The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Austin. It’s clear year round, but the vibrant business environment practically slaps you in the face during South By Southwest.
Startups are hawking their wares all over town. Armed with tee shirts, hats and sponsored shows, they’re doing all they can to get the word out about their new products. You’re about as likely to be asked to get in someone’s pedicab as you are to be asked to download a new iPhone app.
Word is getting out about Austin. People now know Austin as a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity. In fact, personal finance website NerdWallet named Austin the 2016 best city for young entrepreneurs.
Several factors went into calculating which of the 181 cities NerdWallet studied would end up on top. Elements include cost of living, access to funding, and demographics related to age and education level.
Here’s the top 10 list:
- Austin-Round Rock, Texas
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado
- Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota and Wisconsin
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Midland, Texas
- Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts and New Hampshire
- Fargo, North Dakota
Researchers came away with three critical points. First, small business loans are available everywhere. While this may sound obvious, people tend to think of San Francisco and New York as the ultimate places to go to start a business. After all, New Yorkers like to say, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” Well, you don’t have to make it there. You can make it other places, too.
Second, today’s businesses are built on educated workforces. Cities with highly educated populations rose toward the top of NerdWallet’s list. Austin clearly fits the bill on this factor.
Third, lower costs of living lower costs of doing business. Cheaper rents make for fatter bottom lines. And while it may not seem like it, Austin’s cost of living is below the national average.
Businesses continue to flock to Austin, and Austinites continue to make businesses out of mere ideas and a little capital. This place is a boomtown, and it looks to stay strong for fostering the talents of entrepreneurs.
Feature Photo: Flickr user Paul Hudson, creative commons licensed.