRobotics, an AI-powered robot system designed to reduce data center costs.
Mobile & Voice
Zello based in Austin is a fast-growing walkie talkie app that lets users turn any smart hone onto a walkie talkie. With well over 100 million users, the company is one of the most notable to watch amongst the lone star state's startup scene.
The New Era of Tech in Austin: the Early Stage Entrepreneurial Scene
Since its founding in the 1870s as a small cattle-raising town, Austin has been known for its abundance of natural resources as well as its vibrant culture. Today, this city has grown into a thriving metropolis with a population of over 1 million residents and an increasing number of tech-based businesses. Indeed, many people might not know that the city of Austin is actually the largest technology hub in the state of Texas. In fact, the Greater Austin area is home to some of the biggest tech companies in the world such as Dell, Intel, and Oracle. Additionally, there are numerous incubators and accelerators that support entrepreneurs looking to launch startups built around innovative technologies. With all these factors combined, it’s no wonder so many people are moving to Austin to begin their new careers in technology or further develop ventures they already have underway.
New Era of Tech in Austin: What to expect?
When you become part of the technology sector in Austin, you’ll notice many unique benefits that are not necessarily seen in other industries. For example, the median salary for a software engineer in Austin is about $90,000, which is significantly higher than the national average of $87,000. In addition, the cost of living in Austin is relatively low compared to other large cities. This makes it much easier for tech workers in Austin to build and maintain a healthy budget. There’s also a great deal of flexibility when it comes to work schedules in the technology sector. Many companies in Austin offer employees the option of working remotely, especially if they’re in a management position or otherwise responsible for overseeing a team. This can be especially useful if you have family obligations that occasionally require you to take time off.
The Rise of the Entrepreneurial Culture in Austin
Austin has long been a hub for creative, artistic types, but it’s only recently that it’s become known for its entrepreneurial spirit as well. The first sign of this change followed in the wake of the dot-com crash in 2001. At that time, many people lost their jobs at large corporations and started looking for more flexible work arrangements. To accommodate this growing demand, entrepreneurs in Austin started to create and develop new businesses. This included the creation of incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, and co-living facilities, all of which helped support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Austin. Austin’s entrepreneurial culture continued to expand throughout the 2010s and into the present time. Today, there are more than 4,000 startups in Austin, and many of them are focused on developing new technologies. This has led to a high demand for skilled workers in the technology sector, and it’s also caused the average salary for technology workers to increase by approximately 20% in recent years.
- Austin Technology Council: This is the largest business federation in Austin and works to promote the city’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. - Capital Factory: This organization is known for hosting many tech-focused events and offering a variety of programs aimed at helping entrepreneurs grow their companies. - TechCrunch: This is the largest news site in Austin and covers all things related to technology. - University of Texas at Austin: This is one of the most respected universities in Austin and is home to numerous research centers and labs.
The Importance of Tech in Today’s Society
The technology sector is responsible for creating countless jobs and helping large companies thrive. You might be surprised to learn that the tech industry accounts for approximately 10% of the world’s GDP. In the United States alone, this industry generates approximately $2 trillion in annual revenue. Indeed, when you consider the sheer scale of the technology sector, it’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to this profession. Not only is it a lucrative career path, but it’s also one that’s essential to the development of modern society. If we didn’t have computer programmers, engineers, and other technology-focused workers, our world would be a very different place indeed. Indeed, technology is used in a wide variety of fields, from agriculture to healthcare and everything in between. Many companies are developing autonomous vehicles and other technologies that can be used to improve transportation. Others are creating software that can be used to improve the way healthcare providers work. In short, technology is fundamentally changing the way that humans do just about everything.
The New Era of Tech in Austin is a great time for those who love working in the tech sector. This city is full of opportunities for people looking to launch new businesses or further develop existing ventures. With excellent incubators and accelerators, as well as a thriving entrepreneurial culture, Austin is a great place to start a new career.
Austin’s start-up culture is thriving, but it’s important that city officials, tech leaders and members of the tech community address issues like funding, diversity and the city’s real estate issues to ensure Austin’s tech scene continues to grow and thrive.