Christopher Calnan of the Austin Business Journal wrote a piece titled VC: Silicon Valley vs. Austin, on the opinions that came out from this month’s CEO Summit in Austin.
The following snippet from the article summarizes very well why Silicon Valley is (and will remain) ahead of Austin:
“Bay Area is more conducive to startups because the area’s large number of venture capital firms has resulted in a more aggressive, fast-moving environment fueled by an army of investors who are more tolerant of risk.”
There is money in Austin, but the “risk taking attitude” of the Austin VC community, while it has improved over the years (thanks to folks like Joshua Baer and other Angels and Incubators), is not there yet as compared to SV.
Over the years I have seen that the Austin VC community likes to invest more on “sure things” vs. cutting-edge unproven ideas and people. This is especially true in general with respect to my space, Mobility; Austin is still more B2B-focused (and chips) in general. An example of this you can see by looking at the portfolio page of Austin Ventures, the big VC in town.
So Silicon Valley wins, and New York City is doing very well.
Austin life-style and people and tech community is great though, which is why I am here.
I hope to continue seeing more local innovators, entrepreneurs, facilitators, investors, and risk takers in general, all here in town, fueling the local ecosystem.
As a side note, Kickstarter is a great alternative. Recently, Austin-based Replay Inc. raised over $600K via Kickstarter; congrats to Paul and team.
Update: After I finished writing this piece, I read the following at the Austin American Statesman: Austin chamber, tech guru team up to create startup center. Awesome. Led by Joshua Baer, the startup center, called Capital Factory, opens in 22,000 square feet of space on the 16th floor of the Austin Centre complex at 701 Brazos St. This is the kind of thing I was talking about. Congrats to Joshua are rest of the team.
Update-2: See The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Building a Company in Austin (pandodaily).